Our flight stretches endlessly across the sky, as Thursday stretches into Friday, which stretches into Saturday. Having flown to Malaysia not too long ago, I'm familiar with this strange species of SuperDay. You eat a meal, not really knowing which meal it is. Pasta for breakfast, the day's the night. You're awake forever. I re-watch the entire first season of The Office (British version), which is still deeply fantastic.
In my room at KL's Furama Bukit Bintang hotel, the muggy tropical air battles with the air conditioner. I feel the cool chugging and churning and trying its best, but the humidity is winning. This is not a bad thing—it's a really good smell. Earthy and grateful, it hangs heavy from the minute you step off the plane. It reminds you where you are. After a few hours of deep, industrial-strength sleep, I wake up confused at 4 am. I lie in bed listening to honking horns on the roundabout outside my window, curious where all those KLers are rushing off to at this unlikely time of night. I find a weird Malaysian channel devoted to scooter races, and take my first Malarone with a swig of sealed bottled water.
And so it begins.