Arrived and Getting Settled

After a long, albeit pleasant, flight from Vancouver, we arrived in Hong Kong.  It was early in the morning, just after sunrise, about 23C and quite misty, so not much to be seen.

Upon landing, we had a wee walk, a train ride, and another wee walk to get to our departure gate.  Then a few moments to relax before boarding our flight to Kuala Lumpur, the final air leg of our trip.  Good wifi allowed me to upload my latest blog post and to catch up on Facebook with those following our journey.

The flight to Kuala Lumpur via Cathay Pacific was, once again, pleasant and quiet, with most passengers either watching television or looking out the window.  Breakfast was eggs with bacon or chicken with rice.  As usual we had one of each, both were very good.  We touch down in Malaysia with a soft bump and prepare to de-plane.

Now is time for a walk, then a train ride, with one stop before Immigration.  Kim and Richard have to visit one of the duty-free shops to pick up a couple of “beverages” for presents.  From there to Immigration, passports checked, index fingers scanned, all is good, and we go to collect our baggage.  Another successful flight, ALL six bags are present, accounted for, and undamaged. Win!

Then comes our first hiccup.  We proceed to the departure hall, to find a payphone and alert our ride of our arrival.  Kim and Richard were able to locate two payphones, however neither one worked.  Plan B was now put into play.  We will purchase our Malaysia SIM cards now for our cell phones.  Meanwhile, one of the transportation booths was kind enough to allow Kim to use their phone.  Driver contracted, but oops, he thought we were arriving at 4:00 not 1:00 as we did, so he was still in Melaka.  Never fear, he had an associate who was available, and it turned out we only had to wait about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile we all got our new SIM cards.  I got one with lots of data so as to be able to do all my social media things.  In addition to my phone service I got 3GB of data (plus receiving a promo of 1.5GB free) for RM100 for the month.  If you are comparing data charges, that is Cdn$35.

Now our driver, Mr Soh, arrives and we have the challenge of putting the luggage into his Toyota SUV.  After no small amount of effort, we managed to place six checked bags, three carry-on bags, two computer bags, one purse and four people in the vehicle, and off we went.  A most personable chap, Mr Soh soon determined that a meal enroute would not be unacceptable, indicating that he knew of an excellent chicken rice place on the way.
He was correct.  The chickens were raised on a soybean diet, the meat being very smooth and very little fat.  The chicken rice, combined with fresh fish-ball soup, made a delicious meal.  It was also a great time to relax for the rest of the drive to Melaka.

First stop in Melaka was at sister Hong’s house to drop off Richard.  One of the first things I did was to go inside and give niece Ah Kim a big hug and a kiss on the forehead.  It is so nice to see her, she was stricken with polio as a very young child and has been basically bound to her modified lawn chair for almost fifty years, yet she is always so cheerful and bubbly.  She spends a great deal of time on Facebook and has many friends.

Next on the agenda, is our Melaka home, it is also where daughter Cynthia lives.  Great hugs all round, so nice to be home.  Baggage is taken inside and soon the living room here looks the same as did our living room in Edmonton, only this time things were coming out of the suitcases, not going in.  Well that is not really true, actually things were being relocated for future delivery to daughter Jaclyn and grandchildren in Johor Bahru.

To finish the day we were off to enjoy an nice meal then home and bed about 11:00.

Next morning, up before 7:00, relaxing with a Malaysian coffee and enjoying the morning from our small (quite small) balcony.  Temperature was 23C and a nice breeze was blowing.  A far cry from the -15C we left in Edmonton, however we are managing to suffer through it.

Very close to our apartment is the coffee shop that used to be owned by Kim’s father.  It is still owned by the folks who bought it from him and they always look forward to seeing us, well particularly Kim.

So over we went for breakfast, after which we went over to sister Hong’s to visit and pick up Richard.  Oh, and we also have a few things to drop off, and, lo and behold, take a few photos such as the one shown on the left.  There we have Cynthia, Richard, Ah Kim, Hong, Phuong and Kim.

Then nephew Ah Boy shows up and we all decide to go for Teo-Chew style congee, joined by brother Ming, also visiting from Canada.  It seems we are settling nicely into the routine of regular food occurrences, which is fine by us.

By now I am also getting into the routine of driving in Malaysia.  As seems to be the norm, there are three systems of driving here.  The first is the official rules of the road, the second being the way that people actually drive, and the third being for motos (those on motorbikes).  The key seems to be knowing how the first is being interpreted by the second and then being on the constant lookout for the third.  The other aspect which must be kept in mind is that the steering wheel in on the right side of the vehicle, meaning that the vehicle is maintained on the left side of the road.  That all being said, driving in places like Chicago, Montreal or Vancouver can be good practice for Malaysia, then adding the wild card that is the motos.

Okay, we are going to a place recommended by Ah Boy to pick up a washing machine, microwave and a toaster for the apartment.  It was a good recommendation as we bought all three for RM1170 (Cdn$410), including delivery and installation.  The installation was scheduled for three hours later.

A little more shopping and then heading home when another oops occurred.  Our loyal steed overheated, in the middle of rush hour traffic.  Aargh!  Okay, no major issue, we pulled over, let it cool down and added water, a nearby shop let us use their tap.  Hmm, seems that the upper rad hose had sprung a leak.  We got home, installation guy was waiting for us, inside we went, and washing machine was installed.  Kim took Richard back to sister’s, Cynthia went off to work and yours truly relaxed in the apartment.  Kim returned with food that sister Hong had prepared, and then it was time for bed.  The first full day in Malaysia had come to a conclusion.

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