November 17, 2008

Live from Malaysia! (Pt. 1) 33 hours of traveling. With two kids under the age of four. Yup. My wife and I are insane. Nevertheless, we made it to Malaysia. The flights were great and Sophia and Norah proved to be natural globe-trotters. We got the front row of our cabin, and, since we strategically chose the two aisle seats of the middle section and one of inside seats while leaving the other inside seat empty, we managed to actually got all four seats of that row to ourselves. Guess no one wanted to sit between a couple of kids. We landed in Singapore at midnight and checked into a transit hotel for a few hours. The Changi airport in Singapore is like one-part 5-star hotel, one-part luxury mall. Too bad we were too wasted to actually enjoy it. Early the next morning we got up and got ready to fly to Malaysia. As soon as we landed, my parents surprised us at the gate. As it turns out, they have some friends who can pull a few strings! Our first stop from the airport was a place that serves my favorite Malaysian breakfast/brunch: roti canai. Instead of plates, meals are served on a gigantic banana leaf-- something Sophia found especially fascinating. I might have overdone it with the eating, but, man did it taste good! The good food kept on coming. My mom pulled out all the stops for dinner. It was so good to be in our home. The one setback has been that Holly's luggage somehow did not get loaded on the plane in Denver-- courtesy of United Airlines. Trying to get a hold of someone who knows what's going on and can help has been an exercise in futility. It seems the airline-airport blame game can produce a run-around of internationally...
Live From Malaysia! (Pt. 3) We had a fantastic day yesterday. We took the girls to an incredible aquarium in downtown Kuala Lumpur. It's connected to the two towers, which are the tallest buildings in the world. This was easily the best aquarium Holly and I had ever been to. There were large tanks of underwater creatures whose native environments range from oceans to the mighty Amazon river. The highlight, though, was a massive glass tunnel you walk under with sharks and gigantic stingray swimming overhead and on either side. Though Sophia was willing to pet a baby Tiger Shark, both girls more naturally gravitated to the friendlier turtles, of both the sea and land varieties, all of whom they insisted on calling "Tiny Tim". We spent a few hours shopping afterward. (What would the tallest buildings in the world be without a six-story luxury mall?) Decent deals. Found a few good things and some essentials-- especially since Holly's luggage still had not arrived. Word is it is on it's way to our house even as I write. Sophia and Norah are quick learners at how the whole shopping thing works. I was wishing I had my camera at a store called "Zara". They had somehow slipped their feet into a couple pairs of $400 shoes, and a slung a stylish, overpriced handbag over their shoulders to complete the ensemble. Their dream day ended when the security guard politely asked that they stop. Now. Today was much more laid back. In the morning, we visited the school my mom founded and runs. The kids performed their end of the year program for us (the Malaysian school year ends in November), complete with Malay, Chinese, and hip-hop dances. Then Holly, the girls, and I went to the pool for a late morning swim. Good times. Here...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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