Sunday, October 05, 2008

Malaysia Trip - Thursday August 28, 2008

I slept well last night, not the least because a Gravol tablet was knocking me out. I can’t believe I’m heading home. I spoke to Karen this morning, and the next time I speak to her it will be face-to-face. As wonder an experience as this has been I can’t wait to see my family!

I had lunch with Keat San and Ginny, showed them some pictures of my family on my laptop, and then drove to the airport. We had an interesting conversation about how to encourage young people in the church and how to encourage our own children, though I was the only one with children. After checking in my bags, we had another bite to eat at McDonalds. The interesting thing is that Burger King tastes different in Malaysia, while McDonalds tastes exactly the same. I had some “Service Coupons” I got from Cathay Pacific on the way over, to try to get an upgrade but no luck.

The flight to HK was smooth and comfortable because I had nobody sitting next to me. They served chicken with fried rice, and it was quite delicious. I also got to watch most of “Prince Caspian” on the flight, and napped for a few minutes.

The flight from HK to Vancouver was of course, long. But with the jet stream it was “only” 12 hours long, and my in-flight entertainment system was working this time. As a side note, I used my “Service Coupons” plus a some extra cash to buy myself a big treat; Bang & Olufsen headphones. I have some cheap headphones I use at home, but this gives me some really good sound as a compensation for 13 hours of boredom on the way over to Malaysia. I also ended up watching most of Ironman on the way home.

I had more questions from Canada Immigration than I’ve ever had before, but I guess this isn’t surprising since my trip didn’t fall into any of their recognized categories. Business, personal or study? Personal. What were you doing? Speaking at a conference. What kind of conference? Church. So you went over for work? No. What do you do for a living? I’m a computer programmer. But you were speaking at a church conference? Yes. Where were you staying? The Dorrset Regency Hotel, the Genting View Resort, a local family, and the guest house at Jalan Imbi Chapel. We’ll you get the idea; it didn’t fit into their categories. Not my fault if the honest answer is confusing to officialdom.

It was late when I checked into the Vancouver Airport Fairmont. I think staying in the hotel at the airport was the right choice. If I had stayed somewhere else I would have lost more than an hour in taxis. The hotel was really nice, and my first priority was a shower. They had one of those fancy rainwater style shower heads. It was good to finally feel and smell human again, even if I still looked like death warmed over.


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