My Very First Flight From Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia To Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA

Collecting My First-Class Diploma In Mechanical Engineering

Graduation Commencement At ITJ
Graduation Commencement At ITJ

Back Where It All Began

To make a long story short, I applied for admissions to 3 institutions of higher learning within a span of 7 years after I graduated from an independent Chinese-medium secondary school and a private technical institute from which I obtained a first-class Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.

The 3 universities, namely the National University of Taiwan, located in Taipei, Republic of China; University of Strathclyde, a Scottish public research university situated in Glasgow, U,K,; and University of Sunderland in Sunderland, U,K, offered me a place to pursue a bachelor's degree in Engineering. For some reasons I didn't take up the offers.

Eventually, at the age of 26, I took the plunge when Texas Tech University gave me a favorable reply.

Texas Tech University

This where I pursued my BS in Industrial Engineering.
This where I pursued my BS in Industrial Engineering. | Source

Subang International Airport

7 high schoolmates and me at the departure lounge of the airport.
7 high schoolmates and me at the departure lounge of the airport.

My Flight Path

show route and directions
A markerKuala Lumpur -
Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
[get directions]

B markerTokyo -
Tokyo, Japan
[get directions]

C markerLos Angeles -
Los Angeles, CA, USA
[get directions]

D markerLubbock -
Lubbock, TX, USA
[get directions]

I Am On My Way, Uncle Sam

That was my very first time I flew from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Lubbock, Texas, USA. Since there was no non-stop flight, I opted for with 2 stop-over flights in between, namely Tokyo, Japan and Los Angelas, California, USA. All in, the entire flight took me 22 hours.

The circuitous flights involved 3 airlines: Cathay Pacific Airlines (from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo); Northwest Airlines (from Tokyo to Los Angeles); and Continental Airlines (from Los Angeles to Lubbock).

I would like to thank all those relatives and high schoolmates who took their time out of their busy schedules to bid farewell to me at Subang International Airport. The 7 schoolmates of mine as shown in the photo remain friends till today.

At Narita International Airport

I stayed at a 3-star hotel near Narita International Airport, Tokyo for a night to catch a flight to Los Angeles the next morning. Communication with the front-desk staff of the hotel was kind of difficult as they couldn't speak English and my vocabulary in Japanese were limited to only a handful of words or names such as arigato, sayonara, sakura, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Toyota.

As a last resort, I took out my pen and wrote on a piece of paper in Chinese and they managed to understand since the Japanese language borrowed a lot of Chinese characters since ancient time.

I went to a pub in the hotel to quench my thirst and to listen to some music instead of watching TV in my room all night long.

I couldn't sleep right away after I returned to my room although I had quite a bit of alcohol. I went through a brochure placed on a side table next to the queen-size bed. The brochure was in both Japanese and English. I reached a decision to try out a full-body massage. I dialed the number and the lady who picked up the phone spoke reasonably good English. A few minutes later, a Japanese woman appeared at the door.

I felt a bit downhearted as she was a woman in her 40's, a plain Jane and dressed conservatively. I let her in since I didn't make it clear to the person I spoke to earlier regarding my specify requirements.that I preferred a young, voluptuous and seductive masseuse.

The masseuse was pretty skillful nevertheless. After she left, I slept like a baby in my birthday suit till next morning.

I took a cab from the hotel and told the cab driver to take me to the nearest post office. Again using the same method, I showed him where I wanted to go by writing the word post office (邮政局) in Chinese character. Much to my relief, he nodded his head.

I bought an aerogram and wrote a message to my dad telling him I was still in one piece and my experience (excluding the "close encounter" with the Japanese masseuse) and would catch the next flight to L.A., California.

Next I bought a Fuji compact camera at a duty-free shop at the airport. I regretted buying it after I discovered that it was cheaper to get it in the States.

I queued up patiently at the Northwest Airlines check-in counter to get my boarding pass and right in front of me in the queue was an attractive American white girl whose dad was a pastor in Tokyo. Since it was a very long flight to L.A., I decided to sit next to her on the airplane so that I could chat with her and to get to know her.

I overheard her requesting to sit at a non-smoking section of the airplane and I asked for a seat next to her and luckily I got it, You see, although I am a smoker, I would rather sacrificed my freedom of smoking throughout the entire flight than to miss the chance to speak to such an adorable girl.

The Trans-Pacific Flight

My judgement of the girl was surprisingly correct. She turned out to be a warm and intelligent person whom I had a great time with throughout the flight. We chatted as if we knew each other in our past life. I wished I could marry her in future but I didn't have the gut to tell her during our first encounter. Holy cow! It was love at first sight. I never had such a deep feeling towards a girl before.

Sadly we lost contact when we moved several times as we didn't have cell phones back then. She was the first American girl I fell in love with. Hopefully we could meet again in our next life.

At The Los Angeles Airport

At the immigration checkpoint, a not-so-friendly black immigration officer asked me where I was going to stay in Lubbock, Texas before the semester started. I told her I had not booked a hotel yet and I didn't know anyone there. She suggested I stay in Hilton Hotel. I almost burst out laughing since there wasn't a Hilton Hotel in Lubbock, Texas but I managed to put my emotion under control. I just smiled and told her that was a good suggestion indeed.

Lubbock, Texas, USA


Reached My Destination - Lubbock, Texas

It was during winter when I reached my final destination in the Lone Star state. As I stepped out of the Lubbock Airport, I was shivering as the ambient temperature was subfreezing due to the wind chill factor. The jacket and trousers that I was wearing just wasn't thick enough to keep my body warm. I quickly flagged down a cab at the airport and headed to a motel closest to Texas Tech University.

The cab driver, being a home-grown Texan, spoke with a very heavy Texan accent but we could chat without any problems.

I stayed at the motel for 3 days since the dormitory was still closed. Finally I got a room in Gordon Hall, one of the dormitories on the campus.

In my next article, I will tell you about my American host family and my campus life.

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