A Day Out

Miraculously, my back pain had cleared up by this morning, so my flight to Kuala Lumpur wasn’t an agonising experience, trying to cram myself into a poky seat for an hour. At ten o’clock in the morning, the arrival hall at KL LCCT was rather crowded, and although there was a queue of people lined up for the passport check, other people kept pushing their way past and barging to the front of the queue. Nobody seemed to complain about this, but it made me very cross, brought up as I have been with proper queue discipline. I wondered if I should just follow their example and push past everyone myself, but then I tried thinking happy thoughts instead and considered what would happen if I got disqualified for shoving.

On the way back, a man tried to sneak past me in the line at the gate, by gradually edging to the left of me and then trying to step forward. Because, you know, I’m clearly too dumb to realise I should be advancing. I have hard, sharp elbows. If you have a soft, flabby belly and you persist in trying to walk through me, you’re not going to enjoy what happens next.

It’s probably too late to educate that person on what they’re doing wrong, but it’s never too late to stop somebody getting past you in a line.

Ah, happy thoughts. Must try thinking happy thoughts.

I was up in KL for a meeting at AirAsia’s offices, which are quite different from the one I work in myself. For a start, they’re a lot noisier: to celebrate a holiday of some sort, there was a band in one room, who were singing a Malay song that goes to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. There was the general roar you get when you have slightly more people crammed into an office than is strictly comfortable. Having worked in very very quiet environments, and ones that are very very noisy, I have to say I prefer the noisier ones. I’d rather be employed in a madhouse than a tomb. Later, I got lost and walked in a big circle, only to find a sign on the door to a room containing lots of computer equipment, prohibiting footwear.

That’s an interesting rule. I wonder if Malaysian footwear produces more static than in other countries. I’ve been in server rooms before and they’re all unpleasantly cold. I dread to think what it would be like if I was barefoot.

We had a very productive meeting. I blame this partly on not doing any more of the Magical Painkilling Pills. If I had, I imagine I’d have been slumped over the table, drooling into my laptop while the other people in the room wondered if that was normal behaviour. “He doesn’t say much, but he’s pretty good at sleeping.” I’ve achieved some level of notoriety by being the only person in my office to use three computer monitors at once. I don’t think I could improve this by being the guy who has three computer monitors and snores loudly, but perhaps that’s something to test out on a future visit.

Afterwards, I was taken for lunch downstairs. Everybody has told me terrible stories about the food in the KL LCCT, and most of it is dreadful: if KFC, McDonalds and Starbucks are the highlights then something has gone awfully wrong. But there’s a cheap Indian place hidden just behind McDonalds that is really tasty. It’s very basic, but there’s nothing wrong with cheap food that tastes of something. I just wish I’d known about it before, rather than endure all the food-related misery that I’ve had on previous trips to KL.

After that, it was off to check in for the flight home, then through security, then a short wait to have my passport checked (I always seem to choose a queue at KL where the person in front of me has apparently never travelled before, and doesn’t understand about passports, computers in bags, 2-litre containers of shampoo, etc, but I kept thinking happy thoughts. All the way to the gate, when somebody tried to push past.

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