Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I arrived in KL safe and well yesterday, after the energy-draining 12-hour flight from Amsterdam. For the first time in living memory, I managed to get some sleep on a flight (maybe 2 or 3 hours in half-hour blocks), but 12 hours is still way too long for a flight. My back and legs were very angry at me by the end...

After checking in to the hotel, I popped over to the Petronas Towers for my traditional first stop in KL: BBQ chicken rice. The shopping centre under the towers has a food court that, although it is near high-end shops (like Chanel, Luis Vuitton etc.), is astonishingly reasonably priced. My favourite is BBQ chicken rice: a simple dish of rice, Chinese chicken, Chinese BBQ sauce, coriander, cucumber, and a bowl of chicken broth. Simple, delicious, and the food and a soft drink cost around £1. I know that I have arrived in Malaysia when I am exhausted and eating this meal.

I fell into bed, and my tiredness led to a sitcom-style moment this morning: I set an alarm on my phone for 7am, more than enough time to be ready for the start of the conference at 8:30. Of course, in my haze of exhaustion I forgot the concept of time zones, and forgot that 7 on my phone is actually 2pm in Malaysia... Cue me waking up at 8:25, and comedically throwing on my clothes whilst simultaneously shaving and cleaning my teeth. And when I made it up to the conference (more or less on time), I was told that my presentation had been moved up to first. Let's just say that the start to my day was interesting...

My presentation was, thanks for asking, fine. Standing ovations, weeping of joy, thrown flowers, and shouts of "bravo" were just some of the things that might have happened had I actually been in a sitcom. As it was, there was polite applause and a few nice comments.

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