A Year and a Day in Kota Kinabalu

23 Mar

Today is my birthday – and just over a year since I came to live in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Last year, I was a mess. Life seemed to be twisting out of control; I was down, depressed and seriously considering ending it. I’d lost several things that were important to me in quick succession and I felt that my career was going nowhere.

Aisha – my wife – had been nagging me to move to KK and so I did. And it was an improvement. I’ve got some books published and I’m doing well on Kindle … I feel much better now, thankfully.

Living in KK is strange when I was used to Britain. It’s much hotter here, for a start; I have to use sun cream every time I go outside the house. KK itself is a strange mixture of British and Asian influences; at times, it is familiar and at times it is disconcertingly alien. The views are wonderful, very different to British wind, rain and mountains. On the downside, there’s a great deal of poverty here; far too many people barely earn enough to keep themselves and their families fed.

We’ve also done a surprising amount of travelling. We’ve been to South Korea in winter (bitterly cold, but lovely), Singapore (expensive), the Philippines and several places in Malaysia itself. Photos are on my facebook for anyone interested.

Next week, we’re moving to West Malaysia for several months. I’m not sure how to feel about that. Change isn’t something I handle well, sadly, and it will be difficult to carry on with my current writing project. On the other hand, it has to be done. Next time we move, we’d better plan it more carefully.

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, on facebook and elsewhere.

Christopher G. Nuttall

Kota Kinabalu, 2013

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18 Responses to “A Year and a Day in Kota Kinabalu”

  1. Walt Dunn (Trot) March 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Chris, enjoy your day and look forward to tomorrow. Good thing you have Aisha to help you focus on the positive, By the way, did you notice anything odd bout the trees in South Korea? Did you see the Subway Stations in Seoul? As one who has moved more than 40 times in and out of many countries I’ve noticed that the first few weeks are the really fascinating parts as you find where all the resources are and tot up all the advantages of your new location. For fun, try the following…
    How do people behave on the streets, where do they walk, what do they carry, how do they move, how do they go in and out od eating establishments, places of worship, entertainment venues, etc. It can be very useful.

    • chrishanger March 25, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      People always smile at me here people in Korea struck me as being more formal.

      I didn’t see the trees in SK, apart from Nami Island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namiseom) but the subway stations reminded me a lot of London, though they were even more chaotic. Navigation only became easier towards the end of our stay.

      I don’t think I travel very well, sadly.

      Chris

      > Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2013 13:28:48 +0000 > To: christopher_g_nuttall@hotmail.com >

      • Walt Dunn (TroT) March 27, 2013 at 11:09 am #

        Chris,
        The peculiar thing you might notice about the trees in SK is that they go up the slopes and mountainous areas in straight lines because much of the country was replanted after WW II. Also of interest is that many of the trees came from the Northeastern U. S. ant the root balls contained Cicada (100 year Locust) pupae. Now they hatch in summer and most birds don’t eat them. It used to get NOISY in the summer!

      • chrishanger March 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

        Ah – we did see something like that in Seoul. It was winter when we were there (photos on Facebook) so no insects. Chris > Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 11:09:31 +0000 > To: christopher_g_nuttall@hotmail.com >

  2. Walt Dunn (Trot) March 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Sorry about the typo. when you’re over seventy and have nerve problems with your fingers ste signals to the keys get swapped – that’s why I tend to [roofread EVERYTHING!
    Your imagination and creativity makes you a special person.

  3. Thomas Monaghan March 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Why are you moving again?

  4. robert marhanka March 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Happy Birthday.
    We share this day, but I think I’m a bit older @ 57.
    Thank you for the wonderful books. I discovered one of the empire books at the kindle store and have been hooked ever since. Have been a big fan of John Ringo and your stories are as alive as any he wrote.

    Thank you again for the wonderful worlds you’ve created.
    Bob in Michigan.

  5. Ben Hartley March 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Chris!

    I’ve very much enjoyed the “Empire’s Corps” stories that I’ve gotten for my spanny-new Kindle, and also “Patriot Treason,” which I got from Smashwords awhile back.

    Ben Hartley

  6. Terry March 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Chris, for you….have been to war..understand how precious life truly is….don’t you EVER forget that my friend…and yea, happy birthday…what day? Mine was the 20th…

  7. Laura March 26, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    Chris, I’ve just discovered your stories. They are something. Happy birthday!

  8. G CHEAL April 1, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Belated Happy Birthday! I am sorry i didn’t realise. I know it’s been a tough time there recently with the social/political turmoil but i am sure you will be fine. I am really looking forward to Semper Fi and thanks for our little chats via our emails, I know i don’t use face book or this blog much. You’re the first ‘pen pal’ i have ever had and my wife finds it quite amusing hee hee

    • chrishanger April 2, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

      Thank you! Everything seemed to have gone very (vwey vwey) quiet before we left, but I’m glad to be back in KL for the moment. Chris > Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 21:03:37 +0000 > To: christopher_g_nuttall@hotmail.com >

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