The morning of July 29, sometime before 6:00 a.m.
I’m outside in the car park with the crickets, their chorus is unrelenting. I peek over the five-foot masonry wall and see lighting flash across the horizon. The street lamp bathes my surroundings with an eerie orange glow. I wonder if the view on Mars would be in the same colour. The crickets have competition now as an Iman crackles over a distant loudspeaker calling the faithful to prayer. A Jet flies overhead, drowning both out.
It’s the tropics, it’s early morning, and I am outside. A small anxiety creeps into my mind. The bugs are not bad at all, but one lazy-looking Mosquito drunkenly floats by. I swipe at it and subconsciously wonder if malaria might be in my future. I suddenly feel itchy all over and take a moment from writing to scan for any unwanted guests helping themselves to me. The worry isn’t enough to drive me inside.
There is no wind, the air is thick with moisture, my skin sticks to the plastic seat beneath me. I breathe in deeply and exhale the tropical air slowly. The feel of this place reminds me of all the good memories we have from Antigua a few years ago.
We made it! It took nearly 40 hours of travel to get here — but here we are. We anticipate many great adventures together but for now while the kids still sleep and the sun refuses to bring on the day I am content to sit in the orange martian glow beside the rental car and take in all the wonders my new environment has for me.
Suddenly the wind picks up, the trees are dancing now. A gust of cool air strikes me where I sit in the undercover. The rain comes, but at first only in short intervals. “Was that even rain?” I ask myself. It stopped as soon as it started! But that was just a prelude, now rain drops from the sky in buckets! The torrent thunders off the back half of the car which sits exposed to the elements. All is drenched in seconds. But then as if someone turns off a switch the deluge subsides.
I love the smell that early morning rain brings. “Fresh” is a terrible olfactory description but that’s all that comes. As I appreciate the smell my eyes look to the horizon and despite the persistent orange glow and a reinvigorated driving rain, I am able to make out the morning battle. Before my very eyes I see once again darkness losing its struggle against the light. Maybe that’s why I like mornings so much.
I fear for my spot in the car park. The rain has managed to find another gear of intensity and even though I am protected by 10 feet of overhang, overachieving water droplets find their mark on my knees feet and journal. It’s time to go in, wake up the kids, and get on with our great Malaysian adventure.