On my four cities in the 15-day tour, the first two cities were Tokyo and Beijing. The next two cities were Singapore and KL. Both of the last two were cities I had been to many times. There were friends to reconnect with and people to talk to and see. Plus, going to Singapore, there were Chili Crabs to be consumed. I love Chili Crab. It is the one unique Singapore food that I haven’t found done as well in other places. So having the original is critical. It is a messy dinner, but it is amazing food. The spicier the better in my book.
KL was also a best in that I was seeing people I had worked with for more than two years. I hadn’t been back to Malaysia since the early part of the project we were working on was concluded. It is expensive to bring US resources to Malaysia for projects; I was only there for the beginning phase of the overall project. Plus, honestly, I did not want to end up being the project director. That job was one we joked about frequently and was not high on my life of jobs I wanted.
I stayed at the JW Marriott hotel in KL. The first time I stayed there, it had the best cigar bar in the city. The cigar bar was now a Mediterranean restaurant (the food was good), and they moved the cigars out into the mall area. You can still smoke in a public building in Malaysia, so I enjoyed a nice cigar in the lounge. A lot of my travels involved finding a good cigar bar back then. Traffic in Kuala Lumpur was as bad on this trip as it ever had been. The office where I was heading was two miles away from the hotel. It took 20 minutes by cab to traverse that two miles. In part because of traffic and in part because you can’t go in a straight line. You had to travel 4 miles to get to the office.
It was nice to see my friends and co-workers. We had a great meeting and then I was off to the airport to return to the US. The next two weeks were hard, recuperating from the jet lag. That trip for whatever reason had the most impact on me.