Would that work better? The problem I always have with writing ‘lengthy’ articles, as I always tend to do, is that they end up having to be split into a number of posts, each getting further from the last, until both you (and I) more than likely forget what we were even reading, or writing, about. And when large absence’s happen on this site, then the usual excuse of ‘very busy’ gets pulled out and guess what – it’s been rolled out once again. Lately, with my time in Malaysia very much beginning to ‘wind up’, I’ve been working on a big project for work that I’ve been quite excited about, meanwhile I’ve also been doing two other big projects for two other ‘groups’ let’s call them, in order to subsidise my stay somewhat. Along with that, we’ve also had Anna’s parents over the last few weeks, which has been extremely enjoyable, and during that time have been in Thailand for the guts of a week, and Singapore for a long weekend (while doing all of the former). Then, we’ve also very diligently (and with a degree of anxiety it has to be said) been applying for jobs back in Europe, so that things don’t just come to a sudden stop on our return. And the final thing, in order to make this excuse almost ridiculous in terms of length, is I’ve been wondering what to do with this site exactly.
It’s not that I don’t like it, or that I don’t enjoy it, or any of that. Over the past months I’ve noticed writing a ‘blog’ has become more and more ‘unattractive’ for quite a lot of people – and I just don’t think it’s time to give it up at all yet, so what I’m wondering is what it is the site needs; a new design, more focused content? Suggestions at this stage are more than welcome.
So back to where we left off – Langkawi. It would be a lie to say that this blog doesn’t sort of act as a ‘diary’ for me, so when things get left off for a long time like this, my memory starts to fade and I end up relying on photos to help me along. But I can remember New Years’ day exceptionally well. The remainder of our New Years’ night was also quite easily summarised; I personally waited with commendable determination until 11pm, when ‘Happy Hour’ was due to recommence, shunning a waitress who came by around 10 minutes before the hour to ask if we’d like a drink. And from 11pm, until midnight, when ‘Happy Hour’, which was exactly that, came to an end with German-like precision, I took the opportunity to stock up and ring in 2011 exactly as I wished to. And with that, we begun our countdown; 5, 4, 3…oh, look there’s the fireworks from a neighbouring resort and we’re still on 3. And the best part, the most hilarious part of it all in fact, was that rather than accede defeat on this particular countdown, our MC graciously instead informed us that what had actually happened (even though my watch was nearly on 2 minutes past by now) was that the other resort was early – bold resort – and with that pause over, we continued on our countdown, the numbers from the stage being mostly muted by the pesky fireworks from next door. But, not to be outdone, our own resort had a firework show in store and while it wasn’t exactly Skyfest, it was still very pleasant.
The next morning we were all up for our breakfast (of course), although it’d be fair to say I’d felt better, and the majority of the guests seemed like they’d certainly looked better. And we weren’t alone – the staff, many of whom were working at snail’s pace having seemingly worked through the night, were also looking the worse for wear. So we got in some pool time, relaxed for a little while, and then decided when in Langkawi, best to take in the sights. So, we trekked off into the wilderness (actually on the hard shoulder of the winding road outside our hotel) along towards the Langkawi cable car ride that promised a ‘thrilling’ ride. Now, ever since the Genting cable car, I find every cable car ride to be a ‘thrilling’ experience, so I was sure this wouldn’t disappoint. The first thrill for all of us came from the obnoxious family in front of us (and subsequently behind us, as they weren’t all ready to hand in their tickets at the time so we glided right past much to their intense aggression) who seemed to believe that communication was best done within the family by hitting each other at extremely regular intervals. And who were we to stop them as they proceeded to beat each other up for the duration of the 45 minute queue, until one finally deemed it necessary to sit down on the queue railing and take the weight off her weary feet – the same weight which she unfortunately had to put back on her weary feet seconds later as the railing snapped off and broke. Finally, it was time for our ride and our prayers of not having to sit with this unruly group were answered when 3 women riding alone permitted us to skip to the front of the remaining queue to fill the 6-seat car.
And there’s something I really just hate about cable cars in the way they sort of accelerate at such a daunting speed right out into the open, leaving you speeding along and suddenly staring some distance down at the ground. Still, nothing could be worse than Genting.
The way up in the cable car was steep – at one point, we were facing nothing behind us and a mountainous cliff in front of us. And more unfortunately, the journey just went on and on until finally we reached what I personally hoped was our final stop. Instead though, it was actually more of a midway point and after a brief look at the surrounding landscape, we hopped back into our trusty steed for another haul in mid-air between two mountain peaks, tilting in different directions as the wind rattled through our little cabin. Thankfully though, the journey was over in no more than a few minutes and we were off, on New Years’ Day, looking out over the whole of Langkawi Island, and don’t get me wrong, the view really was breathtaking. For anyone not entirely suffering from vertigo by then, there was also a large and long suspension bridge that came with the added bonus of having a footpath made from slates of wood that occasionally rattled or shook slightly as you walked on them, all the while the whole bridge itself moved less than delicately with the breeze, leading me to wonder whether the two mojito’s the previous night had really been such a good idea.
The rest of our time in Langkawi was hurried from there – with only a 3-day stay, things moved on and it was already time for our second (and last) night. Once again, we stayed in the hotel and took in the tastes of the restaurant – in my case, a still-frozen potato gratin unfortunately ruining an otherwise delicious meal – before repairing to the bar once again to try and quite literally ‘repair’ ourselves. The next morning it was back up again bright and early for a decidedly more lively breakfast, at which everyone seemed to be a bit more with it, before hitting the pool for the afternoon and taking a well-earned relax. After just a couple of short hours, it was time once again to try and commandeer a taxi for our hop to the airport. Interestingly, in Langkawi Airport, the food options closest to the departure area are pretty awful to say the least. Initially up some steps, we found a grotty canteen-like restaurant, complete with an interior that looked like it belonged to the 70’s, around the time of the last ‘clean’ I imagine; either way, we ended up wandering around the airport like lost souls before finally coming upon a Kenny Roger’s down in the arrivals area. Quick bite later, and we were back on the plane, debating once again the lack of any sort of alcohol on the ‘sky bar menu’ and how that wouldn’t work back in Europe.