(function() { (function(){function b(g){this.t={};this.tick=function(h,m,f){var n=f!=void 0?f:(new Date).getTime();this.t[h]=[n,m];if(f==void 0)try{window.console.timeStamp("CSI/"+h)}catch(q){}};this.getStartTickTime=function(){return this.t.start[0]};this.tick("start",null,g)}var a;if(window.performance)var e=(a=window.performance.timing)&&a.responseStart;var p=e>0?new b(e):new b;window.jstiming={Timer:b,load:p};if(a){var c=a.navigationStart;c>0&&e>=c&&(window.jstiming.srt=e-c)}if(a){var d=window.jstiming.load; c>0&&e>=c&&(d.tick("_wtsrt",void 0,c),d.tick("wtsrt_","_wtsrt",e),d.tick("tbsd_","wtsrt_"))}try{a=null,window.chrome&&window.chrome.csi&&(a=Math.floor(window.chrome.csi().pageT),d&&c>0&&(d.tick("_tbnd",void 0,window.chrome.csi().startE),d.tick("tbnd_","_tbnd",c))),a==null&&window.gtbExternal&&(a=window.gtbExternal.pageT()),a==null&&window.external&&(a=window.external.pageT,d&&c>0&&(d.tick("_tbnd",void 0,window.external.startE),d.tick("tbnd_","_tbnd",c))),a&&(window.jstiming.pt=a)}catch(g){}})();window.tickAboveFold=function(b){var a=0;if(b.offsetParent){do a+=b.offsetTop;while(b=b.offsetParent)}b=a;b<=750&&window.jstiming.load.tick("aft")};var k=!1;function l(){k||(k=!0,window.jstiming.load.tick("firstScrollTime"))}window.addEventListener?window.addEventListener("scroll",l,!1):window.attachEvent("onscroll",l); })();

M. Bakri Musa

Seeing Malaysia My Way

My Photo
Location: Morgan Hill, California, United States

Malaysian-born Bakri Musa writes frequently on issues affecting his native land. His essays have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asiaweek, International Herald Tribune, Education Quarterly, SIngapore's Straits Times, and The New Straits Times. His commentary has aired on National Public Radio's Marketplace. His regular column Seeing It My Way appears in Malaysiakini. Bakri is also a regular contributor to th eSun (Malaysia). He has previously written "The Malay Dilemma Revisited: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia" as well as "Malaysia in the Era of Globalization," "An Education System Worthy of Malaysia," "Seeing Malaysia My Way," and "With Love, From Malaysia." Bakri's day job (and frequently night time too!) is as a surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California. He and his wife Karen live on a ranch in Morgan Hill. This website is updated twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays at 5 PM California time.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Cast From The Herd Excerpt #114 A Tour Of Ottawa

 Cast From The Herd:  Memories of Matriarchal Malaysia

M. Bakri Musa

Excerpt # 114:  A Tour Of Ottawa

That morning, my first full day in Canada, I walked around Parliament Hill, awed by its imposing buildings, and along Rideau Canal. Again I was amazed how helpful and friendly Canadians were, and how proud they were of their capital city. People were so helpful that I began to wonder whether I looked like a lost soul to elicit so much assistance from them. They told me how the canal came about, the oldest such system in North America, built after the War of 1812 so Canadians could avoid the St. Lawrence River which was then infested with snipers from the other side to the south, the continent’s first terrorists, the Americans. 

            The history lessons I was getting were instructive as well as enjoyable. Why was it that in high school I hated the subject so much that I jumped with joy when I no longer had to take it? The difference was obvious. Here in Canada, history is part of daily life and in the immediate surroundings, as with the Rideau Canal. 

            I was also told that the entire canal would freeze in winter, and the place was packed with people of all ages skating, ice fishing, and or otherwise enjoying the ice. The thought of an entire canal freezing boggled my imagination. In my native land ice was premium, sold by the pound. What about the fish? Again I was told that they survived in the deeper waters which remained unfrozen. 

            Then I remembered in my high school physics the peculiar density/temperature curve of water. Normally as temperature rises the density decreases, and vice versa, except that with water at about four degrees Centigrade, there is a reversal. Further cooling would result not in an increase of density but a decrease. The result is that as water becomes ice at zero degrees, it becomes less dense than water and thus floats. Ice is also an excellent insulator. The colder the weather, the thicker would be the ice, and greater the insulation. How wonderful and ingenious of nature to have such a positive-loop reinforcement! 

            Up till then the peculiar density/temperature curve and other concepts in physics like acceleration were merely interesting intellectual curiosities to me. I had to know them for my school tests, but I could never figure out their relevance in everyday life as my physical environment did not afford me the opportunities to experience those phenomena. 

            That after all is the essence of the study of science, to enable us to understand and thus appreciate our environment. Looked at from that perspective, learning becomes a command of Allah, as per the Qur’an, as well as fun, as it should be. It is only when learning is degraded and reduced to the memorization of facts and formulas to be regurgitated at test times does it dulls one’s sense of curiosity and takes the joy out of learning. 

            The next day I took a Greyhound bus city tour. The maid had recommended that to me. The bus was clean; the seats were like those on the airplanes – plush, comfortable, and reclining. Even the driver looked like a pilot, with his crisp light-blue shirt, bowtie, and cap. The ride was smooth, with no jerky braking or gear-changing. That was the first time I experienced the wonders of automatic transmission and its sparing of jerkiness as well as ear drum assaults!

            We toured a suburb; the houses had well-manicured lawns with still-blooming flowers. There was something strange about the scene but I could not figure out what it was. Then it became obvious; there were no fences or gates on the front. There were also sidewalks! More remarkably, I did not see ugly overhead utility lines or open roadside drains. We came upon a house where a young lady was standing on the front well-manicured lush lawn with her two young children. They waved at us as the driver honked and slowed down. 

            “Folks!” he beamed, “that’s my wife Jeannie and our children Jimmy and Holly. Wave at them!” 

            We all did as we cheered. Wow! A bus driver’s home! Back home bus drivers lived in shacks. How could a bus driver in Canada afford such a lovely house? He went on to tell us that his neighbor was a mailman and across the street, a policeman. In Malaysia, policemen lived in barracks isolated from the community they were supposed to serve and protect. 

            As I reflected, in Canada there was only the driver, no conductor. There was also no tour guide giving running commentaries. Instead it was the driver who was doing all that. If Malaysian bus companies were to dispense with conductors, and their drivers were educated enough to be also tour guides, they could triple the salaries and those drivers could then live well. I began to appreciate the concept of productivity that Mr. Pritam was trying to tell us when he was bored teaching us physics. At that time those economic terms were useful to me only as a way to impress my audience at Introduction Night at Malay College. Now I saw a clear and dramatic demonstration of the concept, and its relevance in real life. 

Next:  Excerpt #115:  Let The Expanding Universe Be Your Teacher

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Cast From the Herd Excerpt #113: Lessons On Filial Loyalty

 Cast From The Herd:  Memories of Matriarchal Malaysia

M. Bakri Musa

Excerpt # 113:  Lessons On Filial Loyalty

Despite my physical fatigue after flying halfway across the world and encountering new people as well as associated bewildering experiences, I was still unable to go to sleep despite forcing myself to lie down on my hotel bed. In particular, my earlier culture shock of seeing the elderly lady still working, and as a hotel maid at that, was jarring. My mind refused to let me sleep. It kept motoring, reminding me of the many dinner conversations my father had with us, his children, about his wish not to be dependent upon us in his old age. He saw how his younger sister, Mak Biah to me, was kept at home and remained unmarried for a long time simply to care for my paternal grandparents, and how my father took her to live with us in Labu so she could make something out of her life. In the end her guilt about neglecting her parents made her return to the village. 

            My father too, paid a severe price for his unfettered filial loyalty. When Mohammad Said, a physician, was elected Chief Minister of my state in 1959, my father remarked that they were classmates at their village Malay primary school in Linggi. Said, two others, and my father were selected to attend King George V School in Seremban on scholarships. All but my father went; his father refused to let him go. My grandfather feared that my father would become a “brown Englishman” or worse, a Christian, an all-too-familiar phobia among Malays at that time. The residuum of that is still present and pervasive today, unnecessarily handicapping our young.

            My father never failed to remind me, and often, of the many missed opportunities on account of his filial loyalty. He did not have the courage or emotional strength to plead for his case. His sense of loss was keenly felt when Said became a physician while the other two, a lawyer and engineer respectively. I was sure that my father, in his rare moments of contemplation, would wonder at his own fate if only he had been more assertive, and his father less restrictive. That, I was certain, shaped his relationship with me and my siblings. 

            I have no recollection of my paternal grandparents. They died when I was young. I remember only their funerals. Those are never pleasant memories anyway, especially to children. 

            Perhaps out of guilt or just part of tradition, during Eid holidays my father would never fail to take us to visit his parents’ graves. After the ritual prayers he would always recall the many times they had directed his life, and also the rare occasions when he had gathered the courage and with a heavy heart to defy them. They were against his going to Teachers’ College in Tanjong Malim (too far away!). They were against his marrying my mother, a fellow teacher; they would have preferred the girl in the next village, someone who would take care of them in their old age. To my father however, love aside, to him marrying my mother it was a life insurance policy. Should something happen to him, the family would still have a breadwinner.

            Always in his retelling of these and other incidents, my father would never fail to remind us, “But those were tough times!” as if to excuse his parents’ actions, or his defying them. 

            It was from such stories that I realized why my father was always reluctant to push his views on me. He was afraid that out of filial loyalty I would do things or pursue a course of action that would not be in my best interest, rather to please him. Now as a father, I am very much aware of his dilemma. 

            Recalling those earlier conversations with my father, I began to look at that elderly Canadian cleaning lady in a far different light. Far from pitying her, I applauded her independence. She had the courage and dignity to lead an independent life and not be a burden on her children. She did not lay an emotional guilt trap on them, as my paternal grandparents did to my father. She prided herself on her children pursuing their own dreams and not being tethered to her. And from a utilitarian perspective, she was still a contributing member of society, not dependent on it. 

            Something else about that maid touched me. She personified the self-dignity and inner strength of a Minangkabau woman. Throughout our history and across the region, Minangkabau women have led independent lives, free from their husbands and male relatives. These are the women who plowed the rice fields and manned the pasar malam (night market) stalls. Remarkable, especially against the background of the male dominance of Islam and Asia. 

            If I had any hope of resuming my interrupted sleep, those competing emotions snuffed it out. I decided to have a hot shower (a luxury I had not yet taken for granted) and then take a stroll. Before leaving, I saw the phone book and on a lark looked up Osman Nor, remembering Mr. Norton’s earlier suggestion. I rang him up, but there was no answer. Nonetheless seeing another fellow collegian’s name in a foreign city’s phone book reduced my sense of distance and strangeness. 

Next:  Excerpt # 114:  A Tour Of Ottawa

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Cast From The Herd Excerpt #112: Unexpected Culture Shock

 Cast From The Herd:  Memories of Matriarchal Malaysia

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Deny Najib A Royal Pardon

 Deny Najib Razak A Royal Pardon

M. Bakri Musa


In his last address to Parliament in February 2023, the current and soon-to-be (January 31, 2024) former Agung expressed his hope that Anwar Ibrahim would be the last Prime Minister he had to work with before returning to his old position as the Sultan of Pahang. His remarks drew laughter in the House.


            Sultan Abdullah had sworn in not one but three Prime Ministers, and worked with four during his statutory five-year reign. Remarkable! More than half of his 15 predecessors never had the opportunity to swear in any, while more than a few were stuck with the same old tired face during their entire reign.


            Back to the parliamentary joke, who could forget the parade of lawmakers going to the palace with their “Statutory Declarations” (SDs) in hand, like naughty school kids with excuse letters headed for the headmaster’s office. 


            As a needless reminder, the two successive individuals the Agung had chosen to lead the nation through the wisdom of his “SD in back pocket” maneuver, Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri, did not last long. Both are also now being investigated for corruption. That reflects as much on the pair as who had picked them.


            Had palace advisors sought wider counsel and pursued other options, as with having the normal process of the Deputy Prime Minister taking over, Malaysia would have been spared the ensuing unnecessary and destructive political turmoil. The nation would then have not only her first lady leader but also one whose IQ is several deciles above Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri combined. Sultan Abdullah would then go down in history as having sworn in Malaysia’s first female Prime Minister.


            For Malaysians who think that the endless political intrigues and nightmarish leadership incompetence are now finally over, hold on! The present Agung has two more weeks in office. Much mischief could still happen. Witness the much-hyped aborted so-called Dubai move that would have paid government MPs millions to abandon their support for Anwar. Now that the Dubai Move has failed and been exposed, Anwar’s enemies, Mahathir included, are desperate to disassociate themselves from that amateurish attempt. 


            No doubt they are now busy concocting other sly schemes. However, with the bank accounts of their behind-the-scenes operatives now frozen, they are severely handicapped but not eliminated.


            Then consider this. The Pardon Board will meet next week. Former Prime Minister Najib Razak, now in jail for his 1MDB corruption, had petitioned the Board. He is still on trial for other related criminal and civil cases.


            If the out-going Agung were to pardon Najib, that would embolden the corrupt and dwarf the parliamentary circus of February 2023. Now the whole world would be laughing at Malaysia.


            The incoming Agung, the Sultan of Johore, has made it clear his abhorrence for corrupt leaders and threatened to pursue them even if they are nearing a hundred years old. That was a none-too-subtle reference to Mahathir, the nation’s longest serving leader (1981 to 2003) who later made a spectacular comeback at age 90 (2018-2020).


            Mahathir’s most visible and malignant legacy is his bequeathing Malaysia with five successors who were corrupt, incompetent, or both. Worse, he threw Malaysia into an unnecessary political turmoil at a time when she could least afford it when Covid-19 pandemic first struck in 2020.


            Mahathir’s latest comeback attempt at the November 2022 election was met with utter humiliation. He lost his electoral deposits! Who says Malays mudah lupa? (Forget easily). It is the old man who does, for he is again contemplating a comeback through his many still gullible proxies. This time it is not for political glory but personal salvation for the old man as he and his sons are finally feeling the heat of Anwar’s anticorruption crusade. Mahathir is even more dangerous and cunning now. A cornered cobra, if not handled smartly, could wreak havoc.


            The incoming Agung has fired a shot across the bow to preempt any attempt by the current Agung to pardon Najib. Malay sultans are loath to criticize each other, at least in public. The Sultan of Johore however, is not shy to express his views.


            In that parliamentary speech of February 2023, Agung Abdullah added that the political instability of the immediate preceding few years could have been avoided if politicians had been able to unite and focus on the people. He deftly and conveniently glossed over his own pivotal role. The outgoing Agung would redeem himself if he were to deny Najib Razak a royal pardon. That would also be the right thing to do.


            If the Agung were to do otherwise, he would undermine Prime Minister Anwar’s crusade against corruption, and demoralize those who put their lives in danger in their fight against corruption in high places. The greatest threat to the Anwar Administration is not such juvenile attempts as the so-called Dubai Move and other fantasies, rather Najib letting himself be exploited by the disgruntled corrupt.


            What a terrible legacy that would be for Sultan Abdullah.



Sunday, January 07, 2024

Cast From The Herd Excerpt # 111: Welcome To Canada

 Cast From The Herd:  Memories of Matriarchal Malaysia

Thursday, January 04, 2024

Continue The Aggressive Campaign Against Corruption

 Continue The Aggressive Campaign Against Corruption


M. Bakri Musa


The seizure of Ilham Towers by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was a bold and much needed demonstration of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s continued crusade against corruption. Ilham Towers is owned by former longtime Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin.


            Anwar should now be even more emboldened as the incoming Agung had also voiced his disgust with corruption. “I’m going to hunt all the corrupt people. I make sure I bring results,” he asserted. Then in a most unsubtle stab added, “Even those nearing 100 years.”


            There was once pride and reflected glory in having these few rich Malays. That has long ago evaporated with the ugly realization that their ill-gotten gains were but their plundering the rakyat’s assets.


            Malays should be intolerant of corrupt political leaders as their actions disproportionately impact us. Non-Malays have long ago learned not to depend on the government. Perversely many, including otherwise thinking Malays, criticize the Anwar government.


            Why now, they claimed, when those alleged crimes were committed years if not decades ago, implying the current moves are politically motivated. Those critics forget that those crooks were still in power then! Only a few years ago Daim was in Mahathir’s Advisory Group of Eminent Persons. Besides, Anwar came into power only in November 2022. Malaysian law does not have a statute of limitation with regards to criminal activities. That you committed them when your cronies were in power and thus protected is no excuse.


            This being Malaysia, any initiative could with minimal effort be distorted through the race prism and exploited. Hence the attempt to tar Anwar as anti-Malay. On the contrary, Malays should be grateful that he is going after corrupt leaders. The likes of Daim give our race a bad name.


            Unlike the earlier and more extensive One Malaysia Berhad (1MDB) corruption, this Ilham seizure was initiated through local efforts. IMDB was exposed when the United States Department of Justice filed its civil lawsuit in June 2016. That filing mentioned specific names and amounts. Former Prime Minister Najib was referred to, in deference to diplomatic protocol, as “Malaysian Official One.”


            This Ilham Towers’ seizure was not accompanied with much information. Had this happened in New York, the details would be uncovered. That it did not reveals the pathetic state of Malaysian journalism as well as the opaqueness of public transactions. In America one could surf the local County Tax Office website and uncover when the property was acquired and from whom, as well as the original price. It would not surprise me that the land was originally state-owned and “sold” to lucky Bumiputra Daim at substantial discount.


            We would also uncover who holds the mortgage. Daim may be super rich but even he could not have financed the property on his own. It would not surprise me if the note holder were to be one of the many Government-Linked Companies meant to help poor Malays.


            Apart from being Finance Minister during Mahathir’s long tenure as Prime Minister the first time around (1981-2003), Daim was also longtime Treasurer for the United Malay National Organization (UMNO). During Mahathir’s orgies of privatizations in the 1980s, those assets landed in the hands of anonymous UMNO nominees. When the party was declared illegal in 1988, hitherto wet-behind-the-ears “Daim’s golden boys” suddenly became instant major corporate players. Today however, the Halim Saads and Tajuddin Ramlis are suing Daim and Mahathir claiming to have been coerced!


            Mahathir is responsible for Malaysia’ current entrenched corruption. If that is not destructive enough, he had in his second coming (mercifully brief) also cursed the nation with its present culture of endless political intrigue that saw her having five Prime Ministers from 2018 to 2022, one fewer than the six she had had since independence up till 2018. 


            Daim is one of the dozen ultra-rich Malaysians whose names appeared in the infamous 2021 Pandora Papers. That list is instructive. While there are many more American billionaires, few appeared on that list. The reason? Americans are taxed on their global assets and income; Malaysians only on their domestic, a definite incentive for them to invest and stash their wealth abroad, quite apart from the secrecy. As Finance Minister, Daim should have stopped that; instead he exploited that provision.


            The Pandora Papers also listed two of Anwar’s current ministers; Ahmad Zahid, Deputy Prime Minister, and Tengku Zafrul Aziz, a senior minister. Anwar’s tough job of combating corruption is just beginning.


            Daim qualified as a lawyer in the 1960s when there were few Malay professionals. Meaning, he had (or should have had) minimal competition. Despite that, his private legal practice was short-lived, later opting briefly for a lowly magistrate position before entering the business world. His first venture, salt making, failed. His big break came when he secured state land in Klang Valley from his friend and fellow UMNO operative Harun Idris, then Chief Minister of Selangor. Harun was later convicted for corruption in an unrelated case.


            When I related these and other details in my 1999 book, The Malay Dilemma Revisited:  Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia, Daim wrote to me complaining that I had portrayed him unfairly. I replied that if he could prove me wrong in the facts that I had cited, then I would publicly retract them and apologize. Never heard back from him! As for fairness, like beauty, it is in the eyes of the beholder.


            I hope the incoming Agung would go beyond politicians to include immoral muftis who pilfer zakat (religious tithe) funds for their children’s education, and sly sultans whose private businesses escape strict scrutiny.

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

Cast From The Herd Excerpt #110: A Storm Deep In The Night

Cast From The Herd:  Memories of Matriarchal Malaysia

M. Bakri Musa

Excerpt # 110:  A Storm Deep In The Night

After that first flight from Kuala Lumpur, I was now a veteran. I walked through a series of what felt like long tunnels to board the plane. As I entered the stretched DC-8, it was as if the tunnel had continued on. I noticed that the mostly Caucasian passengers were carrying thick overcoats. If that was an indication of how cold Canada would be, then I was woefully unprepared. 

            The plane was half-empty, with a disproportionate number of nuns returning home after doing God’s work in heathen Asia. They wore their black habits and hoods. Today, nuns wear skirts (at least they are knee- length) while those dressed in dark robes and have their hair covered would be wives of Middle Eastern sheiks or Arab-wannabe Malay women. 

            I wondered how on earth this monster aluminum tube with wings would ever get off the ground, but it did, and very smoothly too with a pair of huge engines dangling on each wing. I saw the southern shoreline of China; it was so peaceful with no hint of the man-made hell raging below at the time. 

            My growling stomach reminded me that I had skipped lunch. So when the stewardess came out with the menu, I was more than ready. Unlike the earlier flight, there were no familiar items. Everything was in fancy French, and again I was confronted with the halal issue. So I opted for Shrimp Louie salad. It was a humongous serving. The surprise did not end there. It was cold; to me cold food equaled leftovers. The biggest surprise was that there was no rice, and I never had meals without it before. I was sure that I would not be satiated. 

            I nibbled the shrimp first as that was the familiar item. It took me a while to get used to the taste of what I thought was raw shrimp. As I was chewing, it dawned on me that I had never tasted shrimp before. Instead what I had was either the salt (as with dried shrimp) or the overpowering spices. Now I was savoring the taste of real shrimp unhampered by excessive condiments. Without rice however, I did not feel that I had a “real” meal, yet I did not feel hungry for the rest of the flight to Tokyo’s Haneda airport.


            When we landed, it was still early evening. No one disembarked and we took in more passengers. Soon we were airborne again. Below was Tokyo Bay, the lights on the coastline and the ships clearly visible. That was the first time I saw any city from above at night. Then we were through clouds traversing the vast, cold northern Pacific in the dark of night. Dinner was again served and later, the cabin lights were dimmed. The monotonous but reassuring hum of the engines lulled me to sleep. 

            Then deep in the night I was awakened by a series of violent shaking, tossing me side to side and pushing me hard against my seat. At one moment I felt I was lifted out of my seat, with the pit of my stomach thrown against my diaphragm, a sensation I felt earlier in the hotel’s elevator. Then loud screams after yet a sudden gut-wrenching thump, followed by prolonged vigorous shaking. The overhead bins burst open, raining their contents onto the passengers. I held on hard onto the armrests and the lady beside me gripped my wrist so tight that it was painful. I remained stoic. Then I saw those nuns earnestly praying; that was it. I too prayed to Almighty Allah that He would guide the pilot safely through the night storm. 

            This rough patch continued on forever, with the plane yawing and bumping up and down, vibrating hard. The dim cabin light only heightened the tension and my fear. At long last, relief! The flight became smooth and calm descended in the cabin. When the lights came on I saw the mess. The stewardesses began pacing the aisle picking up the debris and reassuring everyone. 

            Soon the pilot came on the intercom; his voice calm and dry. He apologized for the bumpy ride and admitted that although rough patches were common in the northern Pacific at that time of the year, the storm we had been through was the worst he had experienced in his over thirty years of flying. He assured us that the plane was built and designed to meet such conditions. Then, again to bolster our spirit, he said that the safest place to be in such a storm was way up in the sky. 

            He was correct in the technical sense, so long as we remained up in the sky. 

            The storm blew us off course and we would be delayed getting into Vancouver by about thirty minutes, the pilot apologized. I was not concerned; I just wanted to arrive safely, never mind how late. 

            It amused me that the pilot would apologize for a thirty-minute delay after we had been on an overnight journey of thousands of miles. The bus drivers in my old village would never even think of apologizing for hours of delay for what at most would only be a thirty-minute trip. 

            I was not fully reassured of a continued smooth flight until the stewardesses brought out the breakfast trays. At daybreak I saw the beautiful Pacific coast of Canada, and soon the city of Vancouver. In that soft early morning sunshine the city looked tranquil and spectacular, with the majestic snow-capped mountains in the background. With the flight now smooth, and after a hearty breakfast, the harrowing half-hour terror we experienced deep in the middle of the night receded in my memory, to be replaced by the joy of anticipation arriving in a new city and country, and an entirely novel set of exciting experiences. 

Next:  Excerpt # 111:  Welcome To Canada!