Friday, 1 June 2012

Fly Like An Eagle

First time I laid eyes on him in 4 months
Like most expats, when a loved one leaves after a visit, you are left with a feeling like someone kicked you in the stomach. That was exactly how I felt when my son Lucas left after a month-long visit. When the realization of an empty condo and a lonely guitar stood in the corner, I fell into total despair, missing my children so much it was an effort to get out of bed. I wondered how my two beautiful babies grew into such amazing adults so quickly.  My son is pursuing Engineering at the University of British Columbia and my daughter is returning to school in Alberta to pursue Business. It never occurred to me my parents may have experienced this feeling when I told them I was following R2 halfway around the world.

This view lifted my spirits
Luckily I have a husband that is in tune with my feelings. He knew Luc's departure was going to send me into a tailspin so he took charge to help me get over my homesick desperation. Nothing says "Happiness" like a weekend at a gorgeous beach resort, filled with relaxing massages, walks on the beaches and watching the sun set.

I flew to Langkawi, Malaysia where I was met by a man holding a sign with "Miss Layna". I love those guys. No taxis for me, R2 was sending me in style to the Four Seasons Resort.  When I got into the Mercedes, I thought, "Lucas who?"

Where the eagles soared
Langkawi means eagle in Malay and there are no shortage of them in the sky. It is a breathtaking site to look up and see eagles soaring above your head. I have been to the island before but I forgot how much we enjoyed watching these majestic birds and oddly shaped hornbills.

When I got to the Four Seasons, I knew this was not going to be any ordinary weekend excursion. The hotel was not running at full capacity so the royal pampering began from the moment I stepped into the Moroccan designed lobby.  When I got to our pavilion, it was the bathtub that made me swoon.  You could safely put six people in the sunken tub and still have room for a few koi.

Olympic sized Quiet pool
It took me all of thirty seconds to don my swimming suit and sprint to the beach. Finally the beach in Asia I have been searching for. Stunning white sand as far as the eye could see, shady trees and the Andaman sea, with Thailand in the distance. The property is over 1.5 km long and believe me, I covered every square centimeter so I didn't miss a thing.

R2 flew in later than I did and when he finally found me basking in the adult swimming pool (yes, no diapers to deal with), he told me he had just spotted monkeys and did I want to come and see them. It turns out, our pavilion was close to where the monkeys reside, near the rainforest. When I saw them, they were fighting over a can of potato chips they had stolen from some oblivious guest. The larger monkey was busy whacking the smaller one over the head.

We kept our distance because we didn't want to get walloped. The monkeys are aggressive and will try to steal anything they can get their hands on. One of the staffers told me the guests must be careful to close their patio doors because the naughty alpha males have been known to enter the rooms, go to the mini bar, and crack open a beer, after they have eaten everything in the room. Hhmm, sounds like a couple of guys I worked with.

Cooking up satay and curried shrimp
We had several suggestions of local tours to enjoy. There are mangrove trees and 450 M year old limestone caves, kayaking, snorkelling and diving tours but frankly, we savoured the tranquility of the resort so much we couldn't bare to leave. We took in yoga and Thai massage, a Malay cooking class and we marvelled at how all the staff of the hotel greeted us by name and seemed to know our every desire before we requested it.

Dinner on the beach - I always wanted to do that
The one event that will stand out in our minds was on a leisurely afternoon. After a late start from doing nothing, we wandered down to the Quiet pool. To walk to the pool takes 15 minutes due to the size of the resort.
Many take buggies or ride the gratis mountain bikes but we wanted to enjoy the air. No sooner than we laid down in our private cabana when I heard the pool man say on the phone, "Yes, I will put up the red flags immediately." As he hustled to the beach to change the green flag to red, a frightening storm blew in. We ran for shelter but I knew it wasn't enough and we had to find something more solid.  Just as we left the protection of the towel hut, two huge umbrellas came flying down where we were standing. We scrambled as tree branches and coconuts came crashing down, to the safety of the...bar! Not a bad place to be holed up during a storm. We watched Mother Nature wreak havoc on the beach, bending palms, sandblasting debris against the buildings and the staff dashing to rescue cushions and beach loungers.

The calm after the storm
While waiting out the storm, we played pool and the staff magically appeared, calm as a cucumber to serve us Teh Tarik (the local tea), biscuits and little snacks. Just another day in paradise for them. They went on about their business, telling me this happens frequently. No sooner than the storm blew in, it was over.

A beautiful dinner on the beach


It was hard to leave paradise to the concrete jungle of Kuala Lumpur and a serviced apartment that had roaches but the weekend was just what the doctor ordered. I had my Mojo back and I am ready for the next Asian adventure and our next guest.

Like the storm, sadness can engulf and drench you when you are far away from your loved ones. Thanks to R2's love and support, I have learned there is nothing you can do to change the sadness, you just wait it out and eventually the black clouds lift and it will be business as usual.

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


18 comments:

  1. Layna, I can totally relate to how much you miss your kids. I miss mine so much at times it aches, and they are young adults. Your holiday sounded blissfully beautiful and your husband is a wonderful man. Enjoy every moment!
    From Jacquie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for understanding Jacquie - I knew of anyone, you would understand completely. I am okay now, and I have my stepson to look forward to, and then Lori, but I miss my daughter and my parents as well. Just one day at a time. Thanks to god for Skype and imessaging.

      It is incredible the physical pain you feel...

      Delete
  2. Sounds like a much better place than the hotel we stayed in where we had to try and sneak 4 towels and lie about the rest.. hehe. im glada your feeling better, we miss you here!


    - Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought about the towel stealing in Kota Kinabalu as I was wrapping up in a huge, luxurious towel at the spa/beach/pool. No holes in those towels!

      Delete
  3. Sorry honey for your sadness - do what I do when I'm blue, play the blues or in your case go listen to some - you'll forget why you're blue and groove to the music! Hugs, see you soon, your sista!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't listen to the Blues or look at the guitar he left behind....makes me too sad, instead, I do what all Singaporeans do....EAT, EAT, EAT at all the food stands! Oh yeah, and ride my bike all over the beach - that makes me happy. See ya soon - Thailand, Bali, Malaysia...one of them, here we come.

      Delete
  4. The monkeys fighting over chips is like me and r2 fighting over the last cookies hehehe! Very deep conclusion! You have evolved as a writer! So excellent at it!

    Miss ya!, looookie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who won that battle? At least you aren't as hairy as the monkeys and your teeth are better. Love and miss youse guys!!!

      Thank you for the compliment - you are just like R2...he said the same thing - my writing is getting better with every single story.

      Delete
  5. I re-read your articles every time they appear in the MJ paper. They are some of your older posts but its great that they are giving you that much exposure—writing exposure that is!!!!! I’m glad to hear your time with Lucas was great. I love the pictures you have in your articles, it opens up your eyes to the good and bad landscapes, people, traffic, etc. Some of it is a real eye opener. You are a fantastic writer and your posts should win awards.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You look amazing. Wow have you been places. I love reading about you and your stories. You Rock Layna. Miss you here, not that we saw each other lots, but do miss you.
    One day I am coming to see you.
    I am so happy for you, no one deserves to travel the world more than you and I enjoy the experiences you write about, makes me feel like I am right there with you.

    Your son must have had the time of his life.

    Take care and hope to see you soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a bed with your name on it....

      Delete
  7. Layna, you are so funny!!!! I just read your blog about spas, and it was one of the most hysterical reads I have ever come across! OMG – Baden Baden!!!! Everyone here at work must be wondering what I am cackling about! J

    So, I have read almost all your blog entries now. I am really impressed with the way you write. You are so descriptive that I feel like I have directly experienced what you write about. And are very good at providing a lot of information on a lot of different topics all in one story with your seamless segues. Plus, your diction is incredible, and you are so very skilled in your use of humour. (Again, the spa article really undid me! JJJ) I really do hope you win for the blogger of the year award. Keep ‘em coming! I look forward to hearing about your exotic adventures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as you keep reading, I will keep them coming. Thanks for your kind words.

      Delete
  8. I love the silver lining quote at the end. I guess it is fitting with what's been going on on my end these past few weeks. haha! winky winky ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you deserve a silver lining! We all do! Best to you Derek!

      Delete
  9. i think your vacation would have been much better if you had invited you BFF Jules along for company!! Miss you xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might have been too romantic for us, but come and we will go to Thailand to see elephants and Lady Boys!

      Delete