Dear god, where on earth am I?
After seemingly months of travel the folks and I are in Penang, Malaysia.
Yeah, I'd never really heard of it either.
First of all, Singapore Airlines lives up to the rep and even in coach, I chugged vodka tonics whilst watching A Mighty Heart and dining on balsamic chicken. We arrived the hotel at cocktail hour last night, and were met with...cocktails.
Alex is in Bankgok (safe and beyond happy) and meeting us tomorrow, so for two nights, I have my own hotel room, which is bigger than my flat in San Francisco.
By a lot.
The bathroom alone is the size of my huge and coveted kitchen and my veranda looks over the Indian ocean, with palm trees and humid breezes and the whole shebang.
I'm pretending I'm Queen Latifah in Last Holiday.
The folks and I met for dinner in the gorgeous restaurant, 1885 (the year our hotel was founded) where we had a Thanksgiving dinner of seared ahi, scallop ceviche, lamb duos and crepes Suzette, actually on fire.
Upon my stumbling return to my gorgeous room, I found my key "didn't work."
So I nervously found, wait for it ... my butler, Ben.
Yeah. I have a butler named Ben. He knocks at my massive door just to see if everything is "satisfactory." I actually made him join me on the veranda and offered him a drink.
Anyway, Ben walked me to my room, assuring me he'd fix whatever was wrong with my lock.
Which was nothing. I was a drunk idiot.
Anyway, en route, with me all dolled up, Ben says, "You so pletty. Whey youl husbun?"
"Oh, golly. I don't have a husband?"
"Why no? How old you?"
"I'm almost 30."
Ben registered a look of shock and horror .
"Oh, I think you velly nice. You fine husbun."
Thanks, Ben. I'll sleep soundly thanks to your concerned reassurance.
I guess in Malaysia, if you're not married by the time you're 20, you're either got a major screw loose or you're missing a limb.
My door opened by Ben, I went to my veranda for a cigarette and a nightcap and quite frankly, none of you can blame me.
This morning I awoke to a wonderful, Frasier-based episode of Cheers and mangoes left at my door.
Oh, Ben. Are you hitting on me?
I spent the last hour organizing the gifts I've already bought.
Zoe gets ostentatios knock-off bags purchased at Hong Kong's Temple Street Night Market. Mikey gets dozens of foreign t-shirts, covered in trendy images and slogans. Sara, Kate and KG get funky and cheap jewelry, sure to break on the 2nd wearing. And Andy gets drug paraphenallia.
But what, oh what to get my Brian?
Today I'm spending at the pool with my book, waiting for Alex to arrive tomorrow morning before we hit the real knock-off market. I'm talking quality North Fake, people. Get excited.
It was extraordinary to spend Thanksgiving here, and prior to meeting the folks for the daily pre-dinner drink, I sat on my little veranda and had "a moment."
It is rare that I will actually take some Oprah time and appreciate where I am and what I'm doing. But in my own magnificent room, overlooking an ocean I'd never seen before, deciding not to worry about the million things at home, I was incredibly grateful for this situation.
I'm wrote in my little journal, "I am very blessed, I have a magnificent family and I love my friends. ~ Thanksgiving, 2007. Penang."
Well, shit. That's goddamn fabulous...
PS. Rita Hao (you know, SFist Rita) is graciously filling in for me, but upon my return, I'll be recapping Project Runway for SFGate! Up on Thursdays and thank you Eve..