Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The big P - I

I've recently arrived in Manila, Philippines. I had uneventful travel from KL. In fact, it's been rather pleasurable. KL has an express train to the airport which cuts travel time in half (to 30 minutes) AND, if you are flying Malaysia airlines, you can check your luggage at the rail station. Very cool.

Although I've been in KL before, this is the first time I've taken the train, so it was a bit of sightseeing for me. Malaysia seems to have a significant amount of palm tree farms. It is green and lush and has some hills. It was just really beautiful country. So close to the equator, you can imagine that it looked like a tropical paradise, and you'd be right. At the same time, however, there was significant construction in some areas. The government is seemingly fostering an atmosphere that is business friendly, and the country is prospering. It just goes to show you that not all Muslims are what they portrayed in news clips from Iraq and Iran. In fact, I found all of the people in Malaysia, whether Muslim or not to be extremely friendly. Friendliness is something you'll find the the Philippines, as well. My driver and all of the people I've interacted with in the hotel so far have been very pleasant.

My flight from KL to Manila was three and a half hours. For some reason I received a business class ticket, so I had a nice big seat, got some work done and had a meal with a couple of drinks. All's good. Interesting thing on the plane. If you've traveled internationally or on a big plane, you may have seen the map showing the location of the plane and the duration of the flight. However, on this flight, it also showed a graphic of a plane with an arrow coming from the center and the word "Makkah". It also said "5300 miles". I couldn't figure out what it meant and then it hit me...the graphic was pointing to Mecca so that the Muslims on the flight would know what direction to point for their prayers should the flight cover one of their five daily prayer times. Technology is awesome.

I spoke to Angie before I left KL and she is doing well. She's been a little under the weather, but seems to be hanging in there. I spoke to Cassie, as well, and she misses her daddy. I miss her too, but I've been so busy it hasn't been nearly as bad as previous trips of this length. Unfortunately, I rarely go over 10 days, so I'm only halfway done.


No comments: