It's been a couple of days, and I'm still struggling with jet lag. More specifically, I want nothing more than to climb straight into bed at 5pm. For the last two nights, I've just skipped dinner and gorged myself on the amazing breakfast buffet. But tonight I'm starving and determined to make it another 15 minutes until the dining room opens.
So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my favorite moments from my trip so far.
Unexpected overnight delays in Tokyo
I know, normally you wouldn't think that travel delays would make the "best of" list. But it gave me a chance to meet some pretty cool people. And who doesn't love hotels in Japan?
Being a sensation at the Putrajaya Mosque
I spend the day with my friend Siti, who graciously carted my all over the city. We spend a couple of hours in Putrajaya, where we visited the famous mosque. While she went to do her afternoon prayers, I looked around. And then I was swarmed with families wanting me to be in their photos. I happily obliged, and we chatted a bit about where I was from, where they were from, how hot it was, etc. We didn't talk about how the robes they hand out to immodestly dressed women resembled a powder-blue version of something the KKK might appreciate.
The Islamic Art Museum
I had the day to myself, so I schlepped over to the park area near the hotel, and spend a couple of hours at the Islamic Art Museum. Aside from the horrifically behaved children that ran screaming all over the place, yet somehow always in the same room as I was, it was fascinating. My favorite parts: the Islamic architecture room (with built-to-scale miniatures of more than a dozen famous mosques), the Qur'an room (showing an amazing array of illuminated manuscripts), and the gift shop.
The Majestic Hotel
Um. Yes, please. All of my hotel experiences will now be judged against this one. From the plush and decadent room, to the extravagant breakfast buffet, I want to live here forever.
Let me be clear, I am not AFRAID of birds. I despise them, filthy carriers of disease and as likely as not to attack you in a flurry of talons. However, sometimes they look cool, and so I went to the aviary on top of a gigantic hill in the middle of an urban tropical forest. What you don't see in the pictures below is that I am a puddle of sweat, positively dripping with moisture. Heat exhaustion notwithstanding, walking around 23 acres of lush foliage and seeing everything from egrets to flamingos, parrots to ostriches, and owls to eagles was pretty cool.
Things that I Didn't Like So Much
- The gawdawful oppressive heat. I don't think you can fully comprehend the 95 degree heat with 100% humidity until you're right in the middle of it, three hours in and with 1.5 miles still to walk back to your hotel.
- Did I mention the heat? And having to lay out sweaty clothes to dry after each excursion, and the horror of them STILL not being dry the next day?
- The heat. Yes, definitely the heat. Oh, and the humidity.