Saturday, April 19, 2008

Counting Days

It’s the third day here in Labuan. Boredom is like the ocean view outside of my room, endless. Well I hear you. You are so saying: ”What the hell are you whining about of your OCEAN view hotel room, you little twad head?” You see, it’s really not much of a view.

You see, I had this unshakable funny feeling that this would be a long week as the plane landed on Sunday night. It was a little after 10 pm, all the shops at the airport were already closed (bad sign #1). After getting the taxi chit, I got out of the airport and waited for a good 15 minutes before a taxi showed up (bad sign #2). The taxi drove along the quiet street then into town center area. Shops were closed and the streets were deserted (bad sign #3). People had warned me about how boring this place could be when I told them I’d be here attending training for a week. But I was stubborn and shun them out completely, believing that being a duty free island, where booze and tobacco are tax free (read dirt cheap), this place, or at the very least the downtown area should be still hopping and bopping at 10 pm.

Dead wrong! I was dead wrong. It’s indeed going to be a long one.

This evening I went to town to pick up some chocolates and a couple of bottles of wine. The sky was dark and threatening, a storm was brewing. It was just a short walk from the hotel so I thought I’d walk there and take a taxi back should it rain. I set off around 5:30pm. It was just a leisurely 10-minute stroll. The sky was now thick with clouds and the wind was picking up. However, what was more alarming was the shops were closing down. “What the heck? Is it because of the storm coming in or you guys always close this early?” I found myself scrambling around the town center looking for chocolate and wine like an addict just about to go nuts not getting his sugar and booze fix. I walked into a duty free shop along the main drag, asking the shopkeeper: ”Hi what time do you normally close?”

“6 or 6:30pm the latest!” He replied.

“Oh my good God! This is the main drag of the town center!” I screamed and screamed, so very loud, in my heart. I paid for my chocolates and left, as they already had the gate down half way.

The training isn’t going very well either. It’s a 5-day classroom course with lecture after lecture of equipment design and functions and calculation formulas and equations. Yay, exciting! I had 2 cups of coffee for breakfast every morning and had sweets in class but still started yawning half an hour into the class. My eyes were so heavy that I could hardly keep them open even half way into the morning session! So I resorted to taking ciggy breaks, since they are cheap here. But that’s not really the best way isn’t it? Tell me how. Help me!

I’m counting the days. I can’t wait until Friday comes. I’ll be flying off.

After Brunei, I think this is the most boring place I’ve even been. No wait, I think it’s the other way around.

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