While sitting at Narita airport, having ramen and sapporo, I am scolding myself for not having planned things better. I just feel so utterly displaced here sitting in an airport ramen shop, slightly sweating, with a random mix of music playing, from country to oldies to jazz to rap. Indeed, there is rap music playing with explicit language -and loud- and no one seems to even notice or understand the cuss words and implications, I suppose. Amidst the slurping of noodles, the guilt about missing my flight, and the prospect of spending a night in the airport, I cannot help but feel a little low.
Because of the typhoon my flight was delayed. Then, instead of taking the regular 40 minutes by train, it took nearly 3 hours. Some of the trains were not running due to flooding and so I had to say a random mix of trains that were out of the way and entirely time-consuming. Suffice this all to say that I stayed at the airport from my arrival there at 3 until the next morning at 10:30. There were no hotel vacancies available near the airport and I felt too bad about the whole situation to venture all the way back to the city and pay for another night’s room somewhere.
So, like quite a bit of other people there, I slept (or rather didn’t sleep at all really) in the ticketing area of the airport. Luckily, -which was something rather nice and civil, as the Japanese so often are,- they came around and passed out sleeping bags, blowup mats, crackers, and bottles of water. It was kind of like a mini disaster relief effort there in the airport, and made the stay and the camaraderie there quite better than it might have been otherwise.
After staying up all night in Narita Airport, Tokyo, I’m a bit less than enthused that I have a 5 hour layover in Kuala Lumpur. However, it’s a cool airport, so that’s something nice.
As I first entered the terminal I was greeted with the kind of humid tropical smell that you might find in Mexico or the Caribbean. With palm trees out the window upon arrival and flat looking marsh-type land as well, you could tell it was subtropics. All around the glass windowed terminals there is lush tropical plants. The most significant feature, though, has to be the mini tropical oasis in the middle of the main terminals, replete with wooden walkways and waterfalls.
It’s a rather small airport, but they have a tram that moves between the main two buildings of the airport. And the general vibe of the place is very Malaysian, like the Malaysian resort in disney world, with curved bamboo or teak roofs -and even with the monorail.
One thing I didn’t realize about Kuala Lumpur is that they have a large Muslim community here and that comes through the airport. So for dinner, rather than having satay, I opted for lamb briyani and samosa-like curry puffs with potato, boiled egg, and onion.
But aha I can say about food is that my enthusiasm for the food in Thailand is waning. The farther from home I get and the more novel or questionable food I eat, the more I feel kind of sick and less I want to ingest.
Yet, again, when I lax back into my ways, it feels both guilty and comfortable. Yet that is the rub, if I feel quilt, I will get weird and be a glutton -not to mention I will be miserable to myself and to be around others. Yet, if I’m simply cool with what I’m doing, and happy with it, then all will be well and good. It is something about my guilt, the simple fact that I possess it, because what it is, in essence, is self-doubt. It is doubt that what I’m doing is right. And if I have doubt about what I’m doing, then either I shouldn’t be doing it or simply not being hard on myself about it. All things are a choice, after all; and either I choose to do something and do it, or not. And even if it is “bad” to ones logic, or feelings, or external value judgements, it is all simply a choice.