Monday, April 06, 2009


Happy Hung Kings Day!* This year is only the third annual official observance of this newly-created national holiday. Since this meant we had a three-day weekend, we packed off to Kuala Lumpur and didn't have to return home until earlier this evening. That flight was a highlight of our weekend, maybe one of the most amazing things we've done during our stay here. We'd gotten off the ground forty minutes late due to a pounding storm which broke right as we were taxiing. And broke with the works: bright strobe lightning, porthole-rattling thunder, and blinding churns of opaque rain. "Heh heh," said the captain of that Malaysia Airlines seven-something-seven, even as I could feel wind actually shaking the parked aircraft, "we'll be sitting right here till this thing blows over." I sat there alright, refusing to look out the windows, but I could sense the storm hadn't more than slightly lessened when he'd crackled onto the intercom again and advised us we were taking off right now as he did just that. But it was somehow calming to shoot gracefully into the air after that, with nary a buffet or chop as we floated right through those flashing black clouds. Pretty impressive, Captain Malaysia. This calming effect became part of a confluence of events allowing me to do something I can't usually do: look out the windows. Also we were on the right side of the plane. Also, after all that, Captain Malaysia decided to cruise into town underneath the southern delta region's extensive cloud cover, affording some twenty minutes of dramatically-lit Mekong countryside crawling along beneath us just two to three thousand feet down, every boat and radio antenna and paddy and canal and conical hat clearly defined against one of the Earth's most iconic surfaces. Recommended. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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