vendredi 15 décembre 2017

KUALA LUMPUR TO DOHA TO BRUSSELS A TIRING JOURNEY WITH A PLEASANT STOPOVER

I left USA on the 8th and today is 15th and I have covered nearly 2/3 or more of the circumference of the earth.
One alarming fact is :
in the last eight days I have paid only for one meal, a humble dosai at Saravanna Bhavan at KLCC food court at 7.40 MYR, less than two dollars.
On this long journey the story was no different. A frequent Flier accumulates privileges which is more than just free travel (I also have not paid for the long haul journeys, Chicago to Tokyo to Singapore as well as Kuala Lumpur to Doha to Brussels). Hotels in Asia are very generous with their regular guests with food and drinks. Double Tree Hotel has a breakfast spread I am sure you are not going to find anywhere in the USA , even if you are paying ten times the price. Executive Lounge at DT KL is an oasis and there is always something to pick on, with a happy hour at 5 30 with wine and savouries. The stay of three days came out of my Hilton Frequent Flier points as did a stay at Marriott Marquis at Doha (courtesy of Visit Qatar).
Long flights, sitting at long times at seats however comfortable, eating without constraint, all has very bad psychological effects upon a person who preaches good nutrition and exercise as part of my professional counselling.

 The wonderful lounge at KLIA of the Malaysian Airlines was closed for refurbishment, so I used the recently remodelled Regional Lounge of MH at KLIA. I fondly thought of the last time I was here when myself and my brother Eliyahu were flying off to Siem Reap in Cambodia. He is rather fond of Asian noodles for breakfast and had two bowls of made to order asian noodles that day, as he correctly recalled many months later.
 I was eager to read Sadhguru's book, a gift of my good friend MCY in KL. It also drew the attention of the Chief Cabin Crew member, an educated lady from Romania 
 At 9 am perhaps it was a little early to begin with champagne and in fact my stomach rumbled at this rebel move.

 I thought of my good friend Pak Joe from Bogor when the Congee with shitake mushrooms were offered. I remember him always opting for Congee at Hotel Breakfasts.None of the bacon and toast and hashbrowns and beans, asian guests seem to be fond of, perhaps a nefarious change to their daily lovely breakfasts?

 A japanese taste was offered somewhere along the route, rather a long flight of 8 hours.
 I normally do not eat desserts and the above was an unnecessary addition
 The cabin crew was superb and I enjoyed my conversations with them, introducing Sadhguru to them. They were startled to know that I had not visited any of their countries. I will now make an attempt.
 Felt so familiar driving through the streets of Doha and seeing the facial outline of the courageous ruling Emir.
 was given a warm welcome to the Marriott Marquis hotel by the receptionist Paula from Philippines
 Also from the Philippines, Angelito remembered from my last stay a couple of months ago and greeted me warmly.
 Unexpectedly warm was the Guest Relations Officer, Mamim, dressed in Qatari national outfit to show solidarity with Qatar. She genuinely outpoured friendliness a great quality to have in a Hospitality Industry person. I wish her all the luck.
 The stay was far too short and I was not able to extend it. While USA based airlines are lacklustre in the human quality services they offer such as Cabin Service, they are superior when it comes to technical assistance to their clients. If this was American Airlines, without a doubt they would have delayed my trip another day, as there were plenty of seats available and I was eligible to change my flights. Still I would fly Qatar Airways any day for the Cabin Crew Service and the Al Mourjan Lounge over any of the airlines from USA or Europe on a long haul flight. Asian Airlines such as JAL or ANA or MH are a different kettle of fish and with good services. Customer services are not generous as usual.
 Edamame beans. One midwestern friend of mine said: where we come from we dont use that fancy name, we just call them Soy Beans

The flight to Brussels was a short 6 hours and not enough to catch a good sleep so arrived in Brussels as the day was breaking utterly tired.

Wonderful, event filled, lots of love and affection and respect, nice to see people who are genuinely pleased to see you, I wonder at the fact that greetings are exchanged with such familiarity considering the fact that I live half the world away.