Malaysia

Kuala lumpur, Malaysia

On the way through to India, I stopped off in Kuala lumpur for a day: a chaotic city filled with people that are incredibly warm & welcoming. The air was thick with the smell of clove cigarrettes and the heat bordered on unbearable as I explored it’s curious mix of modernity & antiquity. The city is littered with many beautiful, new skyscrapers which loom over the fractal back alleys and open-air meat markets of Chow Kit and the like.

I was glad to have made the effort to check it out but after hiking around the city in an almost perpetual state of sweat all day I felt immense pity for the poor souls seated next to me on the flight to Hyderabad.

Some ruins found in the city centre benath the KL Tower Seeking refuge from the heat near Merdeka square
The KL Tower stands tall over the city A crowded store somewhere in the city centre
Street art found outside a bar in the Bukit Bintang district

Leaving

Auckland, New Zealand

“Are you excited?” is a question I’ve been asked frequently in the month leading up to my departure. Invariably I have struggled to answer it. The truth is that I’m not excited, I’m absolutely terrified. Jumping headfirst into a culture I know nothing about scares the shit out of me.

Accompanying the anxiety is sadness. Mourning the loss of a life that I’ve led happily in Auckland. My decision to leave has not been one based on unhappiness and this makes it very hard to pull up the roots and say goodbye, especially to the kids of my friends. The next time I see them they’ll be twice the size.

Dismantling each piece of the puzzle here has produced an ongoing procession of losses. Resignation from a job that I have loved dearly, giving notice of my departure to flatmates I have come to consider great friends, selling the motorcycle I learned to ride on and waving farewell to the wonderful collection of humans in my life. Each and every step is accompanied by a small package of pain, which I have been unable to justify with any certainty of what’s to come.

Despite the trepidation, I am looking forward to the journey, and there is some solace in remembering that if this move were comfortable then I couldn’t hope to grow as much from it. I moved to Auckland 5 years ago and have come to call it home. A home I hope to return to later in life. Until then I will miss it dearly.

Looking out over the Waitakere ranges from above Piano gully in Awhitu

Looking out over the Waitakere ranges from above Piano gully in Awhitu

Dawn

Papamoa, New Zealand
Dawn along the coast of Papamoa, looking towards Mount Maunganui

Dawn along the coast of Papamoa, looking towards Mount Maunganui