Friday, 5 February 2010

A not so auspicious beginning

This time next week I won't be sitting in the muggy heat in my home in Sydney, I will be in the muggier and hotter home of my husband, Malaysia.

As this trip comes ever closer I remember my first holiday there, my first grown up overseas trip.

I will never forget walking off the plane into the airbridge and being hit by the overpowering humidity. I remember that I was surprised that all the uniformed men around were very much smaller than the ones I was used to seeing, their guns were very much bigger and their presence was much stronger. I remember that the air smelled. I still don't know what that smell was but I suspect it was a mix of incense and garlic.

I passed through the border controls and exited the terminal, my sweetheart was waiting and we kissed while people stared. We shopped and we ate Hainanese chicken and rice. We stayed at the YMCA because he couldn't take me to the place where he lived, where he slept on the floor.

That night the sounds and colours, the smells and the sheer busyness of the night markets were new and exciting. It was a dizzying time and tomorrow I was to meet his family.

The day dawned and we shopped a little more before heading off on the road north. As we finished shopping I thought maybe I felt unwell, I didn't understand this odd feeling I had......
I understood better when I lost my lunch in his beloved Escort.

He drove and I vomited. We followed slow logging trucks for miles and we overtook not in windows of opportunity but in peepholes. Inevitably then I would make my call for a stop and the painful process would start again.

Finally, we arrived. We pulled up at the back of the shop hot and sweaty with me pale and unfocussed. I tried to be smiling and pleasant but I soon gave up and retreated to bed.

When I felt a little better Grandma came to see me, she talked and K translated and I vomited. Again. On Grandma.


  1. Not an auspicious beginning, for sure. I hope the rest of the trip was more enjoyable. Last time I flew to Oz, I had food poisoning all the way there from an egg sandwich at Heathrow. Not the most pleasurable trip of my life.

  2. I can feel the muggy oven-like air here. Panama was the same way, first time I came top-side...and the sick that followed...oooh...bad memory jog!

  3. Ooooh noooo...what a story...was it food poisoning? funky water? one of my worst fears.

  4. Oh what fun!!

    My last round of food poisoning (whether or not that's what you had) hit its miserable peak just before I had to board a flight to get home. (Oh, and I get rather motion sick when I am feeling great.)

    After I filled my elegant airsickness bag with my first 2 purges, I tried to give it to a flight attendant (since we were not allowed to leave our seats). She was rather unsympathetic and not at all receptive to my gift. I believe what she actually said was roughly, "I don't want *that*!"

    I had to borrow another passenger's bag for the remainder of the trip.

    I hope this next trip goes more smoothly for you!

  5. You are very entertaining! Safe travels to you.
    How long on the plane will you have to be?

  6. Oh, you poor thing!!! What a horrible thing to go through!

    Must have been some bad food poisoning.

    One of my worst fears. Sounds like a total nightmare.

  7. LOL, I just now read Leah's comment. I said the same thing she did.

  8. Getting off the plane in Mississippi is a little like that--heat and humidity-wise. It's also the nearest a Third World atmosphere one can get in this country. I hope you have a better time this trip.

  9. nick,
    the rest of the trip was good.

    food poisoning on a plane. hmmm nice

    was it better to be out in the humidity than locked away in a metal tube?

    i considered a warning just for you :)
    food poisoning i guess but i never knew. i was sick for over a week but the first day was worst and after that i could make a pretence at normality

    i wouldnt have wanted your gift either :)

    it's an eight hour flight when nonstop but we are going via the gold coast so it's going to be a longish day

    i also considered a warning for you.
    it was not fun but i've had worse times

    it's gonna be fine.

  10. My workmates of old called the product of these chunder activities
    pavement pizzas and technicolour yawns!

  11. If all this sickness had taken place in Oz it would be deemed a chunder down under.

  12. kylie, much cooler under the water-line, heh, heh...

    Had a nasty bit of trouble with something I ate, whilst in Columbia...'nuff said on that :(

  13. Oh Kylie! I cackled in an evil fashion, when someone sees the worst of you first then anything else has to be a pleasant surprise right? :) I hope so anyway lol!

  14. Well? He loved you in spite of yourself, it seems. You must be quite the woman, to capture the love of your life in spite of vomiting all over the place. Cheers to you! You are a very funny gal, as we say here in my little rural neck of the woods on the central coast of California. Enjoyed my stay, and now it's time to fly home. Bon voyage next week.

  15. abi,
    i think you're right, everything from then on had to be a plus :)


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