Monday, November 29, 2004

I'm only gone two days but it feels like two weeks. Somehow, Penang seems to have changed so much. In actual fact, I've just put on a lot of weight during the last few days. No more indiscriminate eating for me. Maybe I should go on a diet or something.

This morning's visa application was fun. I was up by 4.30am, and by the time Von Darke woke up, I was already ready for the interview. After a swift breakfast, he dropped me off at Ampang Park - later we found out that we had unknowingly driven pass the embassy. I guess more Yomeishu might have helped. But, I was the tenth person there. Very nice figure. So I waited patiently. Then I handed over my IC for a CONSULAR ONLY badge, then I got searched by security before they let me in, and then I went in and waited for awhile ( all the while chatting with some middle-aged businessman who hasn't been to the US since 911 ), and then I went to submit my application forms. AND THE AMERICAN LADY TOLD ME THAT I NEEDED A FARKING RHB BANK DRAFT.

So okay. Cool. I didn't lose it there and then and single-handedly destroy the embassy, which is a good thing. I kept my cool. I was *cool*. YOU have no idea how difficult that was. It took a supreme amount of restraint and cool to walk out of the embassy without initiating an impromptu massacre. Yes. I was cool.

Then I called in a million favours to get the next best course of action. Also included in the fun were my two colleagues, whose faces probably turned white the moment they found out that our receipts weren't enough, no sir, we needed those damn RHB bank drafts. So okay, I went to the Ampang Park Putra LRT station and loitered around for an eternity before those two bozos turned up wearing CHECKS. And then we went to get our bank drafts. It should be mentioned that as we were waiting for the bank to open ( and just before those two mooks went to take a pic of the bull under the OSK building ), there was a really sweet girl who looked a little bit like May. Really, I have a thing for these weird-looking girls.

Anyway, I have not digressed. We got the bank drafts, and then there was the mad walk/run back to the embassy where we waited for another eternity in line. After which we finally got into the embassy. During the security search, the guards recognized me due to my Tiger Balm ointment in my bag. Aww... recognition. After that the application submission went well, and then came the interview.

It was the same guy who did my B1 visa for me back during the 10th of May this year. And again, I was meeting him in the late afternoon. But for a different reason. This time again, he was nice enough not to ask me too many questions. I did finally get the "How come your family name is weird" category of question, but I think I answered it to his satisfaction. *We* should always know the nature of our family name after all. So put left index, scan, put right index, scan, smack me buttocks and off with me, come back collect my passport tomorrow, thank you.

It was fun. It was nice. If everything had gone well, I would never have had that male bonding session with my colleagues. And definitely never would have had shark's fin with crabmeat soup and cod steak for lunch. After lunch, I ran around KLCC for awhile, especially around the area of Kinokuniya. They have a rhyming dictionary in Kinokuniya! OMG! Unfortunately, it was totally unexpected and no budget had been allocated for it, so I didn't get it. Around rush hour, which is around 5pm, we set off to KL Sentral ( have you been there? it's so cool ) where I bought my KLIA Express ticket. That led to a 35 minute trip to KLIA. Sat down with colleagues there, drank some water. And then the flight home.

And now. Jetlag. FARK.

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