Flight from Doha to Kuala Lumpur 9 May 2017
I like it when they put this calming Quranic verse just before the planes leave the gate.
I assume the meditative pose and say to my self:
Shema Israel adonai elohenu, adonay ehod
baruch shem bakod malahotho laolam vayed
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד
בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד
and I know it is going to be a good flight ..
A nice peaceful sensation, to begin the journeys.
Today it was 7 hours to Kuala Lumpur . Barbara B from Krakow is the Cabin attendant on my side. A mother and daughter, Qatari, on my right side, who made no noise whatsoever all through the flight, were busy doing some on board shopping, nursing their fruit juices. The seat next to me is vacant, a luxury that I truly appreciate. A malay couple with a small child occupy the seats by the window on this AirBus 340.
It was interesting to watch who were boarding the flight. Just next door, it was a crowded, chaotic boarding scene on a flight to Indonesia, mostly older men and their wives decked up in their holy attire, returning from Mecca. Young men and women returning home from their indentured labour in the Gulf Region. Mostly Muslim, no Middle Eastern or European customers. I made a mental note of this on this day when the court in Jakarta confirmed the "blasphemy" charges against the Chinese Christian mayor of that city for quoting a verse from Quran that says: a muslim may elect a non muslim governance.. mmm
KUL flight of course was a delightful change. Lots of Chinese, some Malay, all ages, quite a few westerners and middle easterners.
It was already 7 am in KUL when the flight left Doha so I had to make a proactive adjustment to my body.
after pre ordering a meal I had good three hours of sleep and when I woke up, BB served the tasty fish dish: Grilled red snapper fillet with wok fried noodles . and always a Karak Chai with cardamon.
A hazelnut and salted caramel tart. and then I went to sleep and BB came to wake me up just one hour before landing with the following offering.
Asparagus omelette with grilled chiecken fillet. ( I thought of my omaha indian nephrew MB who always offers freshly cooked asparagus when I visit their village)
BB has been one of the best QR cabin crew. I have good luck with them and have had a chance to know them. Maria from Bucuresti, Christopher from Goa come to mind and of course Aksam on the ground at the Lounge. the company policy prohibits contact between workers and the customers but I always want them to read the good things I say about them and i write to Customer Relations at QR praising them when I get a chance.
I have been trying to get Karak Chai but the only place I have tasted it is on QR flights.
So these are marvels of aviation. I am amazed by air travel, ever since that day, as a teenager, I took a flight from Brunei town with a stop over in Kuching to Singapore and then on to Perth and Adelaide.
I have noticed an anamoly. I never speak to any of my fellow passengers, regardless of the geographical location but always introduce myself to the people in the hospitality industry. such as BB, CMC, M as mentioned above.
When I arrived at the 34 floor Executive Lounge of Double Tree Hotel by Hilton at Ampang Park in Kuala Lumpur, Atty, the manager chided me: you are naughty, you did not let us know you are coming, but I corrected her that I had sent an email earlier. I waited a few minutes and as if they had the premonition that I needed space and tranquility on this trip of self healing and meditation, they gave me room 3401, a suite with all the facilities that I would need for the next few days. The above picture is the familiar scene from the window of the Executive Club which I have been able to share with some of my special friends.. Teheran, Omaha, Portland ..
As is my custom, I pushed my Uber app at KLIA and within 7 minutes, Doney the driver appears amidst the chaos and lack of discipline outside the Arrivals hall of the International Terminal.
Thank God for Uber. I remember KL pre-Uber when it was such a hassle to deal with rude drivers and those who wanted to cheat you of the fare.
Doney is from Kota Kinabalu in the Malaysia state of Sabah and is a Lundayeh indigenous group. I think it is more than just a coincidence that my driver happens to be an Indigenous person, not the latter day immigrant like the Malays who had come down from the Yunnan province 1500 years ago.
above is the picture of the tribe at their festival in Sepitang in Sabah.
Every time I get the chance, I do promote the technological superiority of Israel, a country prohibited by the Malaysian Government for its citizens?
I tell them about share technology on smart phones, USB, many other cell phone technology needless to mention the hundreds of medical and scientific innovation. Israel has won more Nobel Prizes (not Jews but Israelis) than the billion strong Muslim nations! Just different priorities of course?
It was interesting to look up at the history of UBER and the role played by the cantankerous and unfriendly FRENCH in its conception (no wonder to this day the French object to UBER)
here is part of a write up:
The driver cursed at them in French and threatened to kick them out of the car if they didn’t quieten down and if McCloskey didn’t move her feet. She spoke French and translated; Kalanick reacted furiously and suggested they get out of the car.Apparently they were speaking too boisterously, because halfway through the ride home, the driver started yelling at them. McCloskey was sitting in the middle of the backseat and, at 5ft 10in tall, she’d had to prop her high heels on the cushion between the two front seats.