Thursday, July 10, 2008

First day.

We touched down in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at 05:00. The flight to Europe
is in two legs because we bought two flights, the first one on points, so
we didn't have a clean transit -- 18 hours in KL. So, we ducked out through
customs (dead at that hour), checked our luggage into lockers (just taking
our shoulder packs), and caught the train into the city to visit Mai Li's
family. We showered and changed and I managed a short nap and Mai Li one
shorter, had breakfast, had dinner, visited all the reloes and we were off
again, to return in three weeks.

On the flight from KL to Prague I managed to get quite a bit of sleep,
probably because I got so little on the previous leg. After about six hours
I woke to the steady sound of the engines like rushing water, and with my
eyes shut I thought how quiet apart from this the plane was. I opened my
eyes and the lady sitting next to me was gone, and so was Mai Li, and when
I looked around I couldn't see anyone -- everyone was gone! No one was
sitting in any seat. There were no stewardesses. I got up and quickly
strode down the aisle to the front of the plane, past rows of empty seats.
Business class and first class were also empty. You can't get to the
cockpit because it's secure, and I had no way of knowing the pilots were
still on board. I walked back in the direction of my seat and checked the
toilets -- all vacant. What a relief. There's nothing worse than needing to
pee and all the toilets are taken.

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