Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Marry Me So I Can Sleep

Everyone is waiting for a taxi at 4:30 a.m.
Getting up for a 5:30 a.m. flight departure is never easy but it was the only way to get to Penang, Malaysia with time left in the day to enjoy the beach, the spa and my favourite, Happy Hour. R2 returned home from Hong Kong at 1:00 a.m., repacked, slept a couple of hours and we hit the 4:30 a.m. taxi run to Changi Airport.

We were both drifting off when the Captain's voice blared over the PA system. There was a special announcement to be made that was disrupting our much needed ZZs. We watched as three attendants presented one passenger with roses and ten people jumped to digitally capture the moment in time.  The Rose Recipient's  boyfriend "popped" the Big question over the PA system. At least we think he did; the system was a cross between a Walmart toilet paper announcement and trying to hear if your bus arrived at the scheduled time.  You know the ones I am talking about, "Rereold ppereere shaiashis thirp, toilet paper, eoeri ghoa iembkquo reoa soolddf  at $1.99."

We all waited with bated breath hoping she would say "yes" so we could get forty winks.  Hey, it was early and I can only enjoy Disney fairy tale endings so much with four hours of sleep.  R2 remarked the tightwad should have sprung for Singapore Airlines and not the free $0 flight we were taking to Kuala Lumpur on AirAsia. Gotta love my hubby, he is always Mr. Pragmatic. I tried to catch a glimpse of the rock when she ran by, but she was too busy wiping tears and smacking her friends for embarrassing her by not spilling the beans.

The airports in Malaysia are always interesting. We decided to "test" security to see if we could smuggle liquids through the baggage check. While I was nervous, R2 assured me I could breeze through with a huge glass of Booster. No one paid the slightest bit of attention to my huge liquid bomb in the supersized cup. What a pleasure not to be treated like I was the leader of Al-Qaeda for bringing shampoo on the plane.

Almost like Mexico
We took the second quick flight to Penang and after a painfully slow, mosquito-ridden ride in an ancient Mercedes, we finally arrived at the Shangri-la in Penang. Charming hotel - lousy beach, unless you enjoy swimming with Jelly Fish, jet skis and parasails. Not to worry, I wasn't there for the sun and sand, I was there for a world class spa (mind-blowing treatments), the gastronomy (the black cod was to die for) and the sublime gardens (who knew black pepper grew on a climbing vine?)

We had a chatty conversation with one of the servers who told us how scared she was during the earthquake three days earlier. There are earthquake experts that suggest Penang will be hit with a major quake, sooner, rather than later. If there is a Tsunami warning, and I am hunkered down on the beach with my Girl With a Dragon Tattoo read, I will be running for higher ground, unlike the reported globetrotters that refused to leave.

Sunday is a day for sleeping upside down
There is not much else to report about Penang.  The historical area in Gerogetown looked interesting, however, it was Sunday and everything shuts down. Coming from Singapore, we were blown away by tourist attractions that were silent on Sunday, typically when all camera toters want to photograph the sites, spend as much cash as they can and leave litter all over the grounds. It was even difficult to find food; completely unheard of to Singaporeans.

We couldn't rouse the rickshaw driver on Sunday
Our hotel was miles from nowhere so we caught the last shuttle back, just in time to have another bizarre massage from a roadside location.  We should have left well enough alone after a near perfect Tibetan treatment the previous day.  We were separated and massaged with a rough towel. I swear I saw a guy behind the spa wiping his old car down with the same style of rag. Neither of us could figure out this strange massage, or why the girls would not touch our skin.  R2 had a lady that spent more time telling him he should have his ears candled than giving him the Royal Rag Rubdown.

A patriotic car in Penang
R2 and I are still in Kuala Lumpur. He is working and I am spending, steam bathing, infinity pooling, and generally being a Real Housewife of Singapore before we fly back to reality. It was a great break but I must get back to my professional lunching, riding and beach combing. Next stop...Kota Kinabalu.

(Follow Layna in Asia on Mexico on My Mind site for her perspective of travels in Mexico)


  1. The No Frills Pilot19 April 2012 at 01:33

    Not sure why Air Asia reminds me of Southwest airlines: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt, and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more. Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."

    1. Okay, Layna in Asia is now peeing in her kimono....sooooo funny!

  2. Damn your stuff is fun to read. Quite the life you’re living over there!!!!!!!!!!


  3. Just another fun day in paradise! Love the sleeping outside down pic - reminds me of your bat pictures in Aussie land!

    1. Two more days until Kota in Malaysia. Bring on the strange animals.

  4. Layna sweetie, I just love reading your blogs. I laugh myself silly everytime and have tears streaming down my face, not sure if they are from missing you or from laughing to hard. I decided that it is from both. Love those articles. Keep 'em coming. Love you girl. We need to skype soon.

  5. Thanks Julie - happy you are enjoying are crazy adventures. I will keep 'em coming!!!