More welcome distractions

We flew out of Manila today. But of course we got another round in of local food before we left πŸ˜‚ I’ll write up a review or two shortly in my food blog of some of the places we went to during this short trip.

I got into my head again on the flight. I know what it is that I do: I have no wifi, stuck in this tiny seat up 10 bajillion miles in the air, and sometimes I’m in no mood to watch anything on their entertainment system, so I just listen to music. And then the music somehow starts turning into background noise while I let my mind run loose, contemplating everything from family to our upcoming move to HK to the meaning of life and my role in it. I didn’t get too caught up in my thoughts this trip, at least not as much as I usually do πŸ˜† I was listening to a few songs that we could dance to, so I just ran through a few of our routines in my mind. That was a welcome distraction! πŸ˜‚ And then for some unknown reason, someone sitting near me on the flight piled on his aftershave mid-flight, so the occasional whiff wafting by my seat also randomly jolted me out of any reverie that I could have been in during the flight πŸ˜‚

But now we’re back to reality, and along with it, my apprehension about this upcoming move to HK. I’m trying to change my nervousness to excitement, as the experts say that physiologically your body’s reaction is exactly the same whether you’re scared or excited, and that it’s just what’s playing in your mind that is different. So I’m VERY EXCITED about this move to HK!! πŸ˜‚ SOOO EXCITED!! BRING IT ON!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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Wedding Day

It was the day of the wedding that we’d been invited to, the primary reason for our flight to Manila. They had their ceremony in a church, and then the reception was just under 4km away. But with the Manila traffic, this still took at least 15-20mins, can you believe it?? 😲

They had this band Rivermaya play at the reception, and virtually everyone knew the songs that they were playing. I asked one of the guys on our table if this band was famous, and he replied with “SUPER famous!” 🀣 He seemed incredulous that we didn’t know who these guys were πŸ˜‚ I suspect we were the only people in the room who didn’t know this band. They were actually pretty good – well obviously, since the whole room was singing to their songs! So I have to go and listen to a few of them now 😊

And then soon after this band finished their last song, people started heading home. It was actually relatively early (around 10pm), so I was surprised that the wedding was wrapping up already. Chinese weddings seem to finish relatively early too. Maybe it’s just the western weddings that go on and on… πŸ˜†

And then in the Grab on the way back to our hotel, there was a cushion thing on the back of my seat. It was SO comfortable, I couldn’t believe how comfy it was. I was almost falling asleep in the car, which rarely happens! And we got such a good run back to the hotel too: half an hour to travel 14km. I now understand why the time taken to travel around Manila is such a big discussion point with the locals! πŸ˜†

Grabbing our way around Manila

We woke up really late, and by the time we ventured out of the hotel, it was already close to 12 noon πŸ˜‚ Wayyy past the breakfast window at the hotel. So we had to go outside to look for my western breakfast 😊 Luckily I found it πŸ‘

On our way to the cafe, there was this cute little girl walking around clumsily on her own, and I figured her mum or dad was around somewhere just out of sight, perhaps around the corner. We then turned the corner and saw her mum. And their home. Which was basically the footpath. It then explained why she was walking around in just her underwear and with no shoes. F me, that was so heartbreaking πŸ˜” That’s one thing that I can’t handle about South East Asia: seeing the abject poverty. It’s really hard to see people living in such squalid conditions 😞

Having Uber/Grab in Manila makes getting around sooo much easier, especially for tourists who don’t know their way around. So today we got to go to Makati, Pasig and back to Malate where we’re staying. The distance between each of these areas isn’t too far, roughly around 10km, but the traffic is so bad that it could take over an hour to go that distance 😲 Crazy stuff. I couldn’t go by the Google Maps estimates, as they severely underestimated the impact of traffic πŸ˜‚

So in order to get to the wedding on time tomorrow, we’re going to have to at least double the Google Maps time! 😲

Distractions

With my parents being in town the last few days, they’ve managed to distract me enough to forget all my anxiety about this move to HK. But now that they’re on their flight to their next destination, the planning has resumed, and the stress of it all has also returned πŸ˜”

We are working on a leaving date of 18 November. Removalists are coming 15 November, and we have a few days to clean the house before we hand over the keys. We’re staying at the Fullerton Hotel for the last few days. I thought that’d be a nice way to end our stint in SG, staying in an iconic hotel at Raffles Place right by the Singapore River.

I tracked my parents’ flight to Dublin, and then I started packing for my own trip to Manila this weekend. We’re going to a wedding on Saturday! 😊 At least that also distracted me from all the moving stuff, and being in Manila for the next few days will hopefully continue to distract me.

I watched a Chinese movie on the plane called How Long Will I Love U. In Chinese, it is called θΆ…ζ—Άη©ΊεŒε±…, which I would translate as something like “Living Together Across Time and Space” – which is more closely linked to what the movie is about! Why do they give such random English names that is totally unrelated to the Chinese one?? My loose translation probably isn’t very marketable (and may not even be accurate πŸ˜‚), but surely the guys at the movie company could?! I don’t understand πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ It wasn’t a bad movie, nonetheless 😊

We’re hoping to practise a bit tomorrow, we brought our shoes and everything πŸ˜† Let’s see if we can find somewhere in the hotel to practise…!

Kuala Lumpur long weekend – Friday

I’ve been up since 6am. By 8am, I had my first cup of coffee and I was only just starting to feel normal. Sighhh… Mornings and night owls do not mix πŸ˜” We are flying with some friends, a husband and wife, and their baby, and we’re going by the baby’s schedule, hence the ridiculously early morning flight. Well, a 9am flight is ridiculously early for me πŸ˜†

The flight is just as long as a flight from Sydney to Canberra. And the plane required to travel such a distance is also domestic-size. I was just settling into my seat and enjoying my second cup of coffee for the day (I seriously need the caffeine if I have to be up so damn early!) when the second officer announces over the PA system that we will be landing shortly 🀣 🀣 We had pretty much just taken off and now we were landing already! It’s like the plane will only have time to make a triangle in the air πŸ›« πŸ”Ό πŸ›¬

After the very short plane ride, we then caught the train to KL Sentral, and from there, a cab to the hotel. The express train was pretty quick, actually, and quite a comfortable ride. The scenery out the window was basically palm trees galore. Very green.

🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴

Our room wasn’t ready yet when we arrived at the hotel, so we made our way to Petronas Towers before checking in. That was a nice view up there. The Palace of Culture was one of my favourite architectural marvels that I could see from up there. This is the best shot I could take given the distance and the quality of my camera – ie from my phone!

Palace of Culture

I would’ve liked to have had more time up there, as somehow it got away from me. I just got to wander around and look at the different buildings all around KL, but I barely got to look at any of the displays on the viewing floor itself, or even muck around with the virtual reality display. I think each group is allotted 20-30 mins, but it felt like half that to me. Oh well. Nonetheless, it was fun while we were there.

Then we got to experience the joy of KL traffic on a Friday afternoon during peak hour, travelling back to our hotel. Still not as bad as Manila, but definitely not that great. It took us maybe close to 40mins to travel 1.5km. And that doesn’t even include the waiting time for the Grab car to reach us (probably an additional 20mins on top of that!). We could’ve walked that in less time! πŸ˜”

Once we settled in to our hotel rooms, we then headed down to Jalan Alor for dinner. It’s a street food night market, with a bajillion stalls to choose from. If you wanted to, I reckon you could spend weeks (months?!) here, trying out each and every stall.

My Hail Mary shot of Jalan Alor

The boys then went for a massage, while the girls had an early night. So here I am writing today’s post a littler earlier than usual 😊

So our first day in KL:

  • We got to visit Petronas Towers;
  • We experienced KL peak hour traffic; and
  • We got to eat at Jalan Alor

Not bad πŸ‘

And despite the very early morning start, I am still somewhat ok at 10:30pm. I might read a bit more of Andre Agassi’s book tonight before bed 😊