What to do on Christmas day when travelling? Despite the shopping mall displays, it would be possible to just ignore the holidays altogether, but it seems unsporting not to acknowledge it somehow. Lee's solution: pub food. Nothing says pa-rum-pa-pum-pum like Guinness and a meat pie served with mashed and gravy. We went to follow it up with my idea: high tea at the Carcosa Seri Negara, an old-school colonial hotel in the Lake Gardens. It seems that I should have come up with my plan at least three weeks before we arrived in KL and called ahead to make a reservation. We were turned away at the gate and told we can come a week from Wednesday, the first day a table is available for a couple of wayward travellers to have Earl Grey and scones in the garden. I did get a photo before we scampered back down the hill to have another beer at the pub.
My friend, Sylvia, lent me this book as we were leaving Seoul to go to the airport. She knew I'd like it as much as she did. Now I miss you even more, Sylvia!
Shortly before we left Korea, our friend David lent us the book Jim Thompson: The Unsolved Mystery, which recounts his 1967 disappearance (Thompson's, not David's!). An American expat who lived in Thailand and founded a silk company, Thompson was well-known among expats and locals alike, and wasn’t without enemies. While travelling in Malaysia, he went to the Easter Sunday morning service at All Soul’s Church near Brinchang, then ate lunch with his traveling companions. Deciding to go for a walk while the others went back to their rooms to rest proved a fateful decision – he was never seen or heard from again.
A Bosphorus cruise was scheduled for our first day in Turkey, but we were rained out. This turned out to be fortuitous, as some friendly Turks we met felt sorry for us and arranged to have the private yacht of a Turkish pop star sail us down the strait - a vast improvement over the large tourist ferry which was originally scheduled.