A perfectly ordinary day

We’re off to the airport for another couple of flights. I don’t much like the idea of spending time in crowds and especially airports, not to mention crowded planes, or the new-normal of getting a deep poke in the brain with a cotton swab for the privilege, but we didn’t much like the alternative of not going anywhere either, so here we go.

To get anywhere from here you’ve got to go through Kuala Lumpur. The first flight we booked got canceled so we booked one much earlier than we need just in case the same happens again. We absolutely can NOT miss our international flight so KLIA will be our home for the better part of a day, and the lounge is closed. That’ll give us time to get copies of our Covid test results printed. We’ve been advised that our destination requires hard copies.

Our flight to Kuala Lumpur was on time and not crowded, and just before boarding we got our Covid test results.

They showed up as a small green banner in our national Covid tracking/tracing/vaccination app. Great idea, with everything in the same app, but we’re flying to a place that requires a hard copy in their hands on arrival. We were promised a detailed email and it wasn’t forthcoming. After several calls to the hospital with no success, we put our fate into the hands of a nice lady at the service counter of our airline. She called the hospital, got cut off a few times and eventually read the riot act to a poor unfortunate on the other end. We had our emails five minutes later.

Now we have six hours to kill in an airport with few seating areas land side, a Covid-reduced food court, and a closed lounge. CLOSED! We’ve commandeered the only bench we could find, between Lancôme and Swarovski, and maybe in a little while we’ll go back to the pathetic food court for a cuppa. I’ll definitely be ready for a nap by the time we board the first of two long flights.

By the way, we will miss the comprehensive, intelligent public health response to a global pandemic here in Malaysia. There is nearly universal mask compliance, including outdoors; there are very few places you can go without being vaccinated (they check at the door); there is mandatory contact tracing by scanning a QR code on a mobile app everywhere you go; and shops consider the vaccination of their staff critical to doing business. We feel very safe here. And we wish every other country did the same.


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4 Responses to A perfectly ordinary day

  1. danagreyson

    Travel safe, my friends. Fingers crossed your immune system is strong and your neighbors healthy.

    I live the the polar opposite of what you’re experiencing from a COVID public safety perspective (except plentiful vaccination availability) and it’s frightening. When I worked in a West Marine store and politely offered masks to some customers who came in without, they arrogantly told me “You tell your manager we don’t need to wear mask.” She (the manager) didn’t back me up—polar opposite of my Portland OR store.

    When I took my only flight during COVID in July, mask compliance in the Palm Beach airport was abysmal. Chicago and San Francisco, excellent.

    Yet when COVID’s Delta variant followed its natural arc and subsided, our governor claimed credit, completely ignoring the high death rate in our state.

    Whether handled intelligently, or irresponsibly, this will eventually abate.

    Isn’t it interesting how travel shows us other countries take much more mature approaches to COVID management and get better compliance and results? And yet, those who don’t travel or do so in a bubble (separated by guides and special places catering to tourists) manage to convince themselves the the US is superior, without looking at other options.

    May friends and family provide the love and support you need in our “don’t tread on me” society.

  2. Anita

    Safe travels and keep a positive attitude. We can’t wait to see you wherever you land! Love you cuz!

  3. Awesome photos. So glad to know you’ve been living your dream. Best of luck with your continued life of adventure. We left DC for coastal NC. Escaped Venality.

  4. Marce and Jack, my thinking is always with you about our friendship. This Corona desaster is great, but i hope i can fly to the olympic winter games of Ice skating to Peking China your 8. row friend from Germany Corona free and happy always to hear from you also as Snoopys Ice home from Santa Rosa California and the Mannheimer ERC for ever.

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