One moment I am in the United States and the next moment I'm stepping off an airplane at the Changi Airport, Singapore. Of course it isn't exactly the 'next moment' it is more like 24 hours later.
"Mari Kita rakyat Singapura sama sama manuju...." the words just flow through my mind as I walk towards the immigration line. Four whole years went by without me going back home and then once again I'm wrapped up in the humidity. Jet lag causes me to look down from my flat at the 3 am scene below. Flats facing me, cars lined up in neat rows, and the gentle hum of the air conditioner reminding me I am home.
Whoosh...I barely get used to being back in Singapore and it is on another plane headed for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Hustle bustle, heat and family encompass us. Daniel reunites with his family. The thing which stands out to me about both Singapore and Malaysia is how well they appear to be doing. The US has taken a beating financially, but these countries are thriving. Conference meetings to attend, dinners to grace and before I know it is time to board the plane to Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia.
I'm glad I did not base my opinion of Kota Kinabalu on my one and only past visit. Now I'm given a chance to reacquaint myself with the luscious land of former Borneo. The rest is welcomed: the beautiful beaches and hills bring much needed relaxation. The time went by too fast and I'm on the final leg of the journey back to Singapore for four days before I head to the United States once again.
In Singapore, Daniel and I are once again competing in the infamous rat race. People need to be seen and places need to be visited but most importantly is the purchasing of items. Heaven forbid if we don't make sure to bring back 'such and such' a thing for 'so and so'....prices are not as appealing as when I visited four years before. Daniel decides we will only buy what we absolutely need. Four suitcase later, we have what we 'need'.
I'm up again at 3 am, not because of jet lag but because I have to catch the early flight at the Changi Airport. "Good bye" flat ...'so long' cars neatly parked all in a row...'hope to see you soon' delicious food stalls..my bags are packed and I'm ready to go...with the National Anthem concluding in my mind,"Majulah Singapura!"