The journey commenced the moment we had to apply for the elusive American visa. It wasn't easy folks, even harder for my friend Lisa who had to spend days filling up the unnecessary forms which required details like the information on all our siblings. So just imagine our chef who had more than 10! Honestly, we never dared to harbour high hopes to actually make it to the land of the free. There were too many bumps along the way which were disheartening to the soul. Lisa's handbag was stolen together with our visa receipts, Chef and Watie's husband's visas were not approved till the very last minute, not to mention the reluctance of our spouses and children to allow us to make this trip. The days prior to the departure were just as eventful, but I was glad for the experience, good and bad were swallowed
with of a glass of self reflection.
I thought I had a good plan, which was to make myself cry days before the trip in hope to cry less at the airport. It failed miserably. I had to leave my kids and husband on Raya eve, unthinkable for many, unforgivable for me. After rounds of kisses and tight embraces I had to break free to descend the escalator to board my flight. It was then it rained tears on me. I couldn't look back for fear of losing my composure. But I did anyway, right before their images disappear from my cloudy vision. I flanked my hands and blew kisses, so many, that it was difficult for my son to catch and keep them in his pockets. My daughter just cried uncontrollably, my husband...he wrote me the most beautiful sms ever as he was too tight a throat to say it himself. Oh sedihnya saya masa tu Tuhan saja yang tahu.
Since our visas were only approved at the 11th hour, we didn't get to reserve good tickets for our flight. Dah jadi macam naik bas loncat, the difference was the journey occupied almost 29 hours of our time. We arrived at Changi Airport via Japan Airline around 10pm and had to wait till 6am the next day to fly to Hong Kong with United Airlines pulak. The transit was very trying for us, kami seperti orang2 yang kepenatan dan kehilangan arah meandering all over the place. In the end we slept on the airport's carpeted floor beralaskan bag makanan, bag tangan dan siku. Berlinanglah air mata pada keesokan harinya when Syawal was received by just us dusting the dust and the dirt from our pants. After a quick rendang tok and nasi impit breakfast we boarded the next flight to Hong Kong before the final 16 hour one straight to Chicago O'hare Airport.
to be continued.
Lisa the jet setter and chef the lone walker