Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Town Break, Going Places (MAS in-flight magazine), October 2008
If there was ever an article borne out of serendipity, this must be it.
Last year, Philip and Siew Ee read an arty I wrote about Sungai Petani and asked on a whim: would I like to follow them to her hometown Kluang for a weekend getaway?
This travelogue is the result of that spontaneous trip :)
I love the quaint town, non sequiturs, anomalies, quirks and all: Every shop seems to display the Malaysian flag alongside the Johor one! Somebody dish out a patriotism award, quick!
Everybody was so lovely. How can I ever repay all of them for their generosity?
From the Lims who were my hosts, to the Kluang Tourism Department secretary who gave a lift to a stranded stranger with little persuasion, to the enigmatic Mansor Poh, a Johor icon I got to know under completely serendipitous circumstances, Kluangites are shining beacons of true Malaysian hospitality.
To Philip, Siew Ee, Uncle Lim, Li Poh, Jit Pang, Barney, Jit Chiang, Ash, Mansor, Kelvin Oon (for those fantastic photographs!), and anyone else I may have inadvertently missed out:
Thank you for reminding me why I love travel writing. As a writer, I am occasionally privileged to enjoy the perks of the job: glitzy hotels, five star restaurants, and glamorous itineraries.
But nothing could ever match the heartfelt warmth of the people who make going places such an joyful affair.
Must cam-whore lah! (Hamming it up with cobbler Ng Chen Lim, of Kedai Kasut Guan Kim)
If anybody wants the full text, you're welcome to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org