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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The plans o' mice an' men

As Robert Burns once said "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men....often go astray..." well I suppose that's not exactly how he said it, but in the spirit of his words, my plan to not plan, has well and truly gone astray. 

Only last week I was high on the idea of landing in KL and floating off to whereever the wind would take us. Nothing booked, nothing planned.... just a map and the open road ahead.  

Then as I whimsically flit from one travel site to another on the net, reality dawns. Eid. Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The end of Ramadan will be happening the day of our arrival to Malaysia. I couldn't believe our luck. After a month of fasting and abstinence, Malaysia would greet Ramadan’s end with a feast and party to last into the coming month. 

How fabulous to arrive upon this celebration.... and to my added excitement I further learn the day after Eid is Malaysia Day, the nations day for commemorating it's independence. My delight reaches exhilaration when I then discover that a Chinese festival lasting a whole week also begins the day we arrive - the Lantern and Mooncake festival. Flags, parades, feasts, lanterns, dancing dragons and music's all so fabulous until I realised that with Eid comes holidays and with holidays comes completely booked out accommodation. 

Suddenly I panic! I throw a question onto the Thorn Tree forum.... what are the chances of just turning up and finding a bed? The replies come back thick and fast..... Zilch! This is serious party time for Malaysia, and for those in Singapore too.... and Thailand. I'm told that many of the neighbours head to Malaysia to soak up the beaches and the Highland coolness.... along with many of the locals. All the top spots will be filled with holidaymakers and celebrators galore. One kind soul tells me "Even if we did score a bed, we'd be flat-strapped getting transport out of KL."  

I suddenly see Big M and I out on the open road, completely.... not dancing in the streets, but sleeping in them...with not a bed in sight. 

"What are we going to do?" I wail to Big M. As he trawls the internet for a room at the inn, I watch my dream of serendipity fade into organisation hardness.  

Finally, we find accommodation in KL and for a moment I feel deflated as the confirmation booking number appears on the screen. Then I realise, in a way this is serendipity. The accidental discovery of these celebrations happening on the day of our arrival is sure to be indeed something very pleasant.   

As Robbie Burns says.... “And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!”

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