Kuching…so far

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It has been almost 4 months since we moved here. Glad to report that we have now settled down well. Our son attends a school nearby, and he looks forward to it every day. He has a nice set of friends here, but he still keeps in touch with some of his friends in Riyadh. He has another set of swimming team friends, so between school and swimming, his time is well occupied, which is what we had hoped for.

I love being in Kuching. It’s a quiet place with very friendly people who has a smile for you always, wherever you go. So far, we find that the people here do take the time to chat with strangers, to exchange pleasantries at least, and it makes us feel like we are part of a larger community. The pace of life is slower, it feels like when you breathe, it’s deeper and more relaxed. I even feel as if my sleep is more fitful and I wake up more rested. Is it the air, perhaps?

In terms of shopping, we can get most of the things that we want here and more retail outlets and malls are opening. The latest 2 opened within the past 2 months – Merdeka Plaza and now, City One. Since shopping is not my forte anyway, I have to confess that I have not been to Merdeka Plaza yet, and when we went to City One, it was to go to Metrojaya and get some swimming stuff for our son.  However, I do feel that there is no shortage of shopping opportunity here.

The cost of living is similar, I would think, to Peninsular Malaysia. However, when we go to Satok (now moved to the new venue, Medan Niaga Satok,) it feels like RM100 stretches a bit further, especially if you focus on getting local vegetables and seafood. Beef, lamb and goat, however, can be a bit pricey and fresh local meat product is a little bit more difficult to come by. Having said that, walk into any upscale supermarket like Ta Kiong, Choice Premier or Cold Storage and you can get any cut of beef (Australian usually,) that you want.

Living in Kuching means that you are within 30 minutes drive to the beach and while driving, you will pass many quaint villages and such greenery that it is difficult to feel tired or grouchy. There are always mountains to look at, or old trees lining roads, or people fishing along the many bridges that connect different parts of Kuching as the Sarawak River meanders along its merry way. It also means having graceful, nymph-like cranes visit your yard in pairs, bending its long neck as it nibbles on insects. It’s not unusual to catch sight of a vivid blue kingfisher resting majestically on a branch. I have also seen a loris run across the road – and those things are not slow, whatever they may be called.

Personally, this place reminds me to always take a deep breath and slow down. Take the time to wave to others, ask people how they are, bake cookies or make coffee and pause to smell, really smell its aroma. Most importantly, it is a place that reminds me to be really grateful for the unlimited gifts bestowed to all of us by our Supreme Creator.

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