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November 9, 2016

A Day in the Life with Great Hope

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching, Malaysian Borneo – Gosh, the weather is nice. It's cloudy and sunny most of the day allowing for temperatures only in the upper 80's. Really nice.


Then at about 4 p.m. or so, the thunderstorms roll in and drench us until about 8 p.m. Vivid lightening, deafening thunder and palm tree kneeling winds prevail as the television cable goes out. We plug in the portable DVD player for Dzul, my five year old son.


In the evenings, after my nap, I have been reading thrillers. They are paperbacks I usually buy for about 50 cents or so, left by tourists who visit here. I am now pursuing McNab's “Remote Control,” published in 1998. It doesn't bother me when they went through the press, only that they are in English. We have tons more around that are in every language but the Queens.


My Power Point presentation is almost finish. I have about 60 slides, and we will present it on Friday at 2:30, after prayers. It took us two weeks, but we finally secured a place with the help of the Chief Ministers’ office. We didn't really want to visit him, but we were left us no choice. We are giving our talk in both English (me) and Sarawak (Suriani). We will practice most of this week.


We haven't traveled this year. It feels so nice. Just our flat overlooking the Sarawak River, the pool on the third floor and my computer. The wet market is only a block away where we can purchase fruits and veggies. I have started eating apples though they are expensive here. They cost about 50 cents apiece. Chicken parts (breast, thighs and legs) cost $1.25 per pound. The meat is all subsidized by the government. They are taking the subsidiary off cooking oil, though. I expect everything to go up because restaurant food is all fried.


Dzul starts Primary One (First Grade) in January. The school year begins at the first of the year. He will be in a Malay medium classroom which means the lessons will be in the Malay language. We speak English at home, and he is taking Chinese lessons. Poor kid, I hope he can keep everything straight, but the “experts” all tell us now is the time for language acquisition.


After he goes to kindergarten in the morning, we watch Anderson Cooper on CNN. It is the 8 p.m. USA broadcast from the States beamed through London to here via cable. Suriani has become a rabid fan of American politics and is supporting Hillary Clinton. She really rails at Donald Trump when Anderson has the Republican segment on. I guess when you don't have any opposition in your own country, you cheer for somebody else.


Each evening around 7 p.m., I read The New York Times mainly for information about this country that is banned here. The Times International edition does have a lot of worldwide news. It also has election news which was very heart breaking. That was because I had to explain to citizens around here what was going on, what with Trump's blind hatred of Moslems.


This was written on the Sunday before the election and posted the day after. I predict Hillary will be elected president and the Democrats will regain control of the U.S. Senate. I hope I never have to live through another election cycle like this one. It reminded me of a high school fray back in the 60's of the greasers vs the collegiates. It was an ugly, harmful and hurtful morass. Totally unlike anything I have ever seen, or, since I am on the other side having more yesterdays than tomorrows, will ever see again.


I hope the people in the States will bind there wounds, Anderson will report on flowers in the field and The New York Times has love flowing all around. One can only hope.


...Life is good. . . . .


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