And I'm not looking forward to it :(
Cold means bulky and layered clothes and coats that make you move about like a robot. Cold means wearing hats or beanies that protect your ears from dropping off, thus making you look like you have no hair. Cold means looking at the shower in dread. Cold means not wanting to move around much, thus making you fat, lazy and achey.
The only thing I can look forward to now is the trip back to KL... paradise! Every day I think about it more and more. But it also makes me wonder how much of a paradise it is. What about when I move back? Will I then be as dissatisfied with the way things are done as I was before I left? And can they pleasseeee fix the stupid broadband service problems before I get back? And Malaysian attitudes in general?
At least I have one fun thing to do here before I go back, which is celebrate my very first Sinterklaas. It's kinda like Christmas, but without the baby Jesus. It's more focused on the saint and his little black helper called Piet.
On December 5th, I'll go to Moeder Irma and Papa Bert's home with Schrobbenmaster, and there we'll exchange gifts, Secret Santa-style (I already know who I have to shop for - the lottery is all done digitally, man). But the hardest and probably the most unique part of this is that we also have to make 'surprises' (pronounced Dutch way, since it's a Dutch thing - "soo-pree-ses"). A 'surprise' is something you make yourself to house the gift, and it's based upon what the giftee likes. As Moeder Irma writes: For example, if someone likes to use computers a lot, then you can build a computer out of boxes and hide the gift inside.
It sounds bloody difficult and it IS bloody difficult. Add to that the necessary poem about the person or gift inside, and this 'surprise' sounds a whole lot more like a 'pain in the ass'. I think you need to take a week off from work just to set this up! And what happens if you get the same person more than one year in a row? Not that difficult considering there are only 4 of us (and before this, only 3 of them). It's gonna be doubly difficult to build another 'surprise' based on another 'like' of theirs.
It's too much work, I tell ya. Granted, it must be super fun to finally be there on the night, with your proud work of art being 'unwrapped', but wow, some traditions really require you to have an old-fashioned lifestyle of only working a few hours a day and the rest of the time locked up in your house with only cooking and knitting to do.