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May 21, 2014

Montana Bound

Tom McLaughlin

Travelling – We left Kuching on Malaysia Airlines bound for Kuala Lumpur. The thoughts of MH 370 were in the back of our minds much like a tool left out on a fence, one you always meant to retrieve. It was a nagging insistent thought of the airline that disappeared in mid air.


We had a long wait for our 23:00 or so (11:00 P.M. for the Americans) outward bound for Seoul, South Korea. The flight took six hours and we should arrive at 06:00. It would be a nice sleep over flight, I thought, with comfortable economy class seats noted on these Asian Airlines.


The problem was I couldn't sleep. Suriani, my wife, and Dzul, my three-year-old son, promptly dozed and were in a deep slumber for most of the flight. Meanwhile, I watched movie after movie awaiting the onset of slumber. Thankfully, they had two classic films, "How Green Was My Valley" and one about some guy walking on roof tops in southern Marseille or Nice (I forget which) and robbing people.


"How Green Was My Valley" was about a family in Wales (at least I think it was Wales) that centered around a young boy who narrated the plot. There was a lot of singing, drinking and fighting in this John Ford directed film. The other one starred Cary Grant (at least I think it was him), who ended up being a private detective looking for the real thief.


We were promised a hotel room by Korean Air, the connection we were to make before our U.S. entry point of Seattle. I managed to walk through security after the flight. I have never understood these check points as we had no way of obtaining any contraband while the plane was in the air. I mean, where would we obtain illegal whiskey 38,000 feet up?


Having passed that ridiculous encounter, we searched for the hotel and discovered we were in the wrong part of the terminal. We had to thread back through the same check point and then search for the place to get our hotel room. It was at Gate One and we were at Gate Six, a long way away. We carried three back packs and a computer bag. Thank god they had the free carts.


The hotel was a five minute drive from the airport, but we had to wait for about 45 minutes for the "hotel guy" to show up. He was late or actually did not come until 8:00 when his shift started. We had been roaming the airport for about two hours searching for this very spot.


I was pretty irritable, not having slept the night before and desperately wanted a shave and a wash. And I was hungry. We arrived at the hotel, and after putting down a deposit of 100,000 Won so we wouldn't steal anything, were immediately offered a breakfast buffet. I sat down and had a good western breakfast, minus the pork.


The day was spent in bed snoozing while Dzul and Suriani watched cartoons on some contraption we had bought in Kuching. It seemed it always needed to be charged and was frustratingly always empty of juice just when Dzul wanted it. I was all set to throw it out of the plane on one our trips, but my wife grabbed me in time.


...Life is good. . . . .


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