There is so much going on at the moment, and so much to write about.
I had a really great time in KL, and was able to laugh and marvel at my ridiculous “jet-setting” lifestyle again. It also occurred to me that it won’t last forever, and that I need to appreciate my freedom right now.
This trip also provided the opportunity to think about my job and whether I want it to continue, and the benefits and challenges of the lifestyle of an ‘aid worker’. I think I will save those thoughts for another post. Although, I will simply say that weekends in KL fall clearly into the benefit category.
I finally bought sheets for my bed, and I think this was one of the best purchases I could have made. The best part was that it felt extravagant and luxurious, but actually wasn’t really, as two sheets and two pillowcases cost about AUD60 and I’d been fixated on how terrible my current sheets are for so long. Spending that kind of money isn’t exactly going to put off buying a house for another year. But of course, I also spent money on sushi, books, and a haircut which might cumulatively put off buying a house for another year, but that’s fine because I really don’t want to buy a house right now.
I stayed in an excellent guesthouse called number eight, which I recommend to everyone without reservation. It’s comfortable, clean, stylish and cheap. But if you are planning to stay in KL anytime soon book ahead because it’s popular.
I had a long wait at the airport on the day I left KL, and was shaken out of my KL-induced zen-state by the many Australians in transit. I don’t intend to complain about Australians, but when I see and hear Australians I notice their behaviour more acutely.
One incident that really shook me up (which might say more about my fragile state at 6.30am), was when a girl of about 14 had a moment in Starbucks. She was ordering a muffin and the Malaysian-Indian girl behind the counter asked her to repeat what she wanted, unclear of what flavour she’d asked for. The Australian girl misheard the Starbucks worker and started to panic. I was walking up to counter at the same time, and had heard the exchange, so piped up that the girl wanted a banana muffin, but it was too late, she burst in to tears and screamed “I don’t understand!!” An overreaction sure, but I guess she was probably just tired and intimidated and wasn’t very good at controlling her emotions. But what shocked me most was the reaction from her family. She ran to their table and was met by her parents’ shouting with absolute disgust, “what’s wrong with you?”, “what’s your problem?” Then a drink was spilled and the tension escalated. What that girl needed in that moment of panic and what she received from her parents were so fundamentally different. The tension escalated further until her mum told her to “get out of my sight, I can’t look at you right now”.
Again, I want to clarify that I’m not linking this incident to the Australian-ness of these people, just that because they were an Australian family I seemed to take the incident more personally (why? I don’t know. A question for another post, but probably the more interesting component of the story).
Maybe there is a history of this girl behaving this way, and her parents are frustrated and tired, and I don’t want to judge anyone’s reactions. Her parents are only human too. But it was sad to see a girl panic over something fairly minor and instead of receiving support from what would be her main support network she was told she was bad and that there was something wrong with her. It seemed sad that humans aren’t very good at understanding each other.
It was all just too much too much for 6.30am.