“Same old. Same old. 2004 has been so boring.” These were the words my friend said on Christmas Eve. Neither of us was aware that our belief that the year would end on a dull note was premature. On Boxing Day, I was at home in Alor Setar. I was busy caring for my puppy who was recuperating from an operation. I’d shortened her leash by twirling it around one leg of our dining table so that she would remain in one spot. Suddenly, the glasses in our cabinets rattled and the dining table shook. This tiny little dog is too strong, I thought. Yes, looking back, this makes little sense. At the time, though, I was so focused on trying to make sure my fussing dachshund stayed still that no other reason for the house shaking occurred to me.