"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Having a lot of material to cover, I shall dismiss with the preliminaries and just launch into the usual semi-connected list of observations and ramblings.

My US Trip (2005) - Part 1 of X

Flight to Newark, Day 1 - Newark-Princeton


My - you guessed it, Ma-laysian Airlines - flight to KLIA, from which I would take another to Newark via Stockholm, was at 6:15. So the night before saw me putting into action Part 1 of my Jetlag Avoidance Strategy, namely to not sleep, since Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 12 hours behind Singapore at this time of year.

Wandering the relatively empty halls of the Changi Airport Terminal Two, I found that its smoking area was located in the Sunflower Garden; I was surprised that the Sunflowers hadn't all died yet. And there was a yellow box outside of which the smokers couldn't smoke, though this box was huge (unlike the other Singaporean institution where they have yellow boxes for smokers). They also had a lot more internet terminals than this time last year (as did KLIA, since they are impelled to keep up with the Joneses).

Boarding the flight, I noticed that there was no Row 13. I thought it was UnIslamic to take heed of UnIslamic superstitions. Hmm. But then they serve alcoholic drinks on MAS flights, so maybe they don't care.

After reaching KLIA, it was about 8 plus, so I put into action Part 2 of my Jetlag Avoidance Strategy - to sleep. Ideally I wouldn't have dosed until I got onto the flight to Newark, but my stamina was running low after 21 hours without sleep.

MAS still doesn't have the decency to provide moist toweletes with their meals. There was Pepsi Max on the flight to Newark - I wonder where they found it; it seems to have disappeared from Singapore. And the entertainment controller on my seat had had its wire severed, so I had to entertain myself by sleeping, reading and making snide remarks about MAS.

I don't understand why some people are so hung up about leg room. Even after I stuffed my bag under the seat in front of me, there was plenty of space to stretch my legs. It was the horizontal cramping that was bothersome.

Before our arrival in the US, they showed us a video which had the cheek to claim that their taking of our left and right index fingerprints and our mugshots was to "protect your privacy". Protect our security perhaps, but protect our privacy? Bollocks. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.

There was a small framed picture of Dubya greeting us as we exited immigration, but none of his wife. And to its right there was a humongous picture of the customer service representative. Oh well, I suppose this is called devolution of power and subsidiarity.

When we collected our luggage at Newark, we found that our luggage strap had disappeared - apparently some hardup luggage handler had taken the strap. Wth?!

After collecting our luggage, we got the rental car and drove down to the McIntosh Inn motel near Princeton, stopping by a rest area on the way (Mmm, real bacon in a Burger King sandwich...) There were humongous cups (more like kegs) of drink available from Burger King, and we contemplated getting one to store ice and/or cold drinks.

My sister kept a food diary so I shall paste its daily contents here: "Day 1 : arrive Newark, very late dinner at Burger King off highway. Chicken burger, Angus beef burger. Contemplate ice keg."


Quotes:

Your luggage is stewed / stoo'ed (stowed)

Your laugh jacket (life)

A sleeping bag has been left at the waiting lorh'nge. Can the honour please collect it from the cabin crew? (lounge, owner)


NB: Photographs will be posted with the travelogue entry for the day during which they were taken
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