After almost six years living on the edge of a large field where deer roam and skiing tracks run from the door in winter, where we can look out onto hills and Oslo Fjord, we're moving to a tropical city of skyscrapers, traffic jams and slightly less-endearing creatures than deer. It's not quite a case of country hicks moving to the city, as we've lived in Asia before: two years in Singapore, three in Manila, but going back is going to be exciting and certainly different. and very, very sweaty.
When we arrived in Norway at the end of 2004, I had two daughters, aged 3.5 and 2 years old. They'd never seen snow; I'd never dressed myself or a child for it. We're leaving with a 3.5 year old son in addition; Norwegian souvenirs don't come much better than him. He'll miss his matpakke with Prim, his pølser, the snow, his best buddies Andre and Markus, and much more. I hope we'll manage to preserve his Norwegian language and forget the brown dairy products and sausages.
I won't even go into what I'll miss, because I'll miss all of it, even the feckin' snow. But, it's a time to look forward, to pastures and Blogs anew. There's a substantial English-language press in Kuala Lumpur, as well as plenty of cultural idiosyncrasies for a foreigner to write about. I'm certainly looking forward to that - once the novel is finished, of course. We have friends in South East Asia and we're going to embark on travel adventures as a family. I can't wait to show my girls Singapore, where they were both born. The kids are going to love swimming every day, and will forget about those nasty parkdresses they wore for half of every year they spent in Norway. We'll miss the bright summer evenings but will sit smugly on our terrace in November and think of the dark days and nights back up north.
And then there's the food. I'll be honest and say that it won't be a wrench to change the Nomad family kitchen offerings and savour what Malaysia has to offer our palates. If the chicken a Malaysian friend brought to our BBQ last weekend is anything to go by, then I'd better find a gym in KL very, very fast! Already we have a brunch and dinner booked with two sets of friends when we arrive. Yes folks, in Malaysia, the Nomad family is going to be able to afford to eat out!
Thanks to all of you who have read and commented here since 2006; I hope you'll follow me to Malaysia as I start over and attempt to see the world with fresh eyes. There will certainly be cockroaches, complaints about the heat and traffic, and a longing for the relative transparent bureaucracy of Norway, but I know there will be far, far more. Join me on my adventure: Irish Nomad in Malaysia.
We're leaving Norway in 2 weeks, and after a trip to Ireland, will head to KL at the end of July. I'll update via Twitter as we go, when I have internet access.
Bye for now :)