Coming full circle I write this sat in the Concorde Inn, Kuala Lumpur. I start up the story again with the last few days of our stay in KT. It seemed to have flown past! It seems rather surreal that we are going home again.
The last few days in KT were really special. They started with a leaving party being thrown for us in the office, this was a few days before we actually left, but another member of the office was leaving, so they decided to combine our parties! This party consisted of a lunch and a cake iced with our joint name Jelly printed on it alongside Lionel’s nickname, turtle uncle.
This was then followed by a photo session. The evening was made all the more lovely by Yanti taking us out for coffee in China Town, we then proceeded to go and grab some food, Yanti, Nisa and Millie got burgers and I got an ice cream before sitting on the beach under the moonlight through the clouds looking like candyfloss, chatting away about life the universe and everything until midnight.
We fell into our beds and after spending the following day at INOS, we were presented with numerous gifts a beautiful hand stiched seahorse, beautiful pencil holder and an I ❤ Terengganu fridge magnet. We also composed an article for INFOCUS the INOS magazine, it was, rather soppy! Our evening was then like an extract from the Great British Bake Off; we did actually watch an episode of bake off whilst doing the baking, baking being making 3 lemon drizzle cakes, a victoria sandwich and an apple and cinnamon crumble.
The following day and our last day at INOS was one of definite mixed emotions. Our presents went down really well and the food went down even better! We also taught Achap how to use a microwave, I know, he really didn’t know. This was all alongside being fetched more food, that we must try before we leave KT!
Yanti then appeared, whisking us off to lunch with her and Nisa. We returned to the restaurant by the seafront, eating and chatting away, whilst the sun shone and the waves crashed onto the sand. Yanti then asked us if we wanted to go and bath Jelly before they would drop us back at INOS. We eagerly agreed, relishing the opportunity to see Jelly for the last time before we headed home. Oh how I miss animals! We chatted and dried damp kittens with towels, having lots of cuddles with the 3 strays that Yanti had rescued before heading back to INOS. It was really really sad saying goodbye to Yanti and Nisa. They have become such close friends and it was really hard saying goodbye to them both. Hugs were given along with demands that we stay in touch, we then returned to the office, to be presented with more gifts.
It was with sadness that we spent the last afternoon in the office, the people had been, beyond lovely to us, welcoming us like family, into their lives, whilst we have been in KT. It meant a huge amount to us, making a stay that was, so far away from home, feel distinctly, less isolating and less scary. We could not emphasise enough how these people, have made our trip so much better.
So it was with a lump in my throat, that we said goodbye to them all. From the laughs, to the food, to playing badminton outside in the evening, just because, these moments are some of the ones I will never forget. It was nice to give them little gifts as a thank you.
We were however also ready to leave, having completed all of the work we had planned to do, travelled all over KT, worked long days and had a variety of stressful moments, both Millie and I, were ready to go on our little holiday trip we had planned to Penang. We would go for 3 days and stay in a hotel, by the beach and chill, before heading back to the UK.
We left INOS going out to dinner with Dr Jarina, she is head of the international work at INOS and took us out for my favourite the deep fried seafood, further up the coastline. She was really nice, chatting to us about the uni, whilst encouraging us to eat more and more, consequently I was stuffed by the end of that meal! It was her PhD student who dropped us back at Lucy’s, her PhD student who was one of the Lucy’s daughter! It is such a small world!
Our last evening at Lucy’s was spent packing, we had a lot of stuff to pack! We also spent a large portion, deciding which clothes or items we would leave behind, we had to try and keep the weight down in our cases! The following morning we were picked up by Ira a lovely lady, who had given us a few lifts into INOS the previous week when Dr Wan was away. We were given a gift of a lovely compact mirror from the Lucy’s and had a photo with both of them before wrestling our cases into the cars.
Ira gave us both a turtle that had a personalised message on the underside from her, they were so cute! We arrived at the airport, meeting Dr Wan, Acaq and Yana. They took us for breakfast at the Secret Recipe restaurant nearby, after Dr Wan had made sure we checked in and sorted our bags out. She is so lovely to us and definitely deserves the title our Malaysian Mum! We were then bought breakfast, and taken to security after a photo shoot and waved off. Millie and I stifled the tears as we went straight to the gate, got on the plane and flew to KL. All within the space of about 1hr 15 minutes.
At KL we then killed 3 hours, before boarding our next flight to Penang. Also on time and with no trouble, we landed and retrieved our bags, mine was the first off the plane! That never happens! We hopped into a taxi to where we were staying, the Hard Rock Hotel, Penang!
We spent 4 happy days at the Hard Rock Hotel, mostly eating, sleeping, drinking cocktails and wine. Simply put we just totally chilled out for a few days. It was bliss! We thoroughly enjoyed the ‘swim up’ bar, to which we did indeed swim up to! Millie read my favourite all time book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khalid Hosseni and loved it! We listened to live music every night and went and had, what can only be described as the best Chocolate Brownie I have ever had, although the portion was so huge I just couldn’t finish it, although I really did try!
We sadly checked out of the Hard Rock on Sunday, flying back to KL, although it was with great amusement that we were sat outside our gate, for a good while, before the plane turned up only 30 mins before we were supposed to be flying out of it! The fact that we then left on time, was quite frankly astonishing! We bumped down in KL and negotiating the airport like pro’s, got on the shuttle bus to the Concorde Inn, where we were going to stay for a day before flying out to HOME! Needless to say, I am now looking forward to going home! So much, Malaysia has been amazing, but I am looking forward to seeing my family!
Goodbye for now, I will give you all one last update when I get home!