This is an attempt to tell you funny stories from my holidays in Malaysia.
Yoga retreat in Kerala
So on the flight out from Manchester to Abu Dhabi, I sit next to Mr C from Cheshire who tells me he is on his way to a yoga centre in Kerala, India. The 2-month retreat is his well-deserved break after 5 years of hard work. It is a new season in his life as he searches for spirituality and meaning in his life. Throughout the flight we talk about God, religion and movies. Mr C has a connecting flight to catch, so we parted and said our goodbyes. I pray he finds Jesus, the one true God. I pray that God arrests his heart, and protects him during his time in India. Who knows, I might meet him again in Manchester and he will tell me how it happened.
Lost and found in Abu Dhabi
And so I touch down to wait 7 hours in Abu Dhabi for my connecting flight, and I am starving. I look into my bag, and behold, there is no wallet! It has vanished! I go on a frantic search, pleading with everyone from the Information lady in the burkha to the cigarette-smoking police officer (‘Please note, Abu Dhabi International Airport has a strict no smoking policy’) Ah, yes.
Rubbing shoulders with Sheikhs
There is no wallet, so there is no food. I ring my childhood friend Mr J whom I hear is currently working in Abu Dhabi as a fitness trainer. Mr J is stuck in traffic because today is the UAE’s National Day, and Abu Dhabi is of course its capital. So he can’t make it to the airport to see me. Also, he has just finished work in the Sheikh’s palace (?!) Mr J tells me he is a personal trainer to a Sheikh and his son, in the Sheikh’s palace. Wow, I almost shouted at the airport lounge. I want to meet a Sheikh too! So I say I will definitely visit him when I next transit in this city. Mr J tells me to drop by in January, when he will take me skydiving. Skydiving? Does he not know I am not the adventurous type? Does he not know I will not even jump from a springboard? Perhaps it’s because we haven’t been in touch since I met him at age 11, in the local swimming pool.
Single-serving light snack
So I board my plane to Kuala Lumpur, and because I am so tired I refuse to talk to the person next to me. Luckily he went away, because the flight wasn’t full and we could all spread our tired limbs out. And yet I refused to sleep, because I did not want to miss my Light Snack, because I had been starving for the last 10 hours. My single-serving light snack, with its single-serving chicken sandwich, single-serving chocolate bar, and single-serving milk. There is nothing to share, and no sense of eating as a community. Then I just watched old episodes of CSI Vegas because I am so in love with Warrick Brown/Gary Dourdan. Here he is, a token photo for you.