Happy 4th of July!
I hope you are all full on burgers, brats, hot dogs, and shandy. I hope the fireworks you saw were spectacular, and the time you spent with your families precious.
I am looking forward to coming home to my own family, which, I know, have been holding their breath since I took off for Malaysia back in May.
Where have I been for the past week? Paradise. The minute I landed from Cambodia into Kuala Lumpur, I jetted straight to the bus station and managed to show up 5 minutes before the night bus to the Perhentian Islands left. The Perhentians are two islands with not much on it but snow-white sand and a couple of shacks serving pricey food and a place to sleep. I've been sleeping in a freezer- literally. It has air conditioning (which I've grown unaccustomed to) and the walls are made up of scraps of metal. But the ocean is unbelievable. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right for a dip after sunbathing all morning. In the afternoons I walk to the North end of the beach where there is fantastic snorkeling-right off the shore! No boat necessary! The water is so clear that I can see sea turtles on the bottom. Sea turtles! I am in Nemo heaven. At night the sky is crowded with stars since there is hardly any light pollution.
I took a snorkelling trip with 3 strappy lads from England (that is my attempt to speak their lingo) and we had an amazing time chasing sharks, sea turtles, parrot fish, and barracudas. The next morning I went diving. As most of you know, I am terrified of open water and nearly had an episode since this morning was particularly choppy. The waves were rough and I had to back roll into the water. As I was being tossed around, my bubble of anxiety clung to my head like plastic wrap, and I felt myself begin to hyperventilate. "I'm going to die I'm going to die I can't I can't I can't I can't" was going through my head a mile a minute. Everyone started descending as I fumbled around, forgetting everything I knew about diving (which one is inflate? which one is deflate?) until I took a deep breath and went under, where the water was 10 times more calm, and the coral full of life was waiting below us. It was like I was on Discovery channel- or in Finding Nemo- either one, I was blissfully happy. I saw stingrays, puffer fish, and bamboo sharks. A turtle dubbed 'Tripod' (it's missing a flipper) swam around us, and for 62 minutes, all was right in the world.
For Independence day, I didn't do anything too special. I looked at the stars while my English friends made firework-like sounds ("Happy 5th of July, Belinda!) and I cherished every moment of my laziness this past week, so grateful that I returned to Malaysia early and chose this sliver of paradise as my last destination. But there's only so much lying around I could do without feeling my energy and muscles drifting away, melting into the sand and being absorbed by the teal waters. (At this point, I had received an email from Planet Spirit All Stars reminding me that I am not yet a retired athlete, and I need to whip my ass into shape the minute I get home).
Currently, I am waiting for the night bus back to Kuala Lumpur, where Afiqah is waiting to pick me up and enjoy one last day in Malaysia before my long flight back to the states. Lucky for me, my godmother will be waiting in Hong Kong to keep me company for the 4 hour layover I have. I am looking forward to seeing her even though in Chinese standards, I am atrociously tan.
Well, this is it! Last blog. I hope you enjoyed it! I can't wait to talk to you all in person. I lost my cell phone somewhere between Malaysia and Thailand so I'm apologizing right now for not having your number anymore.
Enjoy the rest of summer :) Terimah Kasih (Thank you)!