Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Update Actually From Malaysia!


Dear Adam,

I decided to write my blog as a series of open letters, because it's more fun that way and it'll probably keep me more dedicated.  I hope you don't mind me addressing the first one to you, but there is a reason for this, I promise.

So anyway, here's a fun story.  I just traveled 10,000 miles in about 36 hours.

The flight to Hong Kong and the one from there to Kuala Lumpur were run by a certain Asian airline, and I guess they do things differently there, or at least their engineers do.

I mean, the plane for the overnight was obviously huge - about 60 rows with ten seats per row, or something like that.  But the seats themselves were tiny!  I honestly think they were even narrower and more thinly padded than any economy-class domestic flight seats I've ever seen!  Oh man, and some genius engineer probably got a huge bonus for the design of how the seat reclines.

Basically, when you press the button, the seat under your butt slides forward and takes the padding for your seat back with it.  This is what they call "reclining" in these parts - not some sissy seat back tilting backwards.  Adam, your mission as an engineer is now to make sure that nothing like this is ever conceived again.

But I really can't complain about the meals or the entertainment.  The food was quite decent, especially that interesting breakfast of chicken-and-mushroom-and-ginger-in-porridge.  With-yoghurt.  Which you must try to learn how to make.  Also, they literally had over a hundred movies and shows of all types available, recent and classic, and you could start them and pause them whenever you wanted!  Turns out it's okay if you can't really sleep because your seat won't recline.

Anyway, I met up with one other Fulbright girl, Anna, who was seated just one row ahead of me on this flight, and then we met up with another girl, Nou, at the Hong Kong airport, basically by Facebook commenting until we found each other.

When we got to Kuala Lumpur, the driver Jo was there to meet all of us and squeeze us into his van, then drive us at breakneck speed to the hotel.

We then went out to the fanciest, ritziest, most shiny and expensive mall I have ever seen.  I didn't buy anything more than a little gelato, but I gaped plenty.

And now I'm at the hotel in Kuala Lumpur, with over a dozen other Fulbrighters who all seem really cool and interesting, and now I have to decide whether sleep time or bonding time is more important.

Oh man guess what!  I found swing dancers here!  Their weekly dance is on Tuesdays, so I know what I'm doing tonight...

Anyway, I miss you tons.  Hope you're doing okay; let me know how the job's working out!



  1. Awesome blog! I feel so cool being the first person you write an entry to. Sorry my fellow engineers are a bunch of evil, ruthless, heartless deviants locked up in some factory spending every day designing things that will make you uncomfortable. I like to think im not quite that evil though....right?

  2. I suspect that bowl of chicken, mushroom, and ginger julienne in rice porridge is congee (or “jook” in Cantonese). Yes, it's delicious, and makes me want to buy some tasty chicken.