I love travel, I dislike the traveling part
Being stuck in a bus longer than 3hrs or an airplane longer than 8hrs and I start losing my mind. Especially if it is a full bus/flight. Add being a tad hungover, totally my fault and everyone should point and laugh without any sympathy, but still I will whinge about it, and it is not a pretty site.
I got to the airport and through security no problem. Then I sat and wallowed in my misery of feeling like I had been hit by truck, a small one maybe, but still a truck. No major headache but just “thick” all over. Am sure some of you know this feeling. As I sat there mindlessly texting and calling my kiwi friends trying to get the most out of the $20 I had to spend to recharge (only to go to places for 2wks without signal), I realised that my seat number sounded decidedly like a middle seat. With only 10minutes before my Airasia flight was due to board I popped over to the counter (well maybe it was more like plodded) and asked if my hunch was correct. Unfortunately, yes and add to that they said the flight was 11hr 15min….. I would surely go insane or my seat partners would as a flight that long would have me up and down every hour at the very least.
Bless their hearts they were able to change me to an aisle seat, and I could have kissed them, they couldn’t do it electronically as the system had already closed. But they called someone important and got it sorted. Thank my lucky stars.
A final bathroom run, taking 15min as every other women had the same idea, and onto the plane to head to the tropics and scuba diving. Other than a 5 day live aboard in Southern California (still considered cold water) about 7yrs ago I had never done a diving holiday and this was the first time that I would be diving in warm water.
The plane was pretty full and except for those few lucky bastards with a full row, including one girl slightly behind and to the left of me, everyone else was chock-a-block.
I had ordered the entertainment unit, which was a very good idea, and meals, so was all set. I could just lean back, as far as the seat would go, and relax, but maybe if I cross my legs or put my feet on my bag or put one leg under the other or or or……ahhhh I hate trying to get comfy in an airplane seat.
Dispelling a myth
Many people, especially those of the taller persuasion, assume that short people have it easy while traveling as obviously our knees don’t get crammed against the seat in front. Well I wish to dispel that myth as it is not so. True our knees are not trying to crash their way through the person in fronts seat, but many of us of the not quite little person height but pretty damn close, have the opposite problem. Our feet don’t touch the ground. Once again the tall folks would think this a blessing. But in truth it is exceptionally uncomfortable. We are too tall to curl up in a ball or cross our legs in the seat but too short to comfortably have our feet dangle. This puts a lot of pressure on the back and hips and butt.
– Placing bag under feet to elevate them. But this often results in the attendants telling you to put your bag in the overhead compartment forcing you to try and hide it with a blanket.
– If you are in a bulk head seat sometimes you are able to slouch far enough for your feet to press against the front, thus making it more comfortable, often we are too short to reach.
– Trying to put your legs crossed on the food tray, but this too is frowned on by the attendants.
– Squeezing your feet into the space between seats and creating a pretzel effect to balance both feet up.
– Being resigned to being uncomfortable.
The one and only benefit to being of the shorter statue is that give us 3 seats and we can literally stretch out and sleep like a baby… So I guess in the long run we have it better.
Wasting a perfectly good seat
After about 8hrs I glanced over at the lucky wench who had a full row and saw her sitting upright in the middle seat. Not even putting her feet up. I mean if you are going to have a whole row the least you can do is use it and not make the rest of us even more jealous than we already are…or maybe that’s just me.
Finally I couldn’t stand it as I was desperate for sleep or at least getting horizontal! I leaned over and asked if she would trade with me for just an hour. She looked at me a bit confused, think she was Malaysian, and then said sure and we traded.
Blissful bliss, my head hit the seat and I was out for almost exactly 1hr. Just enough time to prevent the massive headache from forming and boring a whole all the way through my brain.
Finally landing around 10.30pm I got through immigration, customs and even picked up a free sim card for the phone. After grabbing my bag, I headed out into the glorious heat and humidity of Malaysia night time. Almost instantly I heard a happy shout calling my name and there was my friend Chauw.
I had met Chauw when I lived in Korea and trained Taekwondo, he is a master in KL and we had communicated about techniques over the taekwondo websites. When I left Korea in 2004 I had made a trip from Singapore to KL and he had met me then as well and showed me round. Now after almost 5yrs lost contact we had re-established communication and he had invited me to stay at his home with him, his wonderful wife and their little dog (who has way to much personality for a little fluffy white thing). It does amaze me how I am lucky enough to have such amazing friends all around the world.
Their house was amazing and I had my own room and bathroom. I was too exhausted to do much so went straight to bed.
At 7am we all went out for breakfast at a local place. I had something I had had 7yrs before, roti (like a pancake type thing) with condensed milk drizzled over it. Chauw also got me something called a Roti Tissue, which is another pancake that has been made super thin and then folded to form a pyramid. It was smothered in sugar and delicious. The perfect compliment to both was a glass of Milo Ice…. mmm I love Malaysia. I was so busy eating that I forgot to get photos.
I find these days recovering from flights like the one the day before takes a bit longer. Actually I don’t ever remember just bouncing back into a full day of activities after long flights. Add to that the blistering weather and humidity and I was pretty much motionless for most of the day, it was just as well Chauw and Viven had to go to work. Sleeping, watching TV, reading, writing consisted of most of my day. Making the kimchi ramen and trying to figure out how the tv worked was about the most active thing I managed.
The weather was 30+ decgrees C and the humidity was stifling, luckily the fan made the difference and if I just couldn’t bare it anymore I would move to my room with the air conditioning. You didn’t want to spend the whole time in the room as you needed to get your body aclimatized to tropical conditions. In the early afternoon the sky turned the color of midnight and a torrential downpour started. I love rainstorms and sat staring at it for some time.
An evening out
After everyone finished work we went out for Japanese and then to a bar for drinks. It was almost halloween and the bar was also in the middle of Octoberfest, the contrast in decorations were quite amusing.
Exploring, ATM’s and Super Plush Movie Theater
Saturday was my only full day in KL before heading to Borneo. Still sounds weird to me to be able to say that…Borneo. We all slept late and then went for dimsum for brunch. The choices were endless and quite overwhelming.
Apparently the thing to do on a saturday afternoon is hang out at the enormous shopping center, its airconditioned and has lots of cool things. We had amazing tea at this tea and cake shop and then went to draw cash from an ATM. Then another ATM and finally lucky strike number 3, the 3rd one gave me money. Nearly gave myself a heart attack. Then onto exploring the market as we waited to go watch a movie.
Viven and I found a place to get our toes painted and relaxed for an hour doing that. I decided to go for the honey scrub as well and much to the amusement of the girls and customers squirmed as usual when they massaged and scrubbed my feet. Being ticklish is hazardous.
Finally it was time to go to the movies. We were going mainly because my fondest memory of KL last time was going to the movies and having hot caramel popcorn and ice cold milo, have no idea what the movie was. This time Chauw had treated us to the deluxe movie theater. The cost is about 3 times as much but you can go and relax in the waiting area with massage chairs and free soda and free internet. It was great. But that was nothing, the theater contained about 20 lazy boy chairs. The aircon was a bit extreme but you could rent blankets and pillows. The waitresses brought you your food and drink and you could recline all the way. So this is what it must be like to fly first class…
Borneo here I come
Next morning had an early morning flight and Chauw insisted on taking me. In fact the whole family came. Its crazy to know I have such good friends. The next week would consist of scuba diving, my first tropical water diving. Woohoooooo