It is always sad leaving home, especially when it is for the 8 months I have planned to leave for. This time, leaving was even more difficult than usual. And, this time, I have a whole lot more planned.
But a massive sleep and a couple of articles in the Colombia Journalism Review (on the Kindle – an awesome machine) and I landed in Kuala Lumpur. But, instead of trekking to the Petronas Towers to watch the sun rise, as was the plan, I was stuck in the airport thanks to an overly frightened immigration official, who said I could never have made it back on time.
So, 3am at a Deli France, aka a worse (yes, there is worse) version of Starbucks, drinking an English breakfast tea. Reading the kindle in an attempt to whittle down the hours until the next flight. Thank god for random cafe friends though!
An older man, who I later found out was from New Dehli, was a factory owner and had a son who studied in Sheffield, wanted a cappuccino, but didn’t have any Malaysian money (the EFTPOS system was broken too). So, out of respect for the traveller’s code, and out of the hope for a airport cafe friend, I bought him his caffein fix.
Hours of conversation with Vinod later, the flight was boarding (although it would prove to be delayed). A transit, a decent airport, a good book and a new friend. Couldn’t hope for more than that.
A bargained for tuktuk ride (an hour and a half affair, where the driver dropped his mate off to the office and where we were witness to a car on motorcycle accident, no injuries, thankfully) and the familiar smell of the developing world returns to me – two stroke engine smoke, the electric smell of welding from all of the construction and the slight tinge of yesterday’s food on the air – I feel at home.
A beautiful home in Kotehena, where I have a room, a cold shower and a fan (all you need in this boiling place). I walked around the area, finding it to be some exciting industrial steel manufacturing area – how fun! And colourful!
I did some shopping (etisalat sims and power adapters) and ate a lunch packet a bit too late, and i’ve crashed back in my room – 7pm and jetlag has me down for the count. The beautiful sounds of Hindu prayer filter through my window like a lullaby.
This is an amazing country!
Tomorrow, I will be touching base with OfERR (Ceylon), Palmera’s local partner for the rice mill project.
[aside to my nerdiest readers] etisalat’s data plan doesn’t seem to want to let me tether – anyone know a way to get around this? It is difficult to type on the iPhone, and my pictures are locked away! Please email me or client away to help out!
P.S. remember to follow my tweets (@oatsandsugar) for more frequent updates!