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Trip Start Sep 24, 2009
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Trip End Nov 16, 2009


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Flag of Malaysia  , Terengganu,
Friday, November 13, 2009

On my 15th day on Ensco 106, nine others and myself got back on a Sikorsky helicopter around noon and flew back to Teirhk airport. Its pretty crazy taking off from a helipad about 200 feet off the sea level, because one minute you're on the rig and the next you're flying high over the ocean, hoping not to crash.  I kept chuckling at the fact that it was Friday the 13th and we were taking a helicopter through a rainstorm 80 miles from any coastline.  Obviously we made it back just fine and obviously any sort of belief in anything superstitious is ridiculous.  

Once we got out of the airport our driver picked us up and took us to the parent's house of one of the guys I had been working with.  They lived on the way to the next airport in Kuantan and we had about six hours to kill.  The state of Malaysia and especially the town we were in (Kemaman) is largely a Muslim community.  Being a Muslim home, you must take your shoes off at the door and greet your host using both hands to shake their hand.  After the handshake you place your right hand over your heart with a slight bow.  Another option is taking the top side of their hand and placing it on you forehead as you bow.  I kind of knew about these rules from prior observations in KL and this area.  So I went with the two hand handshake and a deep head nod.  Some of us sat on the floor and others in chairs while we ate snacks and the host prepared a chocolate like drink that was similar to iced coffee.  So in other words, it was delicious.  It is very common for men in this area of Malaysia to dress in what I would describe as a full leg length skirt-wrap kind of thing.  Kind of threw me off at first.  After a short while there we got back into our van and kept heading down the coast to Kuantan.  We stopped along the way at a roadside outdoor/open air restaurant (very common in Malaysia).  We, the Malaysians I was with, ordered a feast food that I would never know to order.  It seemed like plate after plate of stuff was coming out.  We had this kind of local fish (the guys weren't sure what kind exactly, but it came out of the ocean across the street) that was wrapped in a banana leaf and then grilled.  It was doused in some sort of sweet/spicy sauce that was delicious.  To drink we had basicall what was water mixed with coconut milk to make a kind of coconut water drink.  Pretty good also.  I didn't know what to do when I opened one larger banana leaf to find a whole cooked fish.  I tried eating it, but after a mouthful of small fish bones I decided I'd just let the pros enjoy those.  

We continued our journey down the coast to the Kuantan airport and when we arrived in Kuantan we still had about an hour before we had to head to the airport.  So what did the big evil Halliburton corporation do for us?  They gave us rooms at a decent hotel

(http://www.msgarden.com.my/ ) so we could relax and freshen up.  Not bad.  I would have been ok to just wait around, but hey, its not my money.  Went to the airport and flew back to KL.  This all happened yesterday (Friday) and today is Saturday.  Monday night at 11:15PM my ride is picking me up from the hotel and I'm taking the 2:15 AM 7 hour flight to Dubai, four hour layover, then an estimated 17 hour flight against the wind to Houston.  Its been a real good experience over here, but I will be excited to get back to what is usually considered normal.

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Comments

Dad, Mom, Monica on

Joel, we are in a hotel in Topeka queuing up to go directly to the Mizzou game starting at 11:30... and I read the blog outload to the gals as they dolled up for the game... What a riot. Mom just loves the "being there" descriptions you dial in. fun stuff. WONDERFUL update!

Vina Paul on

Very interesting. Your folks were here for dinner last night and Monica a nd Kara spent the night. Enjoy your Turkey Trip with all your family. I know they are all excited about getting some time with you. Love,Grandma Vina

amyyasmine
amyyasmine on

Well...just to reiterate.....shoes are removed before entering a home of any ASIAN homes.Its more of a culture thing!...keep up the good work

amyyasmine
amyyasmine on

Love all ur stories esp the one of the Scots speaking English..............funny lol?.....cheers!

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