December 22nd, 1989
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Flight time from Abu Dhabi was only six hours. The crew really makes the trip and I’m so lucky to have such a good bunch this time. Half of us are under twenty-five, which usually makes for a memorable trip!
Frankie bought a bottle of Calvin Klein’s Obsession for her friend Mark who lives here (I’ve yet to meet him) and asked if I’d accompany her to his office to deliver the gift. I felt knackered but figured a quick taxi ride there and back wouldn’t kill me.
The office building was a high rise, smack-bang in the middle of KL. The surrounding area was mobbed and the taxi crawled its way through the heavy traffic. As usual, it was humid and I tried my best not to get agitated and instead, embrace the thick fumes wafting through the taxi window, but it was not to be!
I waited in the hotel lobby while Frankie took the elevator to goodness knows what floor and I slumped into the oversized, plush chair. Out of nowhere I heard the stern voice of Denise, from training days, shouting; “No sleeping in uniform!” I jumped and made a strange noise, quickly realizing I’d dozed off.
A minute later, I was surprised to see Frankie emerge from the elevator.
She shook her head, no. “He isn’t here.”
“Where is he?”
“His secretary said he went to a meeting and wasn’t sure when he’ll be back.”
“Can you ring and leave him a message?” I asked.
“We can see if he’s at home.”
“Uh-huh,” she replied, not looking at me.
Another taxi, this time with working air conditioning. Pure bliss! Much to my dismay, the taxi ride to Mark’s apartment building was short.
When we entered the lobby, I said, “I’ll wait here for you.”
“Nooo,” Frankie whined. “Please come with me.”
“I can’t,” I said, surpassing her level of whininess. “I don’t have the energy for stairs.”
“Pleeeez,” she said, taking it up a notch.
“Ok,” I sighed.
Frankie rang the doorbell at least half a dozen times but there was no reply.
“We can wait for him,” she said, half slumped against the door.
“No, that’s silly. We can come back later.”
“He might come home soon.”
“And he might not,” I snipped.
She responded with her pouty face.
“Sorry Frankie,” I said, making for the stairs. “I’m not prepared to wait.”
“Where are you going?”
“Hopefully to bed.”
We (Frankie) decided to use my room on this leg of the trip because it’s on a higher floor with a better view. No sooner had Frankie chosen which bed she wanted when she started pulling Christmas decorations out of her suitcase.
Tentatively, I said, “Do you mind if we hold off on decorating ‘til we get to Bangkok?”
“But it’s Christmas,” she said, looking sad.
“Ok, chuck some tinsel over here.”
An hour later, Frankie said, “There’s tons of tinsel left, maybe we should decorate the party room.”
“I’m sure the hotel staff have already taken care of that.”
“Can we pop up and see?”
“Now?” I asked, gazing longingly at my bed.
Matt and Sarah were in the party room, hanging decorations, getting everything organized for our big bash tonight. Frankie helped while I observed from the comfort of the couch, trying desperately to keep my eyes open.
We’re meeting our crew in the party room at seven and I imagine it will be a very late night. It’s five pm and I just set the alarm for half six. Frankie is already snoring and I can’t wait to close my eyes and drift off to a tinsel free land.
If only for a short while.