Back from Malaysia

We're back in Kyoto after 10 days in Malaysia.

Fumie and I had left Penang earlier in the day to head to Kuala Lumpur for some shopping. We had been originally scheduled to make the flight in the evening, to connect with the midnight departure of our flight to Japan, but we went in the early afternoon so Fumie could visit some shops. Fumie's mom and Anthony took the original 9pm flight, and we met them in the Kuala Lumpur airport.

For our shopping trip, we first went to “Suria KLCC” (KLCC is “Kuala Lumpur City Center”), a huge ultra-modern shopping center at the foot of the until-recently tallest building in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers. (They didn't look all that tall standing at their base, but that could be because they're not “flat”, and so you don't get quite the same perspective of tallness when that close. I dunno.)

We then tried to take a cab to another place (“Starhill Shopping Center”) less than a mile away. But after progressing only a quarter mile or so in 20 minutes of late-afternoon traffic, we got out and walked. It seemed that the moment we got out, the traffic started moving. Oh well.

Anyway, we got back to the airport in time to meet Fumie's mom and Anthony, and we all took a Malaysia Airlines redeye (left Kuala Lumpur at 12:05am) to Osaka (arrived at Kansai International a few minutes before 7am). All told, it was about a six-hour flight (there's a one-hour time difference in there).

It was a zippy flight, at one point a half an hour before landing reaching a ground speed of 1,054 kilometers per hour (655 mph), which is just about the speed of sound in the air up there: where we had just started descending from 41,000 feet -- 12 and a half kilometers up. Of course, we weren't actually flying “at the speed of sound” because our travel was through a block of air that itself was moving at about 250 kph (155mph) in our general direction (a 155mph tail wind), so our speed relative to the air we were moving through was only 500 miles per hour. Still sounds zippy to me, though.

After an hour and a half of immigration, customs (paying duty on our shopping), and waiting around, we finally boarded a shuttle bus. Two hours later, at 10:20am, we arrived home. Phew.

All in all it was a very nice trip. I do wish, though, that I hadn't lost my iPod. I didn't lose my camera, luckily, so I now have 600+ photos to process (on top of a few hundred remaining from before I got sick before the trip).

In taking a quick look over the shots, I thought this one was cute. A runny nose knows no vacation:

Fumie helping Anthony with his stuffy nose, at a beach on Penang Island, Malaysia; click to see Exif data and map
(click to see Exif data and map)

[UPDATE: there is an update on this picture]

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