Looks like I’m back online, after all. Life’s funny.

It’s been almost a month now since we touched down in humid and rainy Malaysia. Home.

And we are back for good.

Have to admit that I am little sad that I couldn’t take this blog in the direction I had initially wanted, i.e as a Malaysian woman’s chronicling of her stay in Egypt. There are many reasons for this, the most significant being MS’ arrival and H’s very busy work schedule which resulted in us not being able to do much of the touristy thing in Egypt. In the early days of this blog, I tried to do my best with a few Egyptian-related postings, but once I became pregnant and with MS’ subsequent arrival, it was all about him and I had time for little else. ;)

I thought what I needed was just a break from blogging – somehow motherhood drastically dissipated the creative/rambling juices in my head and writing became a very arduous task. Often I would stare at the computer (or more realistically, into empty space) and wonder how to unravel the tangled web. That little break took longer than expected, and after all that, all that I am able to muster is to whip up this farewell post.

Some things will be missed, some things not. Home isn’t perfect, but then again, where is?

But whatever it is, Egypt has certainly left its mark on our small family of four (Tigger the cat included of course – he too, is safely back home with us) and no matter which way we look at it, memories of Egypt have been burned deep into our minds, forever.

I won’t miss:-
– Blaring traffic and incessant police sirens, as in like, every hour at least?
– Kamikaze motorists – really, it’s my opinion that those crazy mat rempits and kiasu drivers in Malaysia should be sent to drive a taxi in Cairo as punishment. I guarantee you they will become model motorists when they return!
– Loud loud behaviour, synonymous with Egyptians – I think MS inherited this Egyptian trait.
– Hot, searing summers
– The ever-present black cloud that lingers over the whole of Cairo like an agent of doom
– Water cuts without warning
– Overpromises but underdeliverance
– Chaotica personaes
– The ever-present Egyptian desert dust – I gave up the battle of trying to keep the apartment completely dust-free, even with closed windows!
– Lack of labelling in supermarkets
– Egyptian timing (and we thought Malaysian timing was bad!!)
– Deliveries and repairs at night, often past 8pm.

But often the negatives are overtaken by fond memories:-

– Infinite, loving tolerance for screaming, misbehaving infants
– Attentive and personal medical specialists who really take the trouble to get to know their patients – not like Malaysia, where even most doctors in the best hospitals treat you like a passing product on a factory line
– Generous food portions in any restaurant
– Winter and cheap, fresh pointsettias
– Our huge apartment. Back to matchbox living
– Great pastries (must be the French influence)
– Cheap fruits and abundant juice bars
– Having people refer to you as “Madame”, even though you look like something the cat dragged in
– House cleaners for pittance
– Clean toilets in malls and restaurants (only)
– Cheap dry cleaning and pressing
– Delivery service for everything – even pharmacies
– Bagel shop
– Fresh made to order muffins, scones and bread
– Safety to move, even at night
– The crescendo of adzan from a thousand mosques which greets us at every prayer time
– Ruz bi laban (rice pudding)
– Kibdah (fried liver in batter)
– Hadramaut briyani (lamb, of course)
– The camaraderie with your fellow citizens – having never studied abroad before, this must be what happens when one lives abroad
– Looking at trendy hijabed women – Egyptian Muslim women do not allow themselves to become dowdy or unattractive simply because they don the veil – very inspiring!
– Steak and eggs for breakfast every Saturday morning. I know this isn’t exactly Egyptian, but thanks to the huge expat community, you get to feast on all types of stuff!

But now that we’re home, the sense of familiarity is warmly embraced – traffic jams and kiasu characters notwithstanding.

Because if there is one thing that I have learned time and again while living in Egypt for 2 years and 7 months .. is a deep sense of being grateful for what we have. We Malaysians very often forget the bigger picture, and how peaceful and orderly our country is.

We waste our time with pointless trivialities like who’s marrying whom, driving what car, living in which grand suburbia, and more recently, in spending countless hours debating about social contracts, the encroachment of the “pendatang”, ethnic handicaps, etc. When we look at the bigger picture, it becomes clearly evident that all these issues only serve to keep one stagnant in a particular position. There is no progression.

Now that I have a child, my belief in a free and fair Malaysia is reinforced even stronger than before. I don’t want MS growing up thinking that he has certain ‘rights’ over others in this country that we all call our own. I don’t want him growing up in an insulated environment where he will grow and mingle with predominantly persons of his own race, no matter how successful they or their backgrounds may be. I don’t want him growing up thinking that he must treat and trust others differently because of their differing faiths. I don’t want him growing up with an elitist mentality. I want MS to love his country, his race, his fellow citizens, etc purely on the basis of all of us having equal rights to what is here and thus, that everyone is entitled to be treated the same, and deserving of the same respect and rights.

It will be an uphill battle, especially as many consider H and me as perhaps being a tad too idealistic – that Malaysia can never take that path, because Malaysia’s creation was different.

We are only different if we choose to be. Or because we fear the unknown.

I for one, think that we are ready for the unknown. Or more aptly put, that we should be ready for it by now, no matter how difficult it may be. A Phoenix always rises from the ashes, if we put our minds and souls into it.

And with that disjunctive conclusion to this post, I now take leave from this blog.

There are no more nights over Egypt to be reminisced, no more mental notes to be taken or little scribbles to be made in relation to our daily happenings in that vast country north of Africa.

Perhaps, one day, Blabarella will resume her blog musings on other aspects of her little life, somewhere on this blogosphere.

Until that time comes, I thank you for having taken the time to visit this blog, and I bid all a fond farewell.

Not in the least so, to Egypt, and for all that you have given to us.

Ma’assalama ya Misr.

Nothing noteworthy to write about these days.

I’m all consumed with MS, and not that I don’t want to write about him, but by the time I’m done with him, there’s just no energy left, let alone creative thought.

Plus, it’s time to do some soul-searching. I tend to forget what the bigger picture is all about, all too often these days.

So will be back when I’m back.


MS is napping.

Mommy decides that rather than letting him sleep in front of the TV everytime, perhaps it may be a better idea to let him hear lullabies as he sleeps and when he wakes.

So she sets out to search for and download baby lullabies on the net.

Managed to get about 1.4 hours’ worth of lullabies. Happy happy.

Also downloaded no less than 5 different versions of Brahms’ lullaby.

Mommy has always loved that one. 

Mommy remembers wondering some years ago, as she was listening to a nice version of the lullaby, whether she would ever have the chance to sing/hum/play that lullaby to her own child.

And the time has come.

Now she can put a face to the lullaby .. a face with big, beady eyes that stare up at her as if she was his world, nay universe .. and that is more than enough to make her weep.

I have been blessed, praise God.

I’m sorry to those of you who visit this blog, looking for something noteworthy to read.

I need to whine again. (If not on my blog then where else?)

This time it’s about MS starting solids and the different wavelength of the pediatricians here compared to back home. Not quite N@zi lah, but I thought it gave a nice ring to the title of the post, haha.

Initially, MS was pretty enthusiastic about trying new foods. I knew he was ready because whenever I put a spoon of food to my mouth or took a sip from my glass, he’d stare at my every movement with awe and often ended up licking his lips.

When he turned 6 months, we were travelling, so I just gave him baby apple juice at first. Apprehensive initially, then he slowly warmed up to the idea, but just in small amounts. Once we got to our travel destination, I tried out cerelac and he took it willingly.

Once we came home, this mommy started getting enthusiastic. I would give him small amounts of cereal in the evenings (all of which he finished with gusto) and gave him some pureed avocado mixed with EBM in the morning. He found the avocado a bit iffy, so some days would accept it, some days not.

When I saw how enthusiastic he was with the cerelac, I started to give him more, and still he scoffed it all up. As for the fruit department however, he wasn’t too great. After a few days of avocado, I tried out pureed banana with some EBM. That didn’t do well either.

Then I did a bad thing.

I tried to force him to take the food. By ‘force’ I mean that sometimes I tried to ‘open’ his mouth with the spoon when he clammed it shut as he saw me approaching with the spoon. Not that I got very much food in that way, at most, just another spoon or so.

What I did get out of all that was a lot of stress because he was losing interest and just refused. I on the other hand, was such a hopelessly impatient mom.

On my mom’s earlier suggestion, I had also added some nutrients into his cerelac, one chl0rella pill each time, pounded to a fine dust that mixed into the cereal. This made the cereal green, strange looking and smelling. The first time he ate it he was oblivious to it and downed the cereal happily, but the 2nd and 3rd times were complete disasters. At this point, he went completely off cerelac too.

At the same time, MS looked like he was having problems passing motion. A few days passed with a lot of f@rting and straining on his part, but nothing came out. When he did poo a few times, the poo was pasty and dry. He was constipated. I tried to get him to drink more juice and water, and I tried to feed him more pureed fruit. Of course, the latter failed miserably and it became a battle between him and me.

One day (I think it was either on the day he rejected cerelac or the day after that), he finally managed to poo a substantial sum. It started off pasty and dry and required so much effort on his part, then as I was changing him, he started crying like he never did before (like there was some pain involved) and his poo came oozing out like soft green slush as if he could have been having stomach pains.

I figured then that he was perhaps taking in a little too much cerelac, too little fruits, and not enough juice and water. Add on to that recipe for disaster the fact that he was beginning to lose interest in trying solids, but yet mommy kept trying to force him.

Seeing the way he was, I decided to lay off solids completely for a while. Give MS a chance to recover and for me to take it easy.

So over the next few weeks thereafter, it was back to just bf, but once in a while I’d try to sneak in some pureed fruit when he seemed up to it (I completely cut out cerelac at this point). Sometimes he’d take in a few small spoons, most days he’d just lock his mouth shut and turn away. Juice and water were the only things he would consider, and even then, sparingly.

He began to pass motion regularly again after that, except about a week ago. This morning, I was left with no choice but to insert an infant suppository because he had not passed motion for 6 days, despite having been given prune juice and lots of water to help him ‘go’.

Now that you’ve read about my ‘starting solids faux pas’, this is where the pediatrician bit comes in.

Times like this, I wish I was on more familiar turf. Yes, there are other mommies here, but each one has a baby with a different temperament, and different needs. There are also loads of pediatricians, but their approach is different I feel, from back home. That’s probably because they view raising a baby differently – more cut and dry, not like how we are back home. I think we tend to be a bit more indulgent of our babies as compared to Egypti@ns. Or perhaps, they take on a more “mat salleh” approach to things.

For example:-

(1) When I visited the Diva Tua when MS was 5 months and asked her how I could help break the ‘nursing to sleep’ association, the first thing she did was to reprimand me (in a motherly way lah, she is tua, after all) and tell me that MS shouldn’t be nursing at night anymore in the first place. I asked her how she proposed I stop him because he’d scream and wail if I tried that. Her response was curt, “You need to instil discipline, if not it will be very difficult for you later on and you won’t get your rest”.

Diva Tua’s method was that I gave the final bf to MS when he was going to bed and then not give him anymore milk until 6am the next morning. If he awoke at night, just give him water. “It will be difficult for a few days, but after a while he won’t wake up anymore because he knows he’s only going to get water”.

Easy for her to say, I thought, she’s not the one who has a strong-minded little bub who is more than capable of screaming his lungs out for hours and drive his mommy close to jumping off the window ledge!

So when I went home, I opened Ferber’s book again. I felt that his method of removing night feeds was more humane, ie to gradually space out the night feeds over a week or so until eventually, there are no more feeds left in the night time. I adopted this method when MS was 5 months, and over the course of 2 weeks (and some heavy crying of course), I eventually succeeded. The good part about this method was that it also prevented me from getting engorged.

I was a happy camper for those two weeks. MS would still wake up once or twice in the middle of the night, but he’d protest just a little bit and then promptly fall back to sleep on his own. Unfortunately, at the end of those two weeks, he started waking up for feeds again, at first for one, then two, then three, .. and now it’s back to every 1.5-2 hours, right until morning. In the initial stages, I opted to just let him cry and not give it to him – remember me relating an incident where he wailed for 2 hours non-stop? Then guilt overcame me and H, because we were thinking that perhaps he was teething and needed comforting, wasn’t feeling too well (he had had his immunisations recently too), so thought tak pa lah, kesian MS nangis so much. But as a result, he’s back to his regular routine.

Why can’t I just try to reintroduce Ferber’s night feed reduction method again, you ask? After that 2-hour-non-stop-crying episode plus the fact that MS has certainly become more opinionated and aware of what he wants (or doesn’t want) in comparison to when he was 5 months (plus he doesn’t cry anymore, he screams (ie mengamuk)), I don’t think I have the energy to go through that process again.

(2) The next time I visited the Diva Tua after MS reverted back to his normal night-time feeding pattern, she gave me a schedule to introduce solids to MS. This was her proposition:-

6am: BF

10am: Pureed fruits (in the 1st week)

2pm: BF (in the 3rd week, substitute with pureed vegetables)

6pm: BF

8pm: BF (in the 2nd week, substitute with cereal)

11pm: BF

MS has generally always been BF every 2 hours, day and night. Some days, he has 3-hour stretches. Diva Tua was asking me to not just stretch his feeding time to every 4 hours, but to do away with MS’ beloved milk from some of the feeding sessions.

At one glance, her proposition seems workable, but what do you do when your child has rejected all solids, as MS has done now? Plus, MS doesn’t look like he’s particularly keen on the idea of filling himself up with something other than BM, and I’ve often been told, even by my mom, that sometimes, we need to just let the child decide his own pace.

When I told Diva Tua that it would be difficult to follow her schedule because MS has rejected solids, she told me to just let MS go hungry for 4 hours. “He will be hungry and will take the solids when you offer it.” What if he doesn’t? He will, she asserted. If not, then wait a little longer.

Oh if only it was that simple. Or is it that my threshold for my son’s screaming tantrums are low, and the Egypti@ns have higher pain thresholds? But even my maid said that Diva Tua is “gila” to suggest that I make MS go hungry for that long. “Dia tak tau MS tu macam mana” was her short but spot-on comment.

Besides, I fear that using such regimented methods on MS might scare him off eating solids even more. What do you think?

When I told Diva Tua that MS had reverted back to his night-time feeds, she said it was because I wasn’t feeding him enough cereal before he went to bed. Sigh.

(3) So I consulted another paed. Not tua, and not a diva. Consulting her was by default because Diva Tua ran out of the vaccines which were due for MS and she had asked me to look for another paed in the area who had supplies of the vaccines.

When I asked this 2nd paed why MS was beginning to wake up at night again, and he may or may not be teething (some days I think he is, some days not), she replied that she didn’t know, but agreed that MS shouldn’t feed past midnight anymore. Her suggestion was lain pulak – she said I should give him one last BF at midnight, and then if he wakes up in the middle of the night, give him this special herbal tea preparation for babies that they have in Egypt (known as “Baby Calm”). That will help him sleep till morning, she said.

Of course, that meant that I would have to endure more screams and protests from MS in the middle of the night when he finds out that he’s not getting his bonbons but some silly herbal tea instead. You just have to, came this 2nd paed’s calm reply – it’s for their own good. Not much different from Diva Tua’s suggestion that I give him water, huh?


When I consult the other Malaysian mommies who have babies, or consult friends back home, they all agree that some Egypti@n paeds are rather unorthodox. At least for us Asians. It isn’t the Asian way, some have claimed. Back home, most mommies just allow their babies to feed through the night until the baby itself is ready to drop it (if at all).

I can whine to these other Asian mommies, but unfortunately, they all pretty much have text book babies, who follow their growth and feeding charts on schedule. Often what I get in return are reassurances that things will eventually get better and MS will eventually take to solids, and go back to sleeping through the night again (or at least waking less often). Oh I hope so, because I am tired of having to constantly battle things out with my clever little runt. Mommy always ends up on the losing end.

I’ve reached a point that I don’t care if I have to feed MS all through the night as well, but it would be nice to get some support from your paed, rather than them going tsk tsk at your methods and not actually providing you with the support you need and help you figure out how to solve the predicaments you’re in. Ish.

Times like this, or if there’s a medical emergency with your baby, as I’ve seen some of the other mommies here experience with their babies (hopefully we won’t with MS, insha’Allah) – it really makes me wish that we were back home in Malaysia, where emergency services at the hospitals (the private ones at least) are fast, people understand what you are trying to say, there are loads of doctors available (even if your paed is on holiday or refuses to pick up her mobile or answer your SMSes), and medical care is just so much better.


On a different note, when I observe the methods the Egypti@ns employ in raising their infants and toddlers, I wonder whether this could be one of the reasons as to why the children grow up to be very forceful and strong-willed (traits which of course, carry into adulthood, ahem). I mean, methods like just leaving the babies to cry it out each night for days/weeks on end because you want them to stop night feeding, and again letting them cry it out for hours because you want them to follow a certain feeding routine. Inevitably, this will toughen up the little tykes, I reckon.

Standing joke among some of the Asian mommies here with toddlers who attend nurseries and kindies here: They leave the house Asian, they come home Egypti@n. Hahaha.

Oh well, I don’t have to worry about all that just yet. MS still has some way to go before toddlerhood, and by that time, we’ll most likely be back home in Malaysia, YAY!!

Despite what previous postings may have you think, there have been extremely gratifying moments during my mommyhood, like those caught in the pictures above.

Did I mention that MS started sitting a day before he turned 6 months? [See first pic, top left] *beams*

Or that he’s been sitting unaided, turning left & right, bending front to pick something then straighten up again, or reaching for objects in the air – all while continuing to maintain his balance? I’d say this is my first set of bragging rights vis-a-vis my little man. According to the books (they have some use, after all), he should only be managing these in his 8th month? 

He’s just 6.5 months.

It’s clearly obvious that MS is in much haste to grow up!


*What MS thinks exactly about my attempts to Ferberise him.

This post is partly in response to the comments in my post “To me, it’s a helluva milestone” which were unanswered, and partly to elucidate on the situation I’m currently in. I figured it would be easier to write this as an independent post.

I would say that my biggest difficulty with MS would be his sleep patterns and routines. I have tried quite a few different methods, but so far, none of them has actually hit home.

Let me start by listing out the activities in MS’ regular day.

  • 0800-0830: Wakes up. I bf him a short while and then get MS off bed so that we can go say bye2 to H before he leaves for work.
  • 0900-0915: MS has his bath.
  • 0915-1000/1030: Playtime / tv watching time, until MS starts making noise, wanting to be bf. 
  • 1030-1100: After bf, maid tries to put MS to bed. After about a 1/2 hour of screaming, he eventually does sleep, for about 1 hour. As she tries to put him to bed, I need to leave the living room completely (in the daytime, he naps on a duvet on the living room floor) otherwise his crying will just escalate. When she first started putting him to bed, he knocked off within 5 minutes, but in the last week, he’s been resisting her attempts with vigour.
  • 1200: He wakes, I try to feed him water or juice. If he resists, then I just keep him occupied till I bf him again around 1300. 
  • 1330-1400: Try to keep him occupied and not allow him to sleep while bf.
  • 1400-1430: Maid attempts to put him down for a nap again. Again the screaming battle continues.
  • 1430-1530: Naps.
  • 1530-1600: Bf him. 
  • 1600-1700: Play with him.
  • 1700: Try to get him to nap again. Of course, yet more screams.
  • 1800: Wakes, bf him. Keep him occupied till 2045.
  • 2045: He has his bath.
  • 2100: Nurse him to sleep then tiptoe out of the room around 2200 once I’m sure he’s asleep (otherwise when I remove him from the bonbons, he just automatically lunges for them again!).
  • 2200-0000: He may or may not wake up again once before midnight, depends. If he does, then I have to lie down with him again and bf him once more – because he can’t settle without the bonbon!
  • 2300-0000: As I get into bed to sleep, he will stir again (VERY light sleeper) and will need the bonbon again. 

Nordic Convert, when I nurse him to bed at 2100, I bf him lying down. This is to prevent having to move him once he’s done, because I have never been able to put him down asleep, no matter how long he may have been asleep in my arms. The minute his head or body touches the bed, he’ll wake up and start screaming. So the best way was to involve as little movement as possible on his part once he was asleep.

Initially I nursed him lying down even for the daytimes, because this was the only way I could get him to nap. I’d have to lie down with him, let him bf, then gently pull out the bonbon and move away once he’s asleep. 

Now the reason I am trying to change the daytime napping routine by getting the maid instead to put him down for naps is because of the following:-

(i) He cannot sleep whether at night or for naps, without being bf to sleep.

(ii) As a result, when we’re out of the house, he goes into screaming fits when he’s tired and I can’t (or don’t want to) bf him (hoping that he’ll fall asleep instead by me carrying him or something, until we get in the car or home).

(iii) No one can put him down except me. 

(iv) Nothing can pacify/settle him except by being bf, not even by me trying to comfort him.

Right now whenever he sees the maid around the time when he’s sleepy, he starts his screaming fits. Note here that my son doesn’t actually “cry” (ie I know he isn’t hungry or in pain or anything) – instead he “screams”, so much so that I think he’ll give himself a sore throat.

Take last night for example. I bf him to bed from 9-9.45pm, then when I retired to bed at midnight, he clamoured for me, whining initially. I had told myself earlier that I wasn’t going to allow him to feed so early into the night because he had had a full feed at 9pm (I was only planning on feeding him at 2am). So I just left him be. Instead of calming down, he “mengamuk” (note: not “menangis” ok, there’s a difference) for TWO solid hours, until it was time to bf him. I give it to him for perseverance. Even his mommy cannot hold out for as long, as I succumbed at 1.45am.

And the thing is that, he bf for just 10 minutes, then was asleep. I, on the other hand, was a total wreck by that time, and couldn’t sleep. 

I wonder what caused the turnabout. Back when he was 5 months, I had successfully adopted the night-feed reduction until he was no longer waking at night. I’d feed him at 9pm, he’d whimper a little when I came in to bed at midnight, but he would promptly fall asleep by himself after that, and I would only bf him at 5-6am the next morning.

Then one night, he decides to throw everything out the window and became hysterical. I thought it was a one-off thing, but then it turns out that the night feeds are back.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to bf MS. The skin-to-skin contact, the huge doe-eyes that stare up at me, teh fat dimpled fingers twiddling (or scratching) my face, hair .. I wouldn’t trade those.

But I want him to be able to settle himself back to sleep without having to bf each and every time if and when he wakes up. It’s evident from the 5-10 minute nursing that he’s not that hungry, just wants his bonbons. I also need him to be able to settle himself when he’s tired, and we’re not somewhere I can bf him to sleep. 

The fact that he can’t sleep at all without bf does get to me, especially when we’re out. He’ll freak out and scream his lungs out and I just hate it when people stare, which tells you that they’re uncomfortable with your kid’s screams. I mean, I don’t blame them because MS’ screams are L.O.U.D (have always been, right from the time he was born), but there’s nothing I can do about that.

Because he’s a little fussy pot, I try not to take him out so much, because I’m always at wit’s end after about 1/2 hour out of the house. But as a result, I get bored and stressed at home, and by my reckoning, MS gets bored too.

There are other wives with babies in the same age group with MS. Whenever someone holds a dinner or whatever, MS is always the prima donna – the first to scream his lungs out, refuses to nurse because is so distracted by his surroundings (as a result is hungry and screams even more), cannot sleep in public unlike the other babies who will be limp on their parents’ arms (so screams even more), and doesn’t like crowds – he gets stressed and screams when other people wanna cuddle him. 

So as a result, H and I are always the first to leave any dinner party, often right after dinner is served. Talk about being anti-social.

But I don’t know how else to deal with it. This is why I try not to take MS out too much. On the one hand, I do try to take him out as much as I can .. to “condition” him so to speak, but when he starts acting up in public (and that’s a 99.99%), I keep kicking myself after that wondering why I even bothered.

Perhaps he’s teething? Perhaps. But this has been going on forever and when I check his gums everything seems ok. Drooling? He’s been a mega drooler since he was born. Biting? He’s been close to biting off my fingers for the last 2 months already anyway. Still no teeth or swollen gums in sight. No fever, rashes, flushed cheeks, etc.

I also want him to be able to sleep in his crib/fall asleep on his own. Myzasha, currently he naps on the living room floor, and we’ve put the crib there as well to get him used to it. Sometimes we’ll let him play in there. By tomorrow, I’m going to get the maid to try and get him to nap in the crib. Let’s see if that works. If it does, then we’ll start moving the cot into the bedroom. And once he’s used to napping in the bedroom, only then will I start trying to get him to sleep in the crib at night.

But knowing my luck, by that time we’ll be on our way for our summer vacation which means that it isn’t a good time to try and sleep train him, or he’ll actually be teething proper. 


THIS is a real rant. But I need to get this off my chest, especially after last night. 

I don’t know if I have the stamina to continue the efforts to reduce the night-feed again tonight. 

Maybe it’s just me. 


As an aside, the latest sod0my accusations against DSAI – give it a rest lah, please.

Is that the best they can do to ward off the man’s claims that he can form a government by September?

If that’s your best punch, then truly Malaysia is on its way to the gutter. God help us all.


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