I was on a vacation. A rather badly needed one. Mostly alone, with a friend along for certain parts of it. Here it is. My vacation diaries.
The day I arrived in Singapore, there was enthu galore. From me and my friend. For the sake of anonymity let’s call her A.
Evening of the day I arrived...
A: We can do something today (even though I’m dead tired after my day at office)
S: We should TOTALLY do something today (even though I’ve just had 2 hours of sleep, and have sat in a crowded crappy flight, and am proceeding to now infest your room with the bed bugs I carried from it)
A: What? What?? You want to go drinking?
S: I feel high on lack of sleep already.
S: It’s my first day! I won’t have money left for the rest of the trip!
A: Ooh, Night Safari??
S: Ooh, Night Safari!!
And so we booked the atrociously expensive tickets online, and headed to Orchard to catch the bus and commence our looong journey to the Night Safari.
The shows got cancelled due to the pouring rain that refused to stop.
Our first day at Langkawi. We arrived at the hotel, changed into shorts and sexy clothes like enthu cutlets and ran off to the beach. You know, that pretty crystal clear beach, the zillions of bikini clad foreigners, who we soon planned to join, the pubs right on the sand…
S: Where are all the bikini clad foreigners?
A: Where is…anyone?
S: The pubs?
A: Eeee…I just stepped on something gross.
Random man on the beach <whistles>: Woohooo, ladies, want to join?
I wish I could describe the expression on our faces at that time. We rushed off to the one and only occupied restaurant on the beach (where the racist side of both of us found some skimpily clad foreigners), and felt a little safer.
Calling it a windy day would be like saying Mumbai gets a little wet during monsoons. We were thankful we didn’t wear skirts, or we would’ve been doing a Marilyn Monroe for all the world to see without an ounce of her grace. It was all we could do to keep our drinks from toppling over.
We slowly forgot about the not-very clean beach and the weird catcalls, enjoying the strong winds, the sound of the waves, and the weird siren-like music in the background from some club nearby. Just as I was about to dig into my chips…
A: Is it just me, or is that a siren?
S: Hain? I thought it’s part of the music.
By then, it seemed to have grown louder and louder….along with an announcement in Malay… We ignored it. And ignored it some more. Until…
S: Dude, did they just say Tsunami?
A: <Pretends to not hear me>
I turned to the waiter.
S: Err, was that a tsunami warning?
A: It wasn’t serious, right?
S: Was that a drill, or an actual tsunami warning?
Waiter: No, no, don’t worry.
A: Oh! So there isn’t a tsunami coming?
Waiter: No, don’t worry. It’s just a warning. When tsunami comes, you see, big wave. You run.”
And grinning, he left to run after the flying menus, leaving a flabbergasted A and me sitting at the beach, nervously checking out the horizon.
A and I couldn’t stop grinning. We’d just been on an unexpectedly pretty cable car ride. We could still feel the remnants of the clouds on our cheeks. Langkawi was finally living up to its promise. We talked to localites, checked out maps, found out about a nice little hidden waterfall nearby.
S: So do we cab it? Or save money and walk it?
A: Cab it. No, wait. Walk it. No, wait.
S: It is pretty, and I love walking, and the hills and the mountains…
A: Do you think it’s safe?
S: Well, it isn’t India.
A: And we never do anything daring.
S: Walk it?
A: Walk it.
And so us two girls, travelling alone, decided to walk into the wild, feeling herculean and Xena-ish all at the same time. We walked for two minutes, grinning ear to ear, looking at the empty roads and the mountains and the dense jungles… Until.
A: Oh god.
And that’s when we turned around, ran to the taxi stand and got in.
S: So much for adventure…
A: Shut up.
It was the last day of my trip. Also, weirdly one of the best. Universal Studios had us running around like school kids, squealing like girls, and shouting ourselves hoarse on crazy rides. We jumped around, we danced, we stalked Shrek, and posed with the Brendan Frasier lookalike. And we just couldn’t stop smiling. Until now.
Before us stood a monstrosity, of epic proportions, making us weak in the knees, just standing there, watching.
A: It’s too much.
S: Don’t look at it, or we’ll get scared.
A: Look at it! We can’t do that!
S: No, we have to! You can’t come all the way till here and not do this. We’ll never forgive ourselves.
A: Nope. I’m good at forgiving myself.
Just then the screaming reached our ears.
A: NO. WAY. Can you see the number of 360 degree turns that thing just did?!
S: WE HAVE TO! It’s on my wish-list!
A: It’s your damn wish-list! I want to still be alive to make my wish-list after this!
S: Okay. Here’s the thing. We are bloody phattu. We got scared of monkeys in Langkawi! MONKEYS! We HAVE to conquer this!
A: I hate you.
S: It’s okay, I still love you.
We went in. There was no waiting time. Thankfully. I don’t know if we would have lasted the wait. Strapped in, I knew both of us were positively shaking. A turned to me.
A: Thanks for forcing me to do this.
I nodded. It looked like the nice serious thing to do at the time. More so because I wasn’t sure it was words that would have come out at that moment if I opened my mouth.
It was by far, one of the most amazing experiences of my life. When your world willingly turns upside down. And you can do nothing about it. So you strap yourself in, and enjoy it.
And scream like madmen.
And we did.
P.S. I did finally go to the night safari, and overcome any and every bad luck event I came across. Just saying.