12 Days in Magical Malaysia
It was Thursday 7th April, and I was aboard my flight headed to Kuala Lumpur for the holiday I had to have in the magical place that is Malaysia.
After a comfortable flight and landing safely, the next couple of hours started freakishly, as Landing in KL at 8.20 am, and looking forward to my exciting trip, I was tired and became a little grumpy, after waiting at the baggage carousel for what seemed an eternity; watching luggage go round and round and mine nowhere in sight. After 50 minutes, I gave up and approached the lost luggage office.
“It’s still at Tullamarine” the young lady at the lost luggage counter said nonchalantly, and I, nonplussed, was resigned to leaving the airport sans luggage, and a little unsettled, as I was to be a co-facilitator at the Evaluation Workshop on Saturday and wondered how I would be received dressed in the same attire as I was wearing now.
My luggage was in Tullamarine, and I was in KL- JLIA2. Who knows why luggage doesn’t get on the same plane, though I guess that’s another story. It prompted me to remember the winning Table Topic Speech by Patrick at Launceston, Tasmania, at the D73 Convention in May 2015. The TT Question was “If Only I’d Known.”
More reflections of The Launceston Convention bubbled up, as I wasn’t prepared for the TT Contest there on the day either, having had a late night, and dressed in Jeans, Polo Shirt, Loafers, and un-showered with uncombed hair, I was standing outside the venue, enjoying the scenery, When our District Director, Tracey approached and invited me to be in the Contest as 1st & 2nd place winners from the Bass Division Contests weren’t attending the Convention, and as I was 3rd Place, then I was eligible to compete. Problem was there was no time to shower and get dressed for the contest, as it was about to start. Nonetheless, I went on stage and did my best. I wasn’t placed but it was my first experience in a district contest.
Now, back to my Trip.
My good friend Victor met me at the Airport and delivered me to my Hotel. The Premiera Hotel in Medan Tuanku, was new to me. When in Malaysia before, I had always stayed – with my beautiful Nancy – at Hotel Melia in Jalan Imbi, though this time I felt I needed to stay in a different hotel, for I feared the ‘triggers’ that might arise. Although the Premiera was a beautiful hotel, It was in a district I didn’t know, and presented some challenges, which I overcame a few days later.
I visited the Melia often during my stay and was delighted to see that staff I’d met on my previous visits were still working there, and it became like my second home, as I called in often to chat and relax over a glass of wine and snacks. Being close to Berjaya Times Square, a favourite shopping mall, it was just four monorail stops from Medan Tuanku, and at just $1AUD per ride, the perfect place to prop for a few hours.
Thursday evening came and ‘dog tired’ I slept like a baby. Awakening to the sights and sounds of this bustling place, I went outside into the heat of the day. Wow it was hot. It was 7 am and there were people everywhere; and motorcycles, oh so many motorcycles, darting in and out of traffic, to my amazement. Whole families were riding on some of them, and Koti sellers with enough food to feed 100’s carried everything on their motorbikes. What an amazing sight.
The next 11 days were very busy yet very exciting. The Evaluation workshop, Toastmasters Meetings in Bankers Club next to Melia, meetings in Bangsar, and in Kampachi, a delightful Japanese Restaurant in KLCC. I met so many Toastmaster friends old and new – even having lunch with Aaron Ng who many of you know, and had a wonderful time with all. When I wasn’t at Toastmasters I spent terrific times, visiting new places with Derek, a special friend and non-Toastmaster, who wined and dined me at some very special places, including his fabulous new condo in Sentul Park. Meeting his school friends in Chinatown was a blast, and Charlie and Kevin were fun to be around.
There were so many highlights on this trip and I’ll never forget the warmth and generosity of everyone I met.
I’ve galvanized my friendships with Victor and Derek, and made so many new friends, all of whom were terrific company and delightful companions. Sadly I lost one friend, because I made a promise I couldn’t keep, and that saddened me. Perhaps I’ll be forgiven in time.
Malaysia is my home away from home, and I’m certainly excited to be returning in Sept/October 2016, to pick up where I left off, and to once more absorb the friendship, the sights and sounds, and the absolute joy I feel inside.Thank you all for embracing me and making this a trip I will never forget, for these twelve days were magical; they were magnificent; they were mesmerizing, and I will be back!.