It's coming to the end of our time in Malaysia and now the minutes are whizzing by.

Two nights ago we had dinner at Gu Ma's place with yee sang (literally "raw fish"). Everyone gets their chopsticks in and helps mix it all up, whilst voicing their wishes for themselves and others for the coming year. Stella has really made herself at home there now, running up and down with teddy bears, pushing chairs around the place (one of her fave pastimes) and wandering in and out of rooms.

Yesterday we went to the Royal Lake Club for lunch again and Ah Lek took Stella swimming again. She loved it and he had a hard time getting her out of the water without a fight. From there it was straight to KLCC. I did some quick shopping and bought a pair of jeans - the first in 10 years! We met up with meet Sarah's old school friends, Hee Lan and Siew Symn. They chatted for three hours. It was really nice to see them although I didn't get in on much of the conversation as I was pretty much entertaining Stella. Up stairs, down stairs, watching the water fountains (she wanted to dive into the lake), Malay women stealing her away for photographs with the orang puti, running, walking, watching the fans.

At 7pm we rushed onto the LRT (public rail transport system) with the hordes of workers. Wow, what a crush! Very orderly though, lah, everyone lines up to get on the trains. Lok Sok picked us up and then it was out to Mm Sok and Mm Sum's house for dinner for 9th day of CNY. Actually, the ninth day began at midnight last night, when the family says their prayers to the spirits or gods of the skies (this could be all bollocks, but it's the version I have in my head from asking questions of people here) and also pay their respects to their ancestors. VERY loud fireworks were let off to ward off evil spirits, but more so I think for the thrill of the light and sound (he he). Sarah was telling me how her grandmother (Ah Lek's mother) was afraid of fireworks after their rattan shop burnt down due to fireworks one CNY, leaving the family with absolutely nothing.

Mm Sok and Mm Sum's family wer very sweet. Pok Ming and Pok Lai looked after me with vegetarian food, Pok Ming even went out of her way to buy "vegetarian fish". And Mm Sok and Mm Sum prepared and bought other vege treats such as turnip dumplings and things that I only know from the Lams as "blubby balls" - red bean-filled chewy treats coated in sesame seeds and deep fried.

Oh and I had my favourite drink in the whole wide world yesterday - kopi susu - that's coffee Malaysian style, very strong and very sweet with condensed milk. Mmmmmmmm. Must resist temptation to have more.