When you're about to leave, they tell you many ridiculous things. For instance, how you have to get a photograph of the family taken with you in your ceremonial dress. This is so they can make you a souvegnir of your service history and the bases in which you have served.
They want all the copies of documents that you have already tendered into record since the day you were married and bore children, like nobody knew you existed.
I know the terrain and the landing points I will be serving, as these are the same ones I have flown through in about six years as both copilot and aircraft captain in No 5 Squadron. The flying will be Visual Flight Rules, which means I will remain a bush pilot and not puncture weather. The thought of flying a single-operator helicopter is growing more appealing as the days pass. I have not flown solo since my days as a flying student in the Alouette.
Owing to courting this prospective job in KK, it appeared that December would be a bit of an unpredictable month for me. Brenda conferred with the kids and the consensus was that their annual trip back to KL would be forfeited on the air force's ticket in favour of a short holiday by way of joining me in attending a friend's wedding in KK. We took the evening ferry to Menumbok and drove the Vios through the single carriageways till we hit the duals of KK.
The first day, the morning of the wedding, was spent on shopping in the 1 Borneo mall. Brenda was convinced to buy a nice LBD, while the girls scoured the racks for their personal delights. Ethan was not to be seen as he devoured the bookstores for his own fetishes.
The second day I met up with various realtors to check out the kind of place I would live in while working in KK. Yes, found one, just 5 minutes from the hangar. Very sweet!!
Then on the third day, the day of our return, just for the heck of it while driving about town, I stopped over at my childhood supermarket at the harbour side of the city. Rowena had a near cardiac event in the aisles at the sight of all the various olives, chocolates, snacks and what Labuan would not shelve or stock in its freezers. I too, could see that the living here would be good. The draw was just getting stronger.
It may be that all was indeed a blessing in disguise. It may not be the ideal academic choice to exercise, but if I don't venture this open door, I will not know what I originally intended to defer in favour of an offshore flying career. Furthermore, I want to see if Datuk Donald Mojuntin would keep his word when he told his entourage one lunch encounter we had, that if I joined this helicopter company, he would make me his personal pilot. It tickles me to think of checking out the extent of his rhetoric.
I now wait to sign my name and begin learning to handle this contraption as my next breadwinning machine.