The right time

Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog

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All things being equal, I don't think I'm out of line when I say that women are unreliable. Before I start getting hate mail from the fairer sex, let me explain. As a male, I still don't understand women. I don't think I will ever get to the stage where I can proclaim that I understand women. I am comfortable with that as well. Our brains function on a whole different wavelength. Its part of the thrill of it. The chase and not knowing what the other is thinking, or why they acted a particular way. Things would be far too boring if we did. Well today just confirmed it.

Maybe its me. But when a person says that they will be there in 20mins, my male brain would process that and think 'ok I've got 20 mins to get ready'. Not this girl. This girl has no concept of time. This is one of the things which drives me crazy about her. She is never on time. But that's the thing about love, you have to be crazy to enter into in the first place sometimes. She dawdles out like usual, like we don't have a plane to catch. Like she doesn't want to see me at the first chance she has. I understand some women need some time to change and get ready. Truly I get that. But to come down 30 mins after I tell her I was downstairs? Arrgh she is a mad woman.

To be honest. I think its me as well. I'm still stuck in work mode. It being a Tuesday my body and mind tells me I should be at work. Not to mention I had to pop into work just a few moments ago to resolve some issues. I don't think I've fooled my mind yet that I don't have to work today. I don't think work realises that I was no longer working once I walked out through the doors yesterday. I'm just stressed. I think I need a holiday. :) Good thing I'm on a plane in about an hour. Poor girl, I hope I get into holiday mood soon or she might regret inviting me along soon enough. I know for a fact its no fun going on vacation with a grouch. I've actually been told that holiday Damian and normal work Damian are two different people. Holiday Damian is fun. I just wish he would come out.

Once I hand over my passport and get my boarding pass. It all melts. All the hangups and negative energy I was carrying before. All the stress. Its gone. Holiday Damian has come out to play. A holiday could not have come at a better time. At that instant I must have the cheesiest grin on my face. A grin people would lock you up for and throw away the keys. At that instant I gave her a hug at the check in desk and I knew everything would work out. I left that desk hand in hand a different person. I would subsequently turn off my phone and be off the grid. No phone calls no emails no nothing. Just me and her and the joys of exploring the unknown. At least until I come back and normal Damian takes over.

We were lucky that the plane was empty. We had a whole middle row to ourselves. She insisted I take the row behind us (as that was empty as well) so that we could both lay down and rest. I insisted that I was fine and was just going to stay right there. Right next to her. I'm not one for sleeping on planes. I don't know what it is. It's not a comfort thing as well. I just can't sleep on planes. So whilst she got some shut eye and rested her head on my lap with the rest of her body stretched across 3 other seats. I watched the entertainment screen in front of me trying to relax and really absorb the situation. In between movies, or when I could peel my eyes from the screen I would look down and see a serene face where my legs used to be. After maybe 2-3 hours of having a head resting on your legs and not being able to move as I didn't want to wake her, all notions of this being a good idea faded. Soon enough I think I'm going to have to amputate my legs due to DVT. My legs are starting to tingle. My head debates whether I should wake her up or just slowly move my legs to a more comfortable position. Any position rather than what they were now. But as if she read my thoughts, she shuffles and repositions herself. In that whole second she does that my feet come to life and jump to a new position before she even put her head back down. I try to kiss her as a thanks for moving and to send her off back to deep sleep. But its physically impossible. I move back up and recline.

Before we know it, we are in Kuala Lumpur. It is night time and we are tired from the journey. We catch a cab and show the driver on a map where we would like to go. He nods and says ok. Thats a good sign. Fingers crossed he delivers us close. It is only when he pulls over on the motorway and stops to look at the map more closely that we realise that he didn't know where we wanted to go. Anything to get a fare. It is now that I pull out an ace from my sleeve. Before I left, my brother told me that most people in KL speak Cantonese. Especially taxi drivers. Obviously English was not his forte. So I speak to him in Cantonese. I knew he spoke it from the radio that was blaring out chit chat in Cantonese of all the other taxi drivers working that night. Some of which is quite funny. Anyway, I don't have much chance to use my Cantonese in my daily life, and am hesitant at first. In case he picks up on any mistakes I might make. But I try to be as confident as I can, and assert that I know exactly where we have to go by mumbling some of the neighbouring streets where our final destination was. Soon it clicks and he darts off again along the silent motorway. From here on in, we start a casual conversation feeding on my new found confidence. It feels great being overseas and being able to communicate with the locals perfectly. You feel like you yourself are a local, and your onto them. That you have less chance of being ripped off since your part of the extended family. Just before we are let out of the taxi, I ask the driver if he wanted to pick us up tomorrow morning. As we needed to get to the airport early for our flight to Phnom Penh. He is more than happy to and we exchange details.

Once we are checked in to the hostel we leave our bags in the room and go searching for food. You can't come to Malaysia or Asia for that matter without sampling some of the street food. Its what some people come here primarily for. I'm not naturally a foodie, but even I was a little excited about the possibilities. About the different flavours that would rape my taste buds. About the possible health code violations and possible stomach bugs.  But thats part of the fun with travelling. I don't think you've travelled until you get bed ridden with some sort of exotic virus. Lucky for us, the street parallel to our hostel is Jalan Alor. Which is quite synonymous with street food. We walk hand in hand, step to step, through this gauntlet of touts. They stand with menus by the hip ready to draw whenever someone walks pass. Would you like a meal sir? We've got the best curries sir! Rest you feet here sir! The more pushy ones will block your path. Now this is travelling. God I miss this. It is the street characters which always leave a imprint in my mind. I would be offended if nobody tried to persuade us into their establishment. What they don't want us? Its nice to be wanted. To be needed.

We have some really nice noodles for dinner. In between piling mountains of noodles into my mouth I watch the touts work their magic. Whilst the occasional person/group will stop and look at the menu or even sit down the vast majority don't even break from their power walk. Its quite disconcerting how many people don't take the time to stop and pleasantly say no or shake their head. I would honestly hate to do that every night. Stand out there and deal with rejection 95% of the time. But then again its late. Most people would probably be making their way back to bed now. As we probably should if we want any chance of catching that plane tomorrow morning.

Tonight is the night. The first night we would sleep next to each other. The first night I would find myself waking up with her next to me. The last person I see at night and the first person I see when I open my eyes in the morning. For me its always a milestone. I always remember these nights. Prior to tonight I was a bit worried that it might be a bit presumptuous that I booked a double bed. Would she be comfortable sharing a bed with a person she has known for only 3 weeks? A person she has only seen a handful of times. Was it a safer bet if I booked 2 single beds and took things a little slower? My mind didn't have too much time to dwell on all these questions. We were both tired from the long day and  before I knew it we were arm in arm cuddling in bed. Resting for what lay for us tomorrow.

Just as an aside. The reason why I'm not that confident speaking in Cantonese (even though I probably understand 90% of the language) is the fact that I'm illiterate. I never learnt to read and write Chinese characters. As screwy as it sounds, in the back of my mind I feel like I will be exposed as a fraud. A modern day snake oil salesman. But I guess I'm lucky that I am bilingual thanks to my parents.
seeUaroundtheWorld says:
Very sweet tale! I enjoyed reading you. Thanks for sharing it!
Posted on: Nov 29, 2008
dfoo says:
@Sylvia: Thanks
Posted on: Nov 28, 2008
dfoo says:
@Stigen: Exactly! What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger and all that. At least you can say you've tried. With that said, most of the food you have that doesn't look appealing on first glance or whiff, often does not translate into great meals. At least they are memorable ;)
Posted on: Nov 28, 2008
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