Western food - 19th April 2015

Have just returned from a Sunday breakfast at Bites, the Hotel’s contemporary café on the ground floor. We were a bit excited to see a spinach omelette on the menu and went “Western” for a brief moment and ordered one each. They were excellent and came with toast.

After eating Malaysian local food for so long I found the omelette yummy but a little bland. This is not a reflection on the omelette but more one on the spicy flavour of local dishes. I will be eating Malaysian for breakfast tomorrow but Erica is not so sure.

We read The Sunday Star over breakfast and it had some very interesting articles some of which I will relate below.

The retirement age in Malaysia currently sits at 55 years old and life expectancy is around 75 years. There is a move afoot to extend the retirement age to 60 years. Does this sound familiar?The Malaysians are very unhappy about this. There has been a problem here with people at 55 or over drawing down all their super for things such as ‘son’s wedding”.

Research according to The Sunday Star shows that the shorter one is the higher the risk of heart disease due to blocked arteries. The article is titled “getting the short end of the stick”. The research found that every 6.3cm in a person’s height affected their risk of coronary heart disease by 13.5%. As Malaysians are significantly shorter than Westerners this could account for shorter life expectancies.

Lots of Real Estate advertising. They are talking about building more affordable housing in Kuala Lumpur and the quote the price range of 200,00RM to 400,000RM as being affordable. (Around 70,000 to 140.000 Australian dollars.) There also are many ads for “Eco type” developments with lakes and trees (sounds familiar).

Enough of the Sunday paper as we are off to explore the Spring shopping mall in Kuching to catch up with the locals.

Admiring sheep at Spring Mall

Admiring sheep at Spring Mall

Arrived at Spring Mall about 10.30. It is a modern complex but a little “Folksy” compared to Kuala Lumpur. Most of the major brands were there. A Chinese Supermarket called Ta King stocked Dick Smith Peanut Butter, Capilano Honey, Carmen’s Muesli, Rice Bubbles, Aussie Carrots, Mc Cormicks Spices Aussie legs of lamb and Aussie cheese and butter. Also stocked biggest range of Aussie wine we have seen in Malaysia. In a nutshell an expat retiree could find most of the groceries he or she might need here. It is a very busy centre on Sundays especially their excellent food court.

The Spring Mall is basically an ethnic Chinese shopping place as 90% of customers we saw fitted that description. Almost no Muslims or ethnic Malays were spotted.

We met Chris Cheong, a real estate agent whose company is selling condominiums nearby called Seventy Two. They are of good size for expats (around 1600 sq. feet) and are selling for 848,000RM or about $300,000 Australian. We plan to inspect them with him on Tuesday. www.regalgroup.com.my

Tried waking in the boiling sun the several kilometres back to the hotel but the heat eventually weakened our frail bodies and we succumbed to the friendly toot of a passing taxi and rode the last kilometre in air conditioned comfort.

Have booked 7.45 minibus to Sememenggoh Orang Utan Sanctuary for tomorrow.

www.kuchinginandout.com/kino12/  go to page 15 where an article by Etian Vong gives a real insight into living in Kuching versus the Western World. She actually lived in Albury Australia at one time.