I woke up this morning to my daughter next to my bed telling me that she couldn’t turn on the television. Blurry-eyed, I went out of my room to investigate and found that the power to the whole house was out. Nothing was on. Well trained by our time in Indonesia, where consistent power is a luxury only to those who invest in their own generator (or gen-set). And so began an adventure that was thankfully over before it really even inconvenienced us. We’ll call it power outage – Malaysia style.
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We’ve been living in Penang for over a year and we don’t do as many of the touristy things that everyone seems to do. So over the holidays, we had some friends come and stay with us for a week and that inspired us to go and do some touristy things. They happened to be here on my middle daughter’s birthday and she was given the opportunity to choose our day’s activity. She chose to all go to Orang Utan Island in Bukit Merah. So we packed up the two families into our Avanza and headed off on our adventure. Read more…
A few days ago, this is the scene outside my daughter’s window as I was getting her up from nap. Forgive the fuzzy photo, but that is a monkey out her window.
Behind our backyard is jungle. It’s pretty awesome, especially hearing the birds in the morning. We also have less people around us. We have more greenery, and that’s a good thing. But I guess there’s the downside of having the possibility of monkeys in our yard.
Monkeys are wild animals. We can’t be sure they aren’t carrying diseases. We can’t be sure that they won’t harm us, or the children. We are not pleased that they are invading into our backyard and into our space.
So what can we do about it?
The prevailing piece of local advice is to smear belacan around the edge of the yard. Belacan is shrimp paste. In Indonesia it is called terasi. The smell of it is pretty awful and pretty potent. When we lived in Indonesia, we had to have anything made with terasi cooked outside, not inside because the smell overtook the whole house.
Apparently monkeys cannot stand the smell of belacan either. One old man said that he has seen a monkey get the stuff on his nose, and rubbed its nose against a tree until it bled just to get the smell off.
My plan is to put the stuff around the edge of the yard along the fence, and up on the eaves of the awning, which is where the monkey got up. It is currently raining, so I can’t do it right now. I will keep you updated on how well this works.