Happy 2010! I’m writing this while on a 777 flying back to KL now, currently early into the longest leg of the trip. This is actually officially the longest nonstop flight I’ve taken: 15 hours aloft. I looked it up, thinking this was surely one of the longest commercial flights, only to find out it’s not even in the top thirty. Whatever, though… 15 hours is plenty long enough for me. To compound the misery, I flew out from what has to be the worst major airport in
One incredibly retarded thing that they do is fail to issue boarding passes for both legs of the journey, even though they’re on the same airline. For example, when I checked in for the flight in LA, I was given a boarding pass for the LA-Guangzhou leg, but not for the
“Where is your visa to enter
“I don’t have a visa. I’m not entering
“Where is your ticket?”
“I don’t have one. It’s an e-ticket.”
“Boarding pass, please.”
“Don’t have that, either. The airline said to get it here.”
“Wait.” Another officer is then summoned and an exchange in Cantonese ensues.
“Where is your boarding pass?” the second officer asks me.
“I still don’t have one.”
So they then took my passport (along with those of the other transit passengers) and disappeared for about half an hour, then a China Southern representative appeared and auctioned off the passports to their respective owners, along with boarding passes. (I already had a confirmed seat on the second leg of the trip, which makes
So, after sitting in
Later… So this trip home was much more enjoyable overall than the last one, which included a lot of stress and business dealings. The only real drawback for the whole visit was the cold! Over a year in the tropics has made me even more cold-natured than I already was. When I arrived at the airport, it was -12°C (10°F) and snowing and the temperature never exceeded 3-4°C (37-39°F) for the duration of my visit. This picture here is from my house looking up the snow-covered street in my neighborhood. Though driving on the snow is not fun, it really was kind of nice to have snow for Christmas. One of my friends back in KL remarked that he envisioned me sitting around the Christmas tree with friends and family, with a fire in the fireplace and snow outside… then he said, “Or maybe I’ve just watched too many TV shows.” But actually, that’s pretty much how it was this year! We had Christmas at my mom’s place, and had a really nice fire going while we opened gifts around the tree. We were also treated by my mom to a sumptuous Christmas Day Champagne brunch at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown
The rest of the trip was mostly just eating, shopping, and visiting with my friends. I also got to go to my mother’s new workplace and meet her colleagues. It’s called the Consortium for Older Adult Wellness, a non-profit advocacy organization that helps older people take control of their health care management and their lives in general. They do really good work, and my mom had just been raving about the quality of the people with whom she worked, so it was fun to meet them. At my mother's request, I cooked an appropriately Asian meal for them (Indonesian, however, not Malaysian), and we had a nice post-Christmas lunch at their office.
For really the first time since moving to KL sixteen months ago, I actually miss some things about my home country. My like and dislike of living in Malaysia is subject to predictable ebbs and flows… when I’m sitting in a hellish traffic jam, for instance, living in KL loses almost all of its luster. Driving around
I didn’t take many photos on my trip, sorry for that, but here’s one of just some of the stuff I brought back with me… I filled my two checked bags to the absolute weight limit (23 kg/50 lbs. each), had a carry-on bag that was way, way overweight (about 18 kg./40 lbs.) – glad no one asked me to put it on a scale. And even a backpack that was about 9 kg./20 lbs. So this picture doesn’t include all the contents of my luggage, but it’s a lot of it. Of course, lots of food and food-related things… six or seven new dress shirts, things for my friends here, new shoes, all kinds of stuff.
That's all for now! Coming soon… my recaps and reviews of my trips to Pangkor Laut Resort and Cameron Highlands Resort! Stay tuned…