Diary of The Travelling Seanchai :-

You`ve got to be awake for your dreams to come true

2007-02-13 to 2007-02-20

Hey all,


I wanted to update you on my last days in Kuala Lumpur and what it`s been like back in Oz since I got back.


Niall and Jessica kindly insisted that I join them for drinks on Valentines night so we went out after they returned from dinner. We were taking a cab past The Petronas Towers and I commented how they had brought thoughts of 9/11 back to me and our cab driver volunteered the `fact` that no Jews were in the Twin Towers at the time and that there was going to be an investigation into it. Hmmm, not likely that the Al Queda terrorists were in cahoots with Jewish bankers but I wasn`t going to argue with our cabbie as he showed me a local club that he had beside his chair to hit `runners` on the knee if any thoughts of a free cab had entered their minds.


We went to a bar where you could order a bottle of vodka and everytime you came back you could get a cocktail from it and it would then be put back in the fridge, with the new level and date on it for the next time you came! Little innovations like that always impress me for some reason!


The Gaelic word for water is `uisce` and the Gaelic word for life is “beatha” so it probably won`t surprise you that the Irish term for whiskey is “uisce beatha”!! Well the Malay word for alcohol is “ara” but the direct Muslim translation for the same is “Urine of Satan”!!! Those lads are hilarious!


We had a good night but when we got home I had regretted not having a late night snack as I`d only eaten once that day. Well, here in Kuala Lumpur, they deliver McDonald’s!! I rarely if ever eat Mc D`s (they`re a treat, not a staple Jessica!) but having it delivered to the door within 7 minutes of ordering it was impressive!


The next day I watched a DVD of the new movie “Blood Diamond” with Leonardo DiCaprio. Now I have always been against the terribly one sided and antediluvian policy of buying a fiancée a diamond engagement ring (unless there is a bloody good set of golf clubs going the other way) but after watching that movie and about the hardships of the African people who have to die or be maimed to ensure the survival of this trade, well it horrified me… We have banned fur coats and the hunting of endangered animals, when will the women of the world make the conscious decision (hardly a sacrifice really) and just settle for a cubic zirconia from Argos?!


I remember from English class that `pathetic fallacy` was how inanimate objects in nature reflected and expressed the emotions of the person. Well as I walked around Kuala Lumpur that day, I got caught in my first real thunder storm and as I slipped and slided in my well worn flip flops I couldn`t help but think that it was an appropriate end to this leg of the trip. It almost said, `hey, this is what you can expect going forward if you don`t go travelling again where the sun has shone…`


Ok, ok, I know that you can make anything suit your own purposes with enough of an imagination. I went out to the airport and was greeted with an announcement that my flight had been delayed for an hour and a half. So I wandered around the airport and was surprised that I knew it so well. It took me a while to register that I had actually stopped in this airport for a few hours on my way to Saigon a few months before. Talk about full circle.


I sat down at my gate and played “Mr. Jones” by the Counting Crows on loop and wrote up my diary for the last few days. It was therapeutic in a sense and I flicked back through the months and smiled and laughed to myself. Then I bumped into Faye, an old work colleague of mine at Virgin Mobile and I had a strange sensation of getting sucked back into Australia rather than going voluntarily.

Sydney 002

Sydney is great though but I am not the same as when I left I suppose. It was great to meet my friends and the genuinely big welcome I received. We caught up on some stories and scandals that had gone on over the Christmas but within a day or two I could already sense that my stories beginning with, ” When we were in Luang Prabang/Siem Reap/Koh Tao…” were getting annoying. Not that they didn`t want to hear, but when you prefix your stories with where you were, you automatically if unintentionally promote them as being better stories that deserve more airplay. It`s hard to explain but I think that everybody that goes on one of these trips will be able to sympathise.


I got back into the swing of things on Sunday night at the session where I sing and Kasey from Koh Phi Phi was there. Between her on Sunday and meeting Mick (from Pai) on Saturday night, it was truly surreal to see them back in an environment that I know so well!


And there have been some unexpected events/pleasures like cooking again, opening up jars, cleaning my dishes, doing my own laundry, hiring DVD`s, playing golf, wearing different clothes, practising my guitar, drinking from my own bar at home, not having to check out of my bedroom every morning, leaving my shampoo in the shower, having my mobile phone back (both pros and cons on that one), drinking water from the tap, The Simpsons on every evening etc etc. They don`t seem like much but how amazing is it for something that was so taken for granted and what seems so mundane can be made new and interesting again after a few months!


So I`m back in my adopted city where I know the people, the bars, the good food places, where everyone speaks English (except the cab drivers!) and the real world stresses. I really want to emphasise though that I do love this place, it has been my home for nearly 7 years and the friends I have made here will truly be friends for life but I think that I am afraid of settling back here as it would be so easy.


There is so much more of the world to see for someone who is so inclined and I fear that if I do settle down now, then I may regret it down the line. In saying that, I have been offered a few roles since I got back (someone is testing my resolve!!) but I will have to make some decisions.


So, this weekend I have a wedding and with the characters assembling, it is sure to be a good one. Another wedding follows shortly after that and then my last weekend before I go back to Ireland for another wedding will see me singing at a Folk Festival a few hours south of Melbourne! So stay tuned, the destinations may not be exotic to some of you but the antics and stories should!


And seriously, if anyone has any advice (and believe me, this is not something I ask for often) please share it on how to get over post backpacking blues or how to continue travelling!


A friend on my travels once told me, “You`ve got to be awake for your dreams to come true… “. I just think that makes a lot of sense right now…


Four weddings and a festival


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