(Day 2 in Office, Malaysia)
After 81 days away, I was back home.
We left the workplace in Kabul on last Wednesday and after encountering couple of roadblocks including one manned by a German mechanized infantry unit, we reached Kabul airport couple of minutes before boarding closed. Being pre-warned about the wide spread bribery in the complex, we were ready with couple of local currencies to be given away as “gift” to the officials manning several areas in the complex. I lost couple of rechargeable batteries when my bag was being scanned through at a security checkpoint and I suspected the guy who was manning the scanner to be the culprit. Other than that, there were no major incidents.
The flight back from Kabul to Dubai was a pleasant one – I rather enjoyed the flight although the food was terrible (either that or I had enough of Afghan food). It was a 2 hours flight from Kabul and we used it to catch up on some sleep (we were too excited to sleep last night). When we landed in Dubai, the temperature was 46’C. Too hot for us and it affected us immediately – headache and diarrhea. The flight out from Dubai to Malaysia was in the next morning. So, we had time for shopping in Dubai (something we could not do when we were in Kabul – because it was not safe to shop and most items was hiked up in USD). I managed to make quick buy things for the house, wife and son (damn, he is crazy about Spiderman).
I arrived in KL on Thursday night and still had bad case of diarrhea and headache. I saw couple of people jumping queue near a counter and I know for sure that I was in Malaysia – morons! I had a great “home made nasi lemak” dinner, before relaxing and chit-chatting with my wife before dozing off tiredly. My bed looked really cozy.
The next day I was still not feeling that well – I guessed that the Afghan virus must be battling the Dubai and Malaysian virus in my stomach. There was one way to calm all of them down – drink plenty of fresh coconut water. And it did get better after the 3rd cup and a large dose of Malaysian food (plenty of chilly, vegetables and clean water).
By Sunday, I back to “almost normal” condition. I lost weight when I was in Kabul – lost almost 10 kg. It felt great to be slimmed down, so I was not in a big rush to eat up a lot of juicy Malaysian food. I was pretty sure that I would gain back at least 15 kg if I did that (that is what happened the last time I came back from Ghana). My wife liked the new look – so, I wanted to maintain it so.
I did not realise that Pak Lah got re-married recently – I guess he will running home early on Thursdays for his “Malam Jumaat” meetings now. Other than that, little have changed – politicians remains to be a pain in the neck, the traffic jams are still bad (but somehow I liked to be driving in one, gosh!), plenty of queue jumpers in the morning to keep the blood pressure high (and improve on swearing skills), the price of the food at the near the workplace have increased (very predictable) and KL still got flooded (one good screw to back for those who talked highly of the SMART tunnel).
It was good to be back …