Friday, August 6, 2010

Modern Love

"When boy meets girl they immediately fall in love. It's like love at first sight." ..... Is that how it goes? Does it happen? Sometimes love is lucky.

I've been following this column  called  "Modern Love"and 

it's a collection  of Love Stories published in the New York Times. Stories not necessarily about "boy meets girl" but just heart warming stories about family, spirit, parenthood, marriage, forgiveness, faith, compassion and yes of course love. They're are sweet stories that have made me laugh and cry of what we call "love" in these modern times. I've been reading it for a while and I just wanted to share with you those stories and bit about my own Modern Love. 

It got me thinking about my own story and so I want to share with you a little bit of how it all started and just how I got to "this side of the island". It was a while ago that I was asked by Michelle over at Mommy Warsaw to be a guest blogger for her "Over To You"  Tuesday.  and I've taken the bit about my "boy meets girl" story but drop by over at Mommy Warsaw for the full post.

Here it goes.......

KK, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia ......I guess looking back I've actually lived here, that is Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia for almost 14 years... Well, actually I've lived in Malaysia in total for bit longer than that. In fact I first arrived in Malaysia when I was 5 years old in 1979... long long time ago. My dad was posted to Malaysia for a little over a year and we lived in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. It was the first of many places that we lived and one that I can remember very well and a place that I would have never thought I’d call my future “home”.

West and East Malaysia (Borneo)

Travelling around as a kid and living the expat life was an exciting experience for me. We moved from Malaysia, Taiwan and then to Holland and back to Sydney, Australia. Each place gave us a unique exposure to a different culture and language and for me that also meant making new friends and going to a new school each time. A whole lot of travelling but I really enjoyed my childhood, probably not your normal one but I’m thankful to my parents for giving us that opportunity.

Although we travelled and lived away from Australia, my parent’s would always try to maintain that Aussie identity within us. Mum would always join the local branch of the Australian expat club just so we could mingle with the other Aussies but usually the case the American and British ones were more popular and it was where our friends were. They always had the better games, bigger crowd and more interesting holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.... something we don’t celebrate in Australia!

My first trip to Taiwan age 3 (centre), Alice Smith School (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia right bottom), hiking in Switzerland (right top), International School of Amsterdam (middle top), Taipei American School (centre bottom), British Museum with dad (left bottom), and Grand Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan (left top)

Anyway, apart from trying to maintain a sense of identity in a foreign place my parents also tried to up hold our Chinese traditions and customs too. Celebrating all the necessary festivals and trying to keep in touch with the language.... that was something I struggled with because I had only used it to communicate with my grandparents.  It may have been one of my first languages but I gradually lost touch with it and now only speak bit and pieces of it.... I really regret that.

So getting back to living in Malaysia.... well first of all. How did I return to this place? I guess the hand of fate you could say. I have family out here on my mother’s side and at the time I had six months to spare before starting my new job so it gave me the perfect opportunity to do a bit of travelling after years at Uni and work.... a bit of time for me.

I wasn’t supposed to be travelling to Malaysia, in fact my original plan was to travel over to Canada to visit some other relatives but somehow that plan fell apart and so I thought why not go to Malaysia. I hadn’t been there since I was 14 years old and I guess it was time to visit the relatives. Little did I know I was about to journey on a path that would lead me to a new home and fall in love with my future hubby, Donald the "tour guide" on a romance that would lasted more than my 3 month visa could permit.

When I first arrived in Kota Kinabalu or what the locals here call the “Land Below the Wind”, I really had no idea what this place was all about. Sure I had been here as kid before but that was so long ago and this part of Asia was so foreign to me at the time. I had only passing memories from visiting this place on holidays but most of those times were spent visiting family.


This is one of reasons why Sabah is such a beautiful place.... Mt. Kinabalu....truly the Land Below the Wind (photo taken from Tourism Malaysia) ...My hubby has often asked me whether I’d like to climb Mt. Kinabalu but I’ve told him that I’m quite happy to look at these photos from a far and that he can do the climbing for the both of us (he climbed it in 2000!) ... and he's planning to climb again at the end of this year so he says.

I saw KK (another local term of endearment for Kota Kinabalu) as a tourist during my stay, seeing all the typical tourist places like the island just off the city centre, the beaches and their tropical warm waters, the national parks..... Mt Kinabalu and sampling all the delicious types of foods from the many ethnic groups that make up Malaysia.... Chinese, Indian, Malay and Kadazan (one of the many local ethnic groups in Sabah). I was won over by that and best of all I got to meet Donald .......... I was actually suppose to meet him when on my last trip to KK but he couldn’t make it as he was still living in the US..... another long story but he was suppose to be at my aunt’s wedding when I was 14...... but another path of destiny brought us together in our 20s. But thinking back I don’t think we would have like each other at that age!...

A breathtaking view of the coast and the islands from the summit of Mt Kinabalu taken at 6.00am (photo from

So to make it short I had fallen in love with this beautiful country and that also included the love of this wonderful man too!  And with this I took the leap and got married and moved to my new “home”, on this side of the island of Borneo! I was in love!


  1. Beautiful post! You have a new follower from Fiday Follow! Come visit Mama's Little Chick for a follow and come join my new blog nestwork Mama's Little Nestwork! It is an amazing group of bloggers!

    Mama Hen

  2. I can definitely see how you've fallen in love with your home! Those pictures are amazing!

    I'm a new follower from Friday Follow! And I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Lucy's Human

  3. Visiting from Friendly Friday Follow. Be sure and stop by my blog and take a peek. Subcribe by email or RSS so that you don't miss a single post!

  4. oh Cinda.... Your love story is truly a hand of destiny i believe..... wow.... imagine the twist of events.... congrats on meeting the love of your life... this post made my day... :-)


  5. OMG... Cinda... Short term memory loss... shucks i typed my comment and accidently closed the window... how stupid of me... i dont know whether the comment got posted or not but i just wanted to say that destiny has had a very important in ur love story and my... what were the odds of you two meeting.... great.... congrats on finding the love of ur life...


  6. WOW! What a great post! How exciting!!! Thanks so much for visiting my blog. :) I'm following back.

  7. Hi I’m following you from Friendly Friday Follow. Stop by and visit me healthy living & a balanced you at Have A Wonderful Day….




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