Letters by Kenny Mah

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The air that I breathe

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June 23, 2013

Hey you,

Kuching is a marvelous city. The air is fresh and clean, the traffic in the town centre tolerable. Folks move at a slower pace here. They smile more. When I travel for work, this is one of the few places I don’t dread hitting. Things aren’t so bad; quite often they are better.


When I’m done with my meetings for the day and head back to my hotel, I head back to my hotel alone. I rarely have colleagues with me on work trips. I’m very much a soloist. I don’t really do client dinners; I’ve mastered the art of declining politely but firmly. (They smile lots; I smile more. I charm. I’m disarming and I get my way.)

I head to the supermarket across the road from the hotel, the one next to the river. I buy groceries. Folks here speak Malay too but it’s different from the peninsular. It’s comforting in a way. If I’m not with you, even for a couple of days, I will jolly well acknowledge it. The air that I breathe is not the air that you are breathing now. Mine is fresher and cleaner, true. But it reeks of the distance between us.

Two more days till I fly home to you. I count the hours.

Yours always and always,

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