Getting back to the point. The lady at the airport asked me," Are you pregnant?" Do they ask everyone or is it just that I have the annoying habit of resting on hand on my belly as though I'm nurturing a non existent baby in making. I asked her,"Nope. Do I look pregnant." The poor woman got embarrassed as the people behind me in the queue started laughing. "Just checking Ma'am" She said and I moved on. Time to start doing crunches I suppose but I've burned so much money at gyms it's just plain sad.
The flight was at 2:30 in the morning and we reached the airport five hours early because neither of us checked the time and for some reason Anshuman thought the flight was at 1 am. So we sat in a bar where I had a cheese omelette and my husband has a few pegs of whiskey. He was happy and I was bored so I walked around the cosmetics counters and wondered why there are so few shades that suit Indian skin. I tried some dark red lipstick and made faces at the mirror till the sales woman started giving me dirty looks. So I asked her for a tissue which she gave me with much disdain for my childish behaviour. Like I care.
This time we decided to take Etihad airlines so we were at the Abu Dhabi airport which has only one store which carries a really limited choice of books. Out of habit I bought one and I think it is the worst book in the history of books. I've forgotten it's name now mercifully. I watched half of a 'Week with Marilyn" and slept before Tuesday I think. The seats were weird and wouldn't go back so had to ask the flight attendant for help after an hour of sitting scrunched up in my seat. The food was forgettable. There were three pieces of watermelon and that was dinner.
The flight was seven hours and that's the longest I've been on an airplane. Finally made it to KL and I was ready to drop. By the way my telecommunication provider sucks. I got a terribly expensive data package just to check the office email and it didn't work. I'm talking to customer service as I type. So they promise to call back and sent me an sms in Arabic with a number which I'm guessing is the complaint number. I digress as I'm known to do.
We got in line at immigration. It was a serpentine line and at the end was one lone immigration officer. I was later told that on Fridays the Malays like to take a long lunch and therefore the lone ranger battling the anaconda. I was tired and crabby and Anshuman was cheerful as always. I don't know how he does it. He's almost always a happy soul. God bless him. After getting through immigration we had to get into a little train of sorts which took about 50 seconds to drop us close to the exit. We stood in line for the taxi and one came. Someone got in with a lot of bags and a kid plus wife. We waited. I sat down on the pavement and held my head in my hands. Another taxi came. A couple with at least eight bags got in and drove off. Anshuman smoked a cigarette and I held my weary head in my hands.
Finally it was our turn. I snoozed on and off in the cab and missed the scenery. KL didn't look at all pretty in my haze of the journey. This was supposed to be a vacation and I had my head in my hands. We reached Shiv and Vanessa's home in a place called Mont Kiara. We had tea and I passed out on the bed. Vanessa had cooked a lovely dinner and it was great to see them along with their three year old Aarav.
The next morning after Anshuman had had his fill of pork sausages we hung around at home and then went to this lovely quaint place called La Bodega. Lunch was some seafood with a generous helping of Sangria. Very relaxing and I began to notice that the city is actually quite nice. It's wonderfully green and surrounded by rolling hills and clods float by so close. I loved it.
I shopped and shopped ofcourse and gambled a bit at Genting Highlands. I won all the shopping money back so felt quite smug. I know when to quit and I think that's the trick. I played the roulette and even though there doesn't seem to be a logic to the numbers there was an old Chinese man sitting next to me who was counting numbers on a piece of paper as he chain smoked. Every once in a while he would bet a little and then go right back to his paper and cigarette. An impossibly old Chinese woman was betting next to me with much gusto and winning.
The drive from the city to Genting is really lovely. There is a Buddhist temple on the way and we stopped by for a while. I prayed to a Buddha idol for the first time. People entered the temple with their shoes on but somehow I had to take off my shoes before I could enter. I put some incense sticks in to a small sandbox. I prayed for everyone's health and happiness and expressed my gratitude for all that has been given to me. It was a peaceful experience.
Sometimes I think prayer is just about being in a state of peace and expressing yourself clearly in your thoughts.
Then the day I was supposed to take the flight back home I was a bit sick and am still a bit sick. Flying for long hours is not something that agrees with me and that's a pity because there's so much more I want to see. So that's it. Now I'm back and it was a joy to welcome Ninna home. As I'm sure I've said many times before she's my best friend.