With Daaaaa Bro getting married in 2006 it seemed only polite for me to show up a few days early and meet him in Hong Kong. For whatever reason Hong Kong and the Panama Canal are two things in the world that have fascinated me for years. On the flight over I got talking to a couple of English guys who were great fun, they work in the chemicals and go to Hong Kong on a really regular basis. The bit that I am really jealous of is that the father had something like 6 unique passports, I am pretty sure he was not a spy just had been in a lot of places.
DA Bro and I spent a couple of days in Hong Kong and despite being in the place with some of the most incredible food to be had in the world, as Daaaa Bro had a hankering for some Wester Food, so we spent a fair bit of time eating spicy wedges in an Irish bar. I did sneak out a few times and get some sort of crazy food that minutes ago had a head attached. I was crazy light headed getting minor vertigo but luckily Daaa Bro told me to fire my malaria pills and shortly after I was back to firing on all cylinders. Would love to get back to HK for the Sevens tournament at some point.
We then hit KL (that’s Kuala Lumpur) for a few days and caught up with the rest of the family, got to see Daaa Bros old bachelor pad, the Petronas towers and a really bad-ass old Buddhist Temple. That was enough of big cities so we popped over to Kota Kinabalu (KK).
This gave all the Irwin’s a good chance to adjust to the new timezone shift, about 8 for those from Europe and maybe 13 for me. There are worse ways to adjust that on a beach, with wacky lizards climbing the walls 🙂 This is probably a good time to mention the heat and humidity on the entire trip, for us cold climate adjusted Northern European types, this was a bit rough.
Ready for the main event we hopped into the vehicles and headed up the hills to Ranau, On the drive up Daaa Bro and I worked on a speech so with that work out of the way, we could settle down to a nice bit of grilling. Some of the local ladies had livestock swinging from the rafters and were prepping it for dinner the next day. DOM came out with the butchers cut for us, and I have to say I enjoyed it.
The wedding ceremony itself was wonderful, in the morning there was the cultural ceremony that involved the bridge and groom feeding their parents (as parents fed you as a kid) and a nice casual affair. Then in the evening we had a more western ceremony and it was also great, while storms rolled in from time to time (it is the tropics) there was no muss, no fuss. People just picked up their tables and we moved them all to get all chairs out of the rain. I got to be quite familiar with the local hooch/potin/moonshine. It was tasty and gave me the ability to have good conversations with the locals in their own language . Despite my Bahasa being wonderful the night before, alas when I got up the following morning I could no longer speak it. I suspect Cinderella was based on someone who drank a lot of local hooch.
As my stupid ass didn’t take the advice I was given, I wanted to hit the road the next day as I had a previous engagement in the Outer Banks. Had I left 24 hours later, it may have taken 12 or more hours off my travel time as I ended up ping ponging from KK -> KL -> HK to get onto my flight.
Ooo well 48 hours after leaving the house in Ranau I landed in Dulles, slept for an hour or two and then hopped on the bapper to the Outer Banks and arrived in-time for breakfast. A quick beer in the shower and I was ready for vacation #2.