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Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The Post Christmas Turkey Post

I flew to London two days after BestGuyFriend’s wedding. I figured that I needed at least two days to recover from the massive drinking binge undertaken on Saturday 6th December as one of the seven uber responsible bridesmaids. I have flashbacks of the different things we did that night and the twelve nights before that. I mean, with six boys and nine girls all above the legal age, what would one expect? Some stuff are so X-rated, that I shan’t share here less I get some grumpy parents write me an email reprimanding me for being a bad role model for young impressionable Malaysian teenagers.

(Warning: Noone drove on the nights the seven bridesmaids and four best men went out drinking with the bride and groom. Everything was within walking distance - condos, bungalow, 711 and the two swimming pools. Yes, we planned the wedding THAT well.)

What I am safe to tell you is that some of us swam in the pool after midnight, feeling as carefree as anyone would feel at Fat Boy Slim’s Live in Brighton concert. Some of us locked ourselves up in a room, giggling and laughing as we relaxed into a daze-like ambience. The philosophers among us gathered by the pool and discussed what seemed absolutely essential to humankind existence at 5 a.m. One or two tickled all the sleeping ones as punishment for sleeping before everyone else.

I remember drinking at least eight glasses of vodka and whiskey cocktails through the night and dancing like a mad gorilla learning sign language.

Oh god. I have sidetracked. Back to topic. Back to topic.

When I bought the ticket, I did it the same way I always do. In a great big, rush. And in my haste, I failed to realise what a miserable 28 hour journey it would turn out to be, with onboard transit in Muskat and a 5 hour transit in Bahrain, where women travelled only with male relatives (or husbands). Every group was either a group of men or women with their male companions. Or the three English girls that grouped together. I was so konked out from the earlier flight that I held my hand luggage as tightly as I could when I did a 5 hour freefall into slumber.

And just when I thought I could scream the loudest “HURRAH!” ever as we approached Heathrow, there came a man’s voice over the intercom with the crappiest news any traveler on a 28 hour flight journey would ever want to hear.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. We are soon descending into London Heathrow where the visibility is at 150m. The minimum is 300m and therefore we cannot land at the moment. But don’t worry as we have two hour worth of fuel and if everything fails, we will land in an airport close by.”

I had more frown lines that a Shar Pei dog on heat. I looked over to my neighbour, a typical English bloke who travelled by working at different locations as a diving instructor. I complained about how I had travelled for 28 hours and only shut up when I realised he started two hours before me from Bangkok and he missed his flight from Muskat. Then again, he was silly to miss his leg of the flight from Muskat.

Thankfully I arrived on the day that I did because flights to Heathrow were cancelled for the next three days, causing a terrible backlog of hundred of thousands of travellers rushing back for their bit of the Christmas turkey (which by the way tastes every bit better with fresh cranberry sauce). Somehow London is swarmed by a neverending line of transportation chaos, from strikes to terrorist attacks to nerve wrecking security checks and severe weather conditions.

And four days after flying for 28 hours, Alex and I drove 10 hours to Scotland, just in time to hang up all the Christmas lights and decorations. A bunch of silver candles and a few dozens of baubles later, the whole house looked absolutely merry. And for the next three days, the house is filled with Alex’s relatives and cousins, including the star of the hour, little baby Samuel.

This Christmas is a little more reflective than the previous. No, I cannot reflect anymore than I do daily but perhaps I am cut off from the rest of the world (meaning work and crazy friends that skinny dip at 5 a.m.) and I look inward for entertainment. Perhaps a little wander through the recess of my mind, in search of the meaning of happiness and purpose in life.

I am not used to having twelve other relatives in the house for many days. My family is quite small and we do not have many relatives visiting and when they occasionally drop by, it’s usually for a meal and bed for the night. Surrounded by so many giggling cousins, uncles, aunts and brother of aunt, I find myself seeking refuge in my bedroom, resting with a book in hand.

I am yet to warm up to Zadie Smith’s “On Beauty”. It is supposed to be a good book with awards and that shit, but somehow it is not tickling me in the right places. I do notice that she is using a writer’s trick that I discovered quite by chance (while writing this blog) but she has taken the whole trick to a new height. The book just goes on and on and on without really getting anywhere. It just does not interest me, so I am reading it at the moment to analyse words, phrases and punctuations. How awfully strange.

Alex’s parents were generous in their gifts. I received a cashmere scarf to keep me warm during winter walks and a thermal blouse that looked so good that I could wear it as an outer blouse! Both were from Brora, if you happen to be one of ANNN's shopping freaks. They were rather surprised that I managed to bring sufficient winter attire (not the most glamorous but keeps me sufficiently warm) and were even more surprised when I said we had boutiques selling winter clothes just like they do on Oxford Circus.

“Why do you need the clothes when there isn’t a winter in Malaysia?”

“Many buy the clothes when they travel,” I said, sounding almost smug at the thought of Malaysians being cosmopolitan and chic.

December 26th passed without any untoward incidences. I am sure that Nikki breathed a sigh of great relief that there wasn’t a big bad tsunami visiting her on the 2nd anniversary while she suntanned her Scottish ass on Phi Phi Island. Honeymooners. On the other hand, Dumfries and Galloway (where I am staying at the moment) was hit by an earthquake measuring 3.2 on the ricther scale. Did. Not. Feel. A. Thing.

Sitting in the cold here in Scotland, I am plotting my next holiday plan. Do you think it is a little rush if I ran off to some deserted island or to Bangkok during the Chinese New Year holidays? By the way, when is the Chinese New Year? I crave for sunshine at the moment so much so that I imagine basking in the sun on some sandy beach in my red bikini. Now all I need to do is add Daniel Craig into the equation.

Daniel Craig makes the most delightful daydream, I am telling you. Especially on cold days such as the 27th. I think I will go off and dream a little more.

"Here is the change, chicken," I was buying yet another box of Strepsils, now that I had left one box in Malaysia and another box in London.

"Do you think we should have a rule against calling me "chicken" in public, Small Small?" Alex asked, tailing after me.

What names do you call your partners? Let's search for some novel ones before 2007 =)

From my bedroom window.

The Christmas tree, brought to you by the letters OTTO and ALEX.

Plunder for thy presents!

The star to guide you to your destiny.

The latest carpet look - fat cat casper.

Christmas present this year happens to be a trip to Italy starting January 4th.

Yay! Milan, here I come!

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