Social week

I realised a few days ago that this final week has got just about all of the regular social activities in it that I’ve been doing over the last 8 months or so.

Monday

Squash: I’ve played against the following people during my time here: Tim, Tom, Ian, Paul, Jonathan, Arvin, Dave, and Katie. I used to play squash for a couple of years at school – nothing great, but I did enjoy the running around. I’ve certainly seen my level of squash improve again since I’ve been here, and that’s due to playing those who are better than me, and watching others to see what shots they do! Thoroughly enjoyed my squash once or twice a week, and really helped the fitness level.

Tuesday

Badminton: As well as the regular Friday badminton, over the last two months or so, I’ve been running a free badminton workshop at the Klebang 8 condo, for anyone who wants to join. Not that I’m amazingly brilliant at badminton myself, but I know enough to be able to pass on some tips for those who are just beginning and want a greater understanding so they can enjoy the games more. I’m really happy with how this has gone – everyone has improved greatly, but I’m going to single out Maria has being the person I think has improved the most. Well done to her, and the others who have also been coming regularly and practising: Sarah, Anne, Tina, Alina, Sima, and also Brenda, Miho, Kazumi, Katy, (and some other names I’ve forgotten) who came to a few sessions.

Swimming / playing with M and others: Sarah brings her daughter M (and son, D) to the Ocean Palms pool a couple of times a week. Now I don’t enjoy doing boring lengths (although I did enjoy it more once I’d bought new goggles) in the pool, but I do enjoy throwing the kids around and keeping them entertained. It gets me out in the sun, and it gives the mums a break! Interesting to watch the jealousy of 4 year old girls erupt as M, E and C fight over who gets thrown next! (Initial only for the kids’ names.)

Tandoori: Although there are probably many restaurants doing Indian food in and around Melaka, the one that took our fancy was Pak Putra at Taman Jalan Kota Laksamana Seksyon Satu (which translates, literally, as garden road fort admiral section one, but means, probably, Section 1 of the Admiral Fort Road area). Nice food, cheap, and would probably have gone there more often if it wasn’t quite so far away.

Wednesday

Coffee Morning: A regular fortnightly meeting of the Melaka Ladies. There’s food, drink, chat, and a nice view 😉

Mahjong: Between 3 and 8 of us turn up each week and invade Christine’s or Margaret’s place for the Mahjong game. Note that while the Mahjong solitaire games you play on the computer use the same tiles, it’s nothing like the proper game (Western or Chinese) of Mahjong. Think of it as a bit like the card game Rummy. You make sets and runs (pungs/kongs and chows) and there’s 80-odd special hands as well. A book is required to remember these!

Spring Corner: Thanks to Harry and Christine, the regular trip to the local Chinese restaurant has been going just about every Wednesday since we got here. It may not look the best, and many would carry on by if they saw it, but I’ve yet to find anything wrong with the food at all, except maybe the portions are too big!

Futsal: Something I didn’t start until a bit later into my time here, but this 5-a-side football game has been really enjoyable, and we’ve even had a tournament or two thrown in as well. Some really friendly guys there, most of who work with Katie. Has really helped with my fitness as well. Thanks to Dave for taking me along to it!

Thursday

Craft Morning: Now I’m not a craft-y person, or even a person who likes crafts. Art was my least favourite subject at school, and I have little patience for creating anything out of bits of paper or material. I have been going to the craft mornings as a social event though – back to the cakes, tea and company again. Loni, Amy, Michelle, Gaby, Janelle, Christine and some others I didn’t know so well.

Berts / Cliff’s’/ Quiz: Bert’s Garden and Sunset Retreat (Cliff’s) are right next door to each other, just down the road, and are owned by brothers (or at least members of the same family). These have been filled with ex-pats since the engineering project Katie is working on began. Sometimes Cliff’s gets popular, other times they’ll head to Bert’s instead. The food is much the same, although Bert’s slightly edges it. Cliff has fought back with some re-decoration and bar improvements, and is also the host of the monthly quiz night that started a couple of months ago. The team I was in won the first quiz, so we got to run the second quiz (well, Harry did the hard work, I just helped on the night). The next quiz is tonight.

Now although it’s obvious I’m not working whilst I’ve been out in Malaysia, is your social week as packed as this?

By Gary Jones

Husband, dad of twins, software engineering lead, and a middle-of-the-pack runner.