Friday, February 20, 2004

Jan. 2, about 4:30 a.m.

Why I am awake now, I don't know. Earlier, perhaps, I could blame it on the roosters, but I think they stopped. So has sleep for me, evidently.

Things are a little wild! Andy [Malaysian guy from the hotel/flight] convinced me that since Winnie's address was in the same area as his family's house, I should just go to his house with his family. This has turned out pretty well, although I'm not sure how much of a burden it is on the family. I felt like an invader, though they were welcoming. His mother, father, grandfather, a brother and sister, and several young female cousins met him at the airport and went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner.

It was loud, busy, and slow, but good. Many dishes were passed around the table, although Andy had them bring me a larger plate, fork and spoon. They stripped me of my chance to prove my mettle with the chopsticks. I think I was the only non-Chinese in the whole place--probably the first time I've felt truly foreign. Seems fitting.

Last night was also the first time in months I ate meat on purpose. It felt a little strange, but I had no adverse reactions. I wasn't about to go against my fundamental travel edict: try (almost) everything.

I don't quite have the ear for English-Malay accents yet. Andy's little cousins and brother would talk to me and I could hardly understand. It was so fast.

Andy put me up in the guest room once we arrived at the house. Again, I have no idea hwo his parents feel about this. Around 11:30, I finally got through to Winnie, but she and Meesh wouldn't be back in KL until around 1. I was so exhausted I figured I'd be asleep--turns out I wasn't--and I didn't want to disturb his family in the middle of the night. So we're going to meet at 8 this morning. I said I'd walk up the street but then Andy said he'd give me a ride (after I got off the phone, of course). So we'll see.

It's so different already. There's no mistaking my location far away from home. It's beautiful and terrifying and I need to call my mom. She's got to be worried.

And I have to pee again. All this tea, straight to my bladder.

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