How to get away with murder

Have visited the Tropical Spice Garden in Penang.     It’s set in an idyllic location on the coast with tantalising glimpses of the sea through the greenery.     Our guide showed us all sorts of exotic plants –     plus bats –     snakes –     and even the cat’s…

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Pottering around Penang

Spending a few days in George Town, capital of Penang. It’s full of cutesy architecture – – and wacky street art. The most famous piece is Children on a Bicycle, which is a photo-must for the cutesy and the humorous. Hunk on a Honda is pretty popular too. There’s also a series of cartoons made…

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Hitting the tourist trail

A week’s holiday from school – hooray! Anthony has arrived from the UK for a visit.  He attempted to cut his costs by disapparating – but unfortuntely couldn’t manage it without splinching, so had to resort to a more mainstream form of travel. We visited the Batu Caves today – a holy Hindu site guarded…

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A bad dose of the wordsh*ts

The dreaded ‘pupil reflections’ bandwagon has reached KL, and my school has leapt enthusiastically on board. Just like in the UK, the children have no idea what to write apart from stating-the-bleedin’-obvious comments about working harder, trying harder etc. But I could certainly empathise with this girl and her issues with wordsh*ts – And it…

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Sussing the supermarkets

Depressingly, there are several giant Tesco stores in KL.  They look similar enough to UK stores, although their everyday products make ours look a tad dull. But I haven’t come all this way to shop at Tesco, so I looked elsewhere. There is a giant shoppping mall – fourth largest in the world, actually –…

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Toad Hall

Mr Toad has finally moved to his elegant new flat, and can be seen here relaxing on his king-size bed, charmingly furnished with imported French cotton bed linen. And relaxing with an aperitif on the balcony before dinner –   The new Toad Hall is on the fifteenth floor, with a somewhat vertiginous view of…

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Pitch Perfect: The Sequel

I have a vomiter in my class. Her mother – armed with plastic bags and a worried expression – explained to me that when this child feels stressed, she vomits.  With one eye on said child and another on my possible escape route, I tried to look sympathetic and caring, instead of repulsed. Normally she…

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The Year of the Cat?

No – apparently it’s the Year of the Rooster. So I was rather puzzled to see an installation at Doha airport with approximately a thousand waving cats, wishing everyone a Happy New Year. You may not be able to see clearly from the photo, but they are all waving their left paw stiffly up and…

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Mr Toad packs his suitcase…

… ready to head off to Malaysia. He’s hoping that reports of a plague of toad-eating snakes in Kuala Lumpur have been greatly exaggerated.

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The shameless tourist

It’s all very well going native – eating in local restaurants, calling yourself a barang, feeling very superior as every new batch of holiday-makers arrives for the obligatory 3-day Angkor Wat pilgrimage – but there are times when you just want to let rip and be a total tourist yourself.  So with that idea in…

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