Updates from August, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • abramsuzan 4:22 am on August 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Catching Up 

    Sorry, I’ve been away a little longer than I thought.  This is just a rough note but I will write more later today and hopefully, more regularly from now.

    In this last week, I re-routed my travel movements. I went back to Kuala Lumpur, my beloved city for five glorious days. I met with friends, but more than that just wanted to connect with my country in a spiritual way.  I suppose I align the example with something of a child who while he wants to go to an exciting distant shore or to a new amusement park somewhere in a far off land, still feels the need to run back home to see that all is well and then to carry on.  To say as he would if he saw his mother, “Mama, I’m still here!”.

    In my case, Malaysia is and foremost my motherland and I just wanted to give her a big hug before carrying on.  I then travelled to Dubai and am now here in Africa.

    At the moment, it is a bright sunny day, I’ve got back my favourite suite which faces an old fashioned church and clock tower, here downtown in Dar-es-Salam.  The harbour view looks massive.  Many ships are anchored and last night at dusk, a huge tanker, the colour of a mandarin orange rolled past my window.  It brightened up the night skies like a child’s  colourful lego toys would illuminate a dark room.

    Today, I’ ve got to call Ibrahim, who is my friend but also a registered safari guide and mountaineer.  I will go up myself to the Kilimanjaro in the next 3 to 4 days and to meet other friends who are all involved with safaris in some way. I’ve got to buy some good camera equipment.  I shall also be writing some stories on Africa but more in a bit.

  • abramsuzan 12:29 pm on August 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m flying off tomorrow (Monday) and won’t have any blog-post on for up to a week. I should be alright from next Sunday but at the minute, I’m very much on the move, planning and arranging my little expeditions in Moshi (Kilimanjaro city) and Arusha, Tanzania. Have a great week, if you’re reading this.

    • thebeardedlady 11:45 pm on August 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Suzan,
      I hope this comment finds you well. I see you are off on your adventures again! We haven’t been in touch for so long. Hope that you are still writing and reading as much as always and that you are finding success wherever you seek it.
      Many best wishes,
      Georgie xx

    • abramsuzan 4:31 am on August 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      My dear Georgie,

      Thank you so much. Will write you an email especially today (Wednesday) or tomorrow. 🙂 xx

  • abramsuzan 10:57 pm on July 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Moved into my new apartment yesterday and everything was completed by late afternoon today. The deed is now done and I can relax the weekend before flying off to Tanzania. Wonderful neighbours made the task painless. There is a marvellous sense of goodwill overall in Dublin.  A heavy autumn’s day today and it’s still only July 31st. Some rain, cold,winter coats, strong winds, dark overcast sky.  Melancholic but highly atmospheric too. The songs of the gulls prevail.

  • abramsuzan 10:08 pm on July 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    On the Road up to Belfast 

    On the high road up to Belfast, the ghost of a sweeping nimbus towered over Northern Ireland, like a schoolmaster with swollen purple cheeks bent on unleashing his fury to a Lilliputian crowd.

    It was a bleak day, overcast with gloom and rain. But there were times when the sunshine soared  and the Friesian cows and unsuspecting sheep were magnificent in spirit, as they grazed together on wide open fields, waiting for a party that never came.  From afar, they masqueraded dotted raisins soaked in a green muffin.


    What a beautiful, picturesque region Northern Ireland displayed with its magnificent skyline overlooking the high hills, dales, meadows, canals and farmlands. Tricky roadworks this time round and the toll gates warn you in twinkling neon lights to Arrive Alive.

    Belfast stays one of the shyer cities in my notebook but was as always, warm-hearted and friendly.  Shopping centres are massive and remind me of Dubai.  I have a favourite travel shop I  go to when I want to fly. My routes are all settled and I have collected my airline ticket ready for use next week.

    I’m going straight to Africa.

    I am running late this time round unfortunately, so will return to Dublin a little later as well.

    Won’t be able to come to the web tomorrow I suspect. Too much packing and also moving house.  I have only the weekend to recover and then I’m off.

  • abramsuzan 6:52 pm on July 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  


    Everything’s fixed in the new apartment. Wireless, cable television, residential phone. All done today. Removal van arrangements finalised.

    Tomorrow, I’ll be in Belfast.

    Friday, I’m moving house.

    Then there I am, finally racing a seagull and feeling delirious on a plane.

  • abramsuzan 4:49 pm on July 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    On meeting Yann Martel 

    by Suzan Abrams

    Just read that Canadian-novelist, Yann Martel, previously a Man Booker Prize winner for Life of Pi, is rumoured to have signed on a multi-million dollar book deal for an upcoming title.

    Met Yann Martel once at the Mandarin Hotel during Hong Kong’s Festival of Literature in March 2003. I was introduced to the award-winning novelist by Malaysia’s Rani Manicka who wrote and published the highly popular The Rice Mother, a pioneer work of Malaysian literature and who put my country on the world map of popular multicultural fiction like never before.

    Manicka and Martel who are friends, had read earlier together, to audiences, from excerpts of their books. In that short time, I remember Martel looking every inch the geek from high school. A lanky chap, he smiled a lot and was immediately pleasant.  Martel also showed up a comic humour although he could have been described as bashful.

    • acacciatura 2:13 am on August 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Not surprised that you like YM. I loved The Life of Pi as an audio book. Don’t understand why I found it so hard to get into in print, nor can I relate to the jealousy about YM winning the Booker. I thought TLoP clever and ingenious and wonderfully affectionate about nearly all its characters, including the man-eating tiger (it’s been two years since I listened to it, so I hope I don’t mean lion).

    • infloox 3:35 am on September 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      That’s awesome that you managed to meet him! Have a look at my blog, I just posted about a new project he has coming up – basically instructs the Canadian PM on what to read 😛 http://infloox.wordpress.com/

  • abramsuzan 7:34 pm on July 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Whisper nothing to the twilight tonight.  Here in a Dublin suburb, it curls up to a fat blanket of cloud, cushioned in its bleak belly. Later, the thunder will swear an alarm!

    The overcast sky wails a lullaby while the rattling of the wind percussions up a hymn.

    All my favourite birds have retreated to a safe distance for evensong.  I suspect they hold a supper communion in secret nests that only the fairies know.

    None are interested in the to-do presently in my flat. Only a noisy bee gatecrashed with a high air of curiosity before flitting out again to gossip with the next-door’s  irate and terribly obese ginger cat, up a red roof.

    Nothing but the  silence  to greet  a biting chill.

    The gloom is fitting with my mood. My flat is  messy and reveals an untidy state of affairs. This makes me a little sad.  However, I have had not much association or intimacy with it. I always knew I would move sooner rather than later.

    Next week, at this time, I’ll be thousands of miles away. That thought alone lends itself a melancholic air.

  • abramsuzan 8:15 pm on July 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    My nomadic madness officially begun today.

    I went downtown to settle some banking and then in a flurry of enthusiasm ferried several  books down to the new apartment. I know quite a few people now in Dublin so there’s always a touch of Irish humour waiting for me in the city and this makes life just that bit kinder. There also appears to be a great sense of neighbourly goodwill in the Apartment-Square.

    I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to re-enter my cosy Dublin world again until the start of November. If I remember the heady exhilaration for me in the world of travel that lasted from early December last year to the early days of March of this one, then this experience may prove even more intense as it includes moving house and flying to another continent straight after.  I think I can manage it and of course, Des is here with me.

    We have had a few friends who have volunteered to help us move and I count that a blessing.

    I’m not good at making lists. But I swear that my amateur plans although wayward,  are always effective. This comes from a total of 10 years of spontanous travel.  I have learnt to think very well on my feet and not to be nervous about the idea.

    This trait seems to exert itself naturally even now. The wonderful thing is that this flat was furnished when I first moved in and so too, the new apartment. So there isn’t really all that much to take with the exception that we’ve accumulated a great number of books – no thanks to me – and electronic gadgets, kitchen paraphernalia, bedsheets, cushions and the like.

    I’ve decided after mentally surveying the scene, that by the end of tomorrow, we should have packed most and would know how much there is to take and how many trips are needed. Monday or Tuesday will be the right time to call a helpful friend and to move properly. I don’t know if I have time to clean the flat…and I may have to pay someone to do it for me. Immediately, after moving, I have to leave.

    Am travelling very light.

    I am a traveller, writer and reader. Yet, how do I see myself at the moment? I daresay that the travelling episodes will dominate my life for a bit. I shall  start writing stories in my hotel room or the airport. I’m pretty much at home with this sort of thing. I don’t see myself picking up another storybook to read until I’ve checked in at the airport for my first  flight.

    And then each passion will once more close itself about me like an endearing coat waiting to snuggle up, on a  winter’s day.

  • abramsuzan 4:10 am on July 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    From my new balcony in Dublin…a first view at dusk:

    Dark clouds grovelled while spaced out to a vast skyline; the colder side of Woodstock missing its psychedelic sunset. I thought I saw a grand old dame peer down from the skies.  She wore a dusty gown in layered shades of gray and  stood hovering; all the while unwilling to swish her fat skirt, in case the rains burst!
    A white helicopter droned past her black frock, a snowy wasp about to sting a thread from her lace.  The  moment lit up like an illumination from childhood.
    In the distance, a birdling perched on a chimney top and surveyed all from its sentry post. It glared at me, the enemy spy, while  regaling in  bedtime truancy.  All looked right with nature’s rigmarole as I waited for a clear night of stars.

  • abramsuzan 6:07 pm on July 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Today, I went to have another good look at the apartment. The lounge is truly spacious. Plus, I didn’t realise there was a long bath in one of the bathrooms. My favourite place surely has to be the balcony  for a morning coffee and quiet time, before my day  starts, once I return to Dublin. It also makes for a beautiful space; a romantic corner in  which to read a book or listen to music while watching the world go by, mostly the quieter greener part of it.

    I’m finally able to relish the generous rows of  trees and apparent wide skies and even on a misty day like today, you can spot the  mountains from afar. I did observe several seagulls and birds crossing the Square while relishing their flight.

    The best test would be  the early hours of dawn say, about 3.45am onwards, in which to understand the aesthetics that  govern the lifestyle of some of Ireland’s beautiful garden birds  on the many scattered treetops.

    The bookshelves are being put up today and we’ve already made an appointment for next Tuesday, to have a premium package installed for the combination of digital cable television, wireless internet facilities and too, a residential phone for lower-rate international calls. We’ve been using our cell phones but this would be a bonus.

    I forgot to mention that I would most probably be going into the Zanzibar  for a few days, on my return to Dar from the Kilimanjaro region.

    • acacciatura 8:44 am on July 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Bon voyage, Suzan, … since you seem about to take wing, and thank you so much for your thoughts about your history in the Blogosphere. It will take me a while to sort through all my reactions — so perhaps we can return to the subject of blogging as a force for peace or war when you get back.

      Glad that you’ll be stopping be interrupting your flights to see Des, or we might worry about him. 🙂 I’ll be disappointed if your next trip to Tanzania isn’t as delightful as the last one, wh.

    • Suzan Abrams 1:08 pm on July 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Wordy,

      I’ve left a comment on your blog. Each time I go back to to Africa, I enjoy the continent more. 🙂

    • acacciatura 8:28 am on July 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I particularly enjoy your reconstructions of, and imaginary conversations …. set in various parts of Africa (where your imagination reflects what you’ve actually heard). Somehow newspaper reporters, no matter how good they are, never capture the delightful distinctiveness of the talk there — and there are strong resemblances between the style in Nigeria and East Africa, as different as I know the local cultures to be. The charm of Alexander McCall Smith’s Bostswana in yet another part of the continent also draws on it. Have you been to that little country?

    • Suzan Abrams 8:28 pm on July 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Wordy,

      Thank you so much for that encouragement about my writing. I think Nigeria is a little more buoyant and extroverted. I haven’t been to Botswana but when I went in to Harare, Zimbabwe, many people told me of how they would cross over to Botswana to get jobs, work part time or sell their goods in trade. Botswana has been a life-saver for many industrious but exasperated Zimbabweans. I’ll tell you more once I have some free time in Africa. Another one on my to-do list for you, Wordy. 🙂

    • acacciatura 7:09 am on July 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Only pay any attention to the parts of the list you’d enjoy doing, Suzan — though I’m sure you’ll do that anyway. 😉 … Would love to compare your impressions of Botswana with AMS’s. He makes it sound like an enchanted _and_ enchanting place. Somehow I feel sure you’re run into a Mma Ramotswe or two — I mean the personality, not her profession.

      Don’t please worry about answering until you’re free of all your present burdens — packing, moving, flying … Will look forward to hearing from you when I do.

    • abramsuzan 7:57 pm on July 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Wordy,

      Yes, I just have that one little list. 🙂
      I’m not too sure about Africa as a whole – Botswana included – but in Zimbabwe, South Africa and also the Eastern part of the Continent where I’ve been, I still pick up ever so easily, a strong sense of romanticism and old world culture that one simply wouldn’t find anywhere else. And this despite the unyielding hardships that seem to grip certain parts of society.


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