Category: Uncategorized

The Firsts of Many Lasts

My last laksa at On 3 Kopitiam just off Jalan Song

The middle of August saw us doing some of the many things we would normally do here for the very last time. That is why I could never have posted my thoughts at that time, as my emotions (and thoughts) were everywhere. And there would have been A LOT of unhappiness as leaving was not really on my agenda for 2017.

Chef’s contract had come to an end and it was time for us to start looking elsewhere for work. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much out there (we really did want to stay in South East Asia), but any smart chef in the industry is sitting on his position.

So tonight I type for the last time as a resident of Kuching. The next time I will post something we will probably already be living in our new home town of Kuwait City – predicted only to be end of January 2018.

So whilst Kuwait / ME is not where I wanted to land up, I am certainly grateful for the fact that we can get work. Finally, I have the opportunity to work again. To start a career or even to learn something new, I am excited at the prospects of getting a pay cheque and being stimulated. The kids are sorted with schools and Chef has already booked an apartment. Guess what… I even packed and shipped off another F@#% box on Monday!

Shout out to all the incredible people who have made this tropical journey so unbelievable. The friends that became family!  Even the bloody little packer and teller at Upwell and the lady at the market that has been ripping me off the past two and half years. I shall miss you all.To the lucky ones who get to call Kuching, S’rwak their home…you don’t know how uber jealous I am. We are already planning our holiday to Mulu next year hahaha.

I have been really strong this time round. Oddly enough. I guess because the boys and I are heading off to South Africa to spend Christmas and NY with my family. We get to meet our little Bodhi Boy.

Who’s to say this won’t be our forever home in the future?

The Republic sunset

Sunset as seen from 6th Floor of The Republic on Thursday 30 November 2017

The massage follow up visit

Leanne returned to the massage parlor in Vietnam. Here is her story.

If you missed her previous account of events… read it here: About that time in Vietnam when we went for massages…

28/03/2017 (yah, I know I am crap at updating), 20:49:24: Leanne Brayshaw:

So I go for massage at the same place I went previously with my good friend Natalie.

They won’t let me in and keep talking and pointing to my bike going hi meaning two. The neighbor, who has a food cart, is also pointing at my bike and saying hi. They are all chatting in Vietnamese. Eventually, I convey to them in Vietglish that Natalie has gone back to Malaysia . This follows more google translate which the Viet to English makes no sense.

We give up.

I say just massage – NO head wash (indicated by making massage movements in the air with my hands and then massaging my shaking ahead and saying NO NO). She is frustrated that I have not brought Natalie along so she walks all over me, literally! Then, she has her feet between my very exposed butt and proceeds to do the massage with her knees. Don’t worry she got some spanking action in too . I had done squats the day before and not going to lie, could barely walk. Think she knew this as she tortured my thighs! Deep fingers into my muscle! Then she beat them! Then, bent them an impossible way!

Next came the wonderful hot stone massage. I had put up with all this torture for these few moments of bliss.

Still mad she proceeded to wash my hair and face knowing that face washing can be used as torture in some places (her salon being one of them) and completely ignoring the fact that I had told her NO in the beginning.  I managed to communicate that I needed conditioner or “hair softener” . Having realized I did a 2 hr bike ride and my hair was knotty, I could imagine what torture she could bestow on me when she brushed my hair.

I think she agrees but I have to pay extra. Well, knowing the price of the massage, I agree immediately (180 000 for nearly 2 hrs). We continue without incident. She smacks me and tells me to dress and then brushes my conditioned hair while I watch a spider advance on my feet. We once again try google translate but nothing makes sense. She is talking into her phone in Viet and it says random English words out. Even google translate does not understand Vietnamese!

I say goodbye and leave, and yes I will go back! Natalie end the torture and come with me.

Surviving the very long holidays

The boys have officially been on school holidays for 11 days now and I am quite relieved to post that so far so good. There has been minimal shouting and time out sessions and I guess the difference is this time round I sat them down, and we all put our ideas of holiday activities forward. Going into battle with a plan seems to work actually. How do I it?  Very simply exhaust them in the morning with all the possible physical activities we can do either in the complex, at Zumba classes or within cycling distance. The trick is to get involved and have fun with them. Smother them with all your attention so that come the afternoon or evening when you are completely done with they are actually tired of being with you. I have had to learn to turn a blind eye on the mess and the constant cleaning up of the house. When it is time to call it a day, each child goes into their room and does a quick clean before dad arrives as he can nag more than I do when it comes to stuff lying about.

This being said we might need to revisit this philosophy at the end of the 6 week break. Shew Thailand holiday can’t come soon enough, when their aunties and uncles can entertain them a little too.

Some things we have been doing….

Cycling tour to the Chinese Malay friendship park, which is literally around the corner. Surprised that I didn’t do this little trip sooner as the park is really safe, clean and super child friendly. They even got to feed the already fat fish in the lake.


Prawn fishing at the Jalan Song Prawnster. One of my squirmiest favourites. Thank heavens the dude running the place puts the worm on the hook for you as that is a task I can’t bring myself to doing and was pleasantly surprised when Kelsey did his own. The boys had an absolute ball. It was a great way to teach them to have patience too. LOL. Liam caught 2 whilst his brother only managed to catch 1. See pic below for Jalan Song Prawnster info.

Tenpin bowling at Megalanes Adventure Centre. My favourite so far – merely since I beat the 3 boys… terribly competitive in my old age. Probably not ideal for Liam but he participated all the same and was always keen to show off his muscles with every ball he picked up. The rented shoes are always a problem for me. I can’t get them soon enough off of my feet. Would love to do this one evening as I am sure it attracts quite a crowd.




Who is migrationmommy?

Eek… so it is official. My first blog ever.

By introduction of my name I am hoping you will see that I / we move around a lot. I have been travelling since I was 16 years old (now 34) and just can’t seem to get the thrill out of my system. Unfortunately, so does my husband, therefore I do not foresee any forever home in the nearby future. Sorry dear family and friends in South Africa.

My birth certificate says South African, but my passport will tell you very many other stories… Dubai, Germany (Au-pair), Switzerland (studied hotel management), Italy, Amsterdam, France, UK, Spain, Denmark, Norway and Austria.

My reasons for this blog are quite simple: I love to travel to new places, explore interesting markets and to share daily life as an expat. However, since I failed miserably at making baby albums for my boys, I wish to use this blog as a “Dear Diary” dedicated to them in the hope that one day they will sit down and read about all the exciting things we did as a family.

We have made the city of Kuching in Borneo our new home… well for the next 3 years anyway. Borneo!?!? What? Where? My next post will tell you all about this adventure.

I confess to be being a writing enthusiast – but no expert.

Join me on my expat life journey.