Taking off for Malaysia golf
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – My cabbie in Austin couldn’t stop gushing about Malaysia as he drove me to the airport at 6 a.m. this morning.
“It’s muslim, but very tolerant, and very beautiful,” he described, though warned me that dealing drugs over there carries a mandatory death sentence (so much for the late-night golf writer parties, I guess). He also confessed the reason he’s a cab driver is because he can’t concentrate on one thing long enough to get a career going. “I’m surprised that I remembered you wanted to be dropped off at the airport,” he said, a little too deadpanned for my liking.
Well, he did get me to the airport right on time and tonight I’m off to Kuala Lumpur for a week of golf and sightseeing around the country. Malaysia is one of those southeast Asian countries you don’t hear a great deal about - at least way over here in the USA. In fact, from what I can figure from my itinerary, I’ll be the only US-based reporter on this junket.
The country doesn’t seem to be in the news as much as it’s Asian neighbors, and maybe that’s a good thing. It’s a pretty peaceful nation that isn’t as impoverished as other spots in the south Pacific. Aside from the Mumbai attacks this week, there are some disturbances in Bangkok as well that’s caused some travel problems in the region.
There is way more golf than I thought, too. 200-plus courses and counting. I’m also told Kuala Lumpur’s airport (and most Asian airports in general) is a sight to behold. After a 20-hour flight, plus about a 10-hour layover here in Newark, I wonder if I’ll be conscious enough to notice when I land sometime Monday morning.
That’s one aspect to Asian travel I still can’t get over. Flying from New York to Asia sends you forward two days. On November 30th, Myself and the passengers with me won’t exist. We leave on the 29th and arrive on the 1st. It’s like a time portal. Too bad, I think the 30th would have been a glorious day.
So I’m looking forward to bringing some of the sights and sounds to WorldGolf.com on my maiden voyage to Asia. Stay tuned for regular dispatches over the next week from Kuala Lumpur. Except on November 30th, of course.
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Again, I envy you the food...