Life is a series of small battles. You win some, you lose some, and in the end you hope you come out ahead. This ran through my brain as i stood by the passenger side door of our taxi at the Kuala Lumpur airport. I have been trying to learn a bit of Malay before coming here. As our plane taxied to the gate, I practiced saying thank you over and over again, determined to get it right. (Terima kasih) It was the first practical useful word I had learned. The lessons I am taking via an app are great, but knowing how to say the man and woman are standing will only take you so far in life. (Lalaki dan perempuan itu sedong berdiri) so when the taxi stand worker helped our escort, Iris’s new boss Sara, fix the problem and got us a van because Iris and I brought 5 checked bags, I dropped a little Malaysian thank you on him. He smiled and said something. One assumes it was “your welcome” but i have not gotten to that lesson yet so who knows. Victory.
I was tired so perhaps I was a bit too proud over this little win as I stood by the passenger door of the van, waiting for someone using the taxi next to me to shut their door so i could open mine. “Funny” I thought, “the driver has not gotten in the taxi yet.”
Reasons why he has not gotten into the car yet, per my mind at the time:
-A problem with our bags
-he sucks as a taxi driver
-he was getting directions (which i later learned was not true. He got is there but had zero ideas of where he was going)
The idea that he had not gotten in yet because this is Malaysia and here the steering wheel is on what I thought was the passenger side did eventually occur to me. I thought it was funny. So did Iris and Sara. The driver thought it was really funny. Defeat.
But lets go back to Seoul for a bit. Really clean beautiful airport. After clearing customs at 1am Iris and I wantef sleep. Badly. So a nice woman at the information center called and got us a room and a free ride to a hotel just off the airport grounds. We watched Korean tv for a bit and discovered it is awesome. But i have theory that while it might be great, not understanding a word of it forced our brains to come up with our own narratives and we are awesome. Me especially. I am hilarious.
Nice 7 hour nap. Now back to Incheon Airport, one of the best in the world. We get our boarding passes with help from another friendly woman, and we breeze through the line to check our bags. The next nice woman we encountered told us we had to have a flight out of KL within three months, the length of the visa, or we might not make it through Malaysian customs. After an hour long struggle with Kayak , who liked to screw with me by verifying a price and flight, only to tell me three times that the price was not verified, we got two one way tickets to Singapore with the first three months of our tourist visa. We get back in line, get a different agent who says nothing about a flight out of KL.
Fast forward to KL customs. My agent said zero words to me. Not hello, not “put your index fingers here on the scanner” nothing. Certianly nothing about bringing an xbox with me if I am just visiting.
So Iris and I have a nice little weekend retreat planned for August now in Singapore.
Its late, so the whole concept of KL being uber hot and humid will have to wait for another day! A few scenes from Seoul…
Korean food and people watching in the airport make Kevin and Iris very happy
The only one in an airport anywhere in the world…okay….
An presentation of traditional Korean music at one of the cultural centers in the airport. They had craft projects that were free, only if you were a foreigner.