The warmth envelopes me like a fluffy blanket on a winters night.
I breathe in deeply the humid, polluted air – strange that breathing this air brings me joy – but it instantly alerts me to the reality that I have stepped back onto Asian soil.
I want to kiss the steaming tarmac, but hold back through fear of really strange looks from my fellow passengers and maybe even arrest for out of the ordinary airport behavior.
Bus boys languidly lie around in groups, jumping up to run forth when they see the group of white tourists rolling our suitcases along.
“You want bus?” They point and try to steer you in their intended direction with a nod and a wave of the hand.
The sweet smell of clover cigarettes waft up my nose and I turn to find where it comes from; a habit ingrained in me since my first trip to Asia – Bali in 1996 when I was 20.
It was on that trip that I knew I was born to travel, addicted to it and from that journey on, if I wasn’t traveling then the hole in my heart the size of China would exist.
Asia, I run to you, I run to you now.
I’m excited for the short few days I will have here in Kuala Lumpur for the NAPBAS awards ceremony, already aware of the bitterness and longing that will return once I leave.
For now, I will enjoy your intoxifying smells, allow my taste buds to participate in a journey of spice and zest, and welcome the humid heat to break my body out in a clammy sweat.
Yes, that is how much I love Asia.
Thanks for welcoming me back.
Question….Do you find Asia addictive? Why?