March 2nd 1984

posted in: The way back | 0
Kuala Lumpur

Very little to report today.  Our departure was delayed once more.  Faridah had already invited us to a Malay wedding, + Norilla had yesterday repeated + strengthened the invitation.  It was of her sister, + would be taking place on Sunday, which, with the extra day’s delay, was now not so far off.  If it was at all interesting, it would be well worth the wait.  In the meantime, we had a day or 2 to kill.  We went into town today, not because we had anything particular to do, but because staying in the house all day would be too dreadful.  We spent the time shopping, in a fairly lackadaisical sort of way, but our tempers weren’t improved when first we got lost, + then it started to rain.  We were looking for a cheap blank cassette, to record a letter-tape home to my mum, + a book to give H + F as a present, so we explored a couple of malls.  They simply confused us more, + made us feel even more claustrophobic + threatened.  We did eventually find what we wanted – the book we chose was Anthony Burgess’s Malayan trilogy, “The Long Day Wanes”, the only thing we could find that was even vaguely suitable.  And by the time we got home it was gone 5 – God knows where the day had gone.

We had the delightfully English tea of baked beans on toast, + then a pleasant + quiet evening.  And we recorded the cassette.  I’m sure it was appallingly dull, but equally sure it will be appreciated.  And then I was able to find the BBC World Service on the radio in the flat, so civilised, so intelligent, + giving me serious pause for thought as to why I hadn’t bought one in Singapore when I had the chance.  And in the pauses when I wasn’t interested in the programme, I read the Burgess book.

Very much the case of killing time; with the promise of a Malay wedding, it does seem too good an opportunity to turn down, but it does add to the Yopi feeling, of staying somewhere we would rather move on from.

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