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KL and Back Again

It was good to be back, and see things slightly differently for the first time.

The Road to KLIA2.

It’s been a quick 10 days back home. It just flew by. Things were mostly the same, just seems a bit pricier. It was good to have the company of people I know, and people I care about and love. I often get asked when people find out that I’m driving alone. Why? There’s a surprised look they give me, and before they say anything else I tell them “yeah, I’m a bit crazy” and I laugh.

But yesterday I went into slightly more detail with a friend - I said driving alone was actually better than if there was someone else with me - I see more, I feel more, I hear more and I experience more, and I appreciated everything around me a whole lot more. It’s because there are no distractions, and there is only one consideration - me. Everything is on me. All epic moments and fuckups are on me. Good decisions, bad decisions, whether to eat or not to eat, toilet breaks, stopovers and for how long, where to stay, where to sleep, where to go and how to go. Who to talk to, when to talk and when not to talk. When to drink, and when not to drink.

This is something I always wanted to know, and I suspect all of us do - what we would do, and how we would be, if what we do and decide is up to only us - no excuses, no blame, just full-on accountability and responsibility for ourselves. But most of us can’t and we don’t - even if there’s another person, we only make 50% of the decisions in what we do. We have considerations, and there are always expectations. Factor in jobs, dependents, friends and family, and the percentage goes down. This is neither a bad nor a good thing. It is just how it is, how our lives are intertwined and organically structured by default.

We make independent decisions within an invisible path already laid down, and it is a path where we have people we can share time with and rely on, who in turn rely on us. It is comforting, it is safe, we are not alone and if things don’t go as we would want them to, there’s always someone or something to blame. The victim hat is always within reach, and we tell ourselves we have little choice, and we justify to ourselves and to others that this is it. We made our decisions and we need to stick with it. No choice.

But the thing is, there was and there is always a choice. Where we are right now is the net accumulated sum of the choices we made up to now, and where we will be will be the net sum of the choices that we make from now. We are exactly where we want to be, because we made the choices in every given situation then and now that led us here. Right here, right now.

Right now I’m in a Grab Car on the way to KLIA2, and I’ll be taking a flight in a few hours back to Bangkok, Thailand. I hope K is still there and alright, just covered in a little more dust and grime from the air in the carpark. I miss her - yeah I’m missing a bloody car. I miss being inside her, just us, seeing things for the first time together and depending on each other to get where I want to and need to be. She tells me about the roads and how she is through the bumps and the hum of her engine, and she doesn’t hesitate when I press on the pedal or the brakes. She shelters me from the sun and the rain, and I know it’s my responsibility to look after her as well as I can, because she is doing the same for me.

I will fly into Phnom Penh this weekend, and find out for myself whether I can drive K into Cambodia from Thailand. All I can find out so far seems vague and inconclusive, there doesn’t seem to be any clear answers, and the best way to find out for sure is to find out for myself directly. It’ll be an adventure getting to the customs department not knowing how to speak Khmer, and seeing where it leads me.

But coming back to where I am right now. Everything looks the same, is the same I suppose, but feels different for me now. I’m seeing things slightly differently, the same way I have been seeing Thailand. I let my gaze linger a little longer, I’m not rushing, I give myself more time to see, listen and I take a little more time to respond. It’s home but physically it feels less so, and what still makes it home to me are only the people, and the food.

The lines from the Del Amitri song came to mind and I find myself singing them as I thank the driver and I walk into the airport with my bags.

“So on the ancient trails of our coupling in the places we used to meet I am amazed by the lack of memories that I thought would flood through me And the riverside where we first kissed has now been reduced To a phony old world market where only shoppers get seduced Now your arms embrace me strangely in your unfamiliar room And for all I care it might as well be the surface of the moon“

Yeah this goes into my playlist of 100 songs to learn and play on my new, used guitar.

4.8.2022 Kuala Lumpur

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