Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last Day in Europe

As our flight out on Sunday was from Prague, we caught the train back from Budapest and, after a seven-hour journey and hostels for the past three weeks, indulged in our only accommodation splurge on the trip for our final night in Europe -- a five-star hotel. It was nice to have a good shower and comfortable bed in a clean room.

That Saturday night we went out to see the National Marionette Theatre company perform the Mozart opera Don Giovanni, a well-known performance with tall marionettes that has been performed continuously since 1991. At two hours, we thought it might be a bit long to keep us from getting bored, but it was very good -- very skilfull and quite humorous, and we really enjoyed it. We loaded up on mojitos afterwards at a Cuban bar and went back to the hotel splattered.

Mai Li almost left me behind in Amsterdam the following day. When we got to the Prague airport three hours early, as is our usual practice (and once again we found use for the additional hour) this grim-faced monotoned golem at the counter checked us in, giving us each a boarding pass from Prague to Amsterdam and another for the Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur leg. Airside, we bought some slivovice (iconic Czech plum brandy) and had to show our boarding passes for the duty-free rate, and noticed that the idiot had given us the two boarding passes from Amsterdam in Mai Li's name, sitting in completely disparate rows, no less. So, we had to get back out through customs to get to the transfer desk, where they laughed at how they had never seen such a gross error, to have my boarding pass reissued. Had I not noticed, I wouldn't have been able to get on the connecting flight in Amsterdam!

So now we are in Malaysia, spending a week visiting with Mai Li's family. On Monday, we go to Cambodia for four days to see the ancient temple complex Angkor Watt, after which we return to Sydney, so I don't expect to update this blog until sometime after August 10th. I then aim to edit, distill (from over 700) and upload all the trip photos in August or September.

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