Woke up groggy. Still jet lag. Since Sue is going to the office by 10am, I have to move out by that time too.
Left the souvenirs for Elly on her dressing table and a few bars of chocolates in the fridge for both of them.
Had shower and packed my things back into the bags. Sue helped me again bringing the bags to the car and I sent her to the LRT Wangsa Maju station.
Contemplating on going back straight or stop at KLCC. Decided to stop at KLCC for brunch and buying story books before shooting back to Malacca.
Went to my favourite Kinokuniya Book Store and bought a few fiction books. Went down to Burger King and had lunch. I managed to find a secluded spot. The place starting to crowd. Called Along and told her that Im stopping by to send the stuff to her.
Bought KFC fried chickens for Aqil and Aqilah coz I know Along would rather have take outs than cooking herself.
Drove to Ampang and both the children were excited about the t-shirt and the chocolates... ops! the chocolate bars were melted hehehe.. I left them in the car when I parked at KLCC.
Spent hours talking with Along and I didn't realised that it was already late afternoon. Had to make my move now otherwise mom would start her rounds of nags.. so of I go.
Decided to take the trunk road and took almost three hours to reach Ayer Keroh hehehehehe
Mom was so excited with the stuff I bought for her. The only thing was her Spanish-made leather slipper was a size smaller. Got nagged for that.. grrrr.. other stuff were okay.
This time I bought more house decorative items rather than my usual bells, key chain and t-shirts. Unlike the earlier trip where I bought a lot of non-displayable stuff for myself and her. hehehehe. Got nagged for that.
Sometimes it is hard to please tough cookie like her. But still some of that non-displayable items I bought three years ago remained in her glass cabinets in the living room...
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Saturday, March 13, 2004
We were woken up by the stewardess who are serving breakfast. We were already somewhere in India and have many hours to go before reaching home.
I don't feel like eating and declined the food. Jules like the coffee..
A few hours later, finally I had the energy to open my eyes. Went to the toilet to freshen up. Spent time gazing into empty space outside the tiny window and watching non-interesting movie. Its the Master and Commander movie starring Russel Crowe.. really not very interesting at all. It was the same movie showed on our way to Amman.
This where Malaysian Airline topped some other airlines. At least in MAS, we have our individual tv screen in front and games to play. The Asian food, of course not that delicious but passable.
Anyway, by the time they served lunch, I was famished, for skipping two meals last night.
Though I left out the bread, I like the salad with crunchy carrot slices and cabbage. The meat is okay though and this time an excellent chocolate moist cake. I declined the hot beverages but drank a lot of orange juice.
The plane finally reached Bangkok International Airport and all the Brits disembarked. Some were excited holding the Lonely Planet and other travel guides for Thailand, I guess new timers and others looked they have been here a few times before.
Gush of humidity hit me when the airport ground handlers opened the backdoor to do some cleaning work and stack the food supply in the plane. I took the opportunity to use the toilet and walked around the empty plane.
After an hour, the empty plane soared back to sky on the way to Kuala Lumpur. So it would be another two hour before the touch down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
We met a Singaporean Indian lady who was in Paris and Switzerland doing sales to promote the hotel she worked for. She said her hotel was trying to get more Indians residing in Europe to come to Singapore and stay at the hotel. Quite an interesting job, I told her.
She said she will be catching another flight back to Singapore later. She was contemplating taking Air Asia to Senai and take a bus to Singapore.. wow! quite a long journey.
The plane landed at KLIA and I was greeted with familiar scenery of palm oil and late afternoon sun. Ah! Its just nice to be back home. Said goodbye to the new friend and bid her good luck for her trip back to Singapore.
Once in the airport, another long queue at the immigration counter even at the electronic check point. There were almost an equal number of foreign and Malaysians waiting for their turn. Hmm..
Once we settled that, we proceed to the baggage area. Have to wait for our bags. The carousel was moving but there was no sign of our bags. Jules double check the electronic information board, yep we were at the right carousel. There were many bags placed on the floor and one of them can't be ours. Oh! Its belong to the Indonesian workers.. hahaha.
Finally got line for my Celcom and immediately called Mom. Told her Im okay but cannot talk long as battery is running low. Told her that I maybe going back to Malacca tomorrow. She was a bit disappointed but said ok.
Saw the group from the Great Eastern and they were also looking for their bags. Finally the first batch of bags emerged from the square opening. Yep they were from our flight. Saw my bag and then found Jules!
Put the bag on the trolley and decided to browse the KLIA duty free shops because Jules wanted to buy cigarrete for her colleagues in the office. I wanted to buy some more chocolates but they were too expensive here so decided not to buy anything.
By the time we went out the arrival hall, it was already 7pm and Ardie and kak Uli and her two children were already there. So we crammed into Bidin and talked about local news.
It seems that everybody were concern about the Madrid bombing. Tracy even called Ardie as she was concerned about Jules. Told them we got all the sms but were unable to reply back because we ran out of credit. We were already in Jordan when the bombing strike at Madrid's Atocha station.
Told them that my sister also called me when we were in Petra. My dad even called Wisma Putra asking whether any Malaysian especially his daughter were involved in the bombing.
Our conversation later strayed to the local politic scenerio as election is just around the corner. I groaned. It seems that I still have to cover General Election in Johor.
We stopped in Nilai to have dinner. We had nasi lemak.. Yum! After two weeks of bread and tuna we consumed except at Minna's house in Hull, it was nice to have spicy and hot sambal nasi lemak.
After dinner we stopped again at Keramat because Kak Uli wanted to buy some dinner for mom (my mak angkat hehehe) so Ardie went out to buy some roti canai and dishes while all of us waited in the car.
Once back at the apartment, I told them that Im going back straight to Elly's flats in Wangsa Maju. Tomorrow Im going back to Melacca. So I shook hands with everybody and took the car keys from Ardie and put my bags into the car.
Called Sue, she said she was alone at home. Elly went back to Ipoh. Okay. Told her to wait for me and help me unload some stuff up to the house.
My handphone battery went kaput by the time I reached Wangsa Maju and by the time I found the parking lot. Luckily Sue was waiting for me and she help me bring the bags up. Told her that I have some chocolates and souvenirs for her and Elly and everyhings compacted in my big bag.
That night we were just gossiping and I told her about our journey. She said she also planning to go on backpacking tour sometime soon.
I took out the chocolates and souvenirs for her and Elly. It was almost 3am when we finally slept.
Friday, March 12, 2004
So we headed back to the hotel, when once on the way, Mr Mohammed cursed slow drivers.. hehehehe The first time I saw the man showed his displeasure.
He dropped us at the hotel and told us that Mr Hassan will come to the hotel around 9pm to bring us to the Queen Alia International Airport for our flight back to Kuala Lumpur.
We freshened up and decided to check out and later have dinner while waiting for Mr Hassan. By the time we were at the reception counter, Mr Hassan was already waiting for us.
He was surprised when we told him that we've checked out and asked the porter to put the bags in his car. We tipped the porter. It was a custom here that everybody in the industry seems to thrive on tips from foreign tourists.
We were on the way to another hotel where Mr Hassan said he need to oversee another group of tourists.
He asked how was our day and we told him what happened. He was shocked when we told him that we did not go on the horse ride. He insisted that the tour package included horse ride. He told us to write a formal complaint to the tourism ministry on our guide who in a way conned us and left us in Petra.
He left us there while he made some arrangement for the group tourists. They were from Malaysia too. They were from Great Eastern Insurance and mostly were Chinese. Only one Malay man out of more than 30 people.
We dutifully did what he asked and used the hotel's paper to write the complaint letter. We were sitting at the night's manager desk when suddenly the phone rang.
"Wanna me to pick it up?" asked Jules.
"Unless you want to be the night manager," I said.
The phone continue to ring.
"You're insane," I said.
"Okay I pick it up."
True enough, Jules picked up the phone and said "night manager." Lucky the person at the other line had put down the phone.
The front desk manager who saw us just smile. Well, I don't like to hear the irritating ringing, do you? Jules reasoned.
We also finally wrote our postcards to be sent home. We have bought the stamps from a small post office in Petra. So we waited for Mr Hassan to arrive.
Mr Hassan arrived and we handed the letters to him (Each one copy) for him to hand them over to the tourism ministry and we proceed to his car.
The temperature had dropped tremendously low compared to the sunny afternoon we had in Petra. Lucky we have my leather jacket with me so we were quite warm. From there we proceeded to the Queen Alia International Airport.
The security check in the airport is so tight its bordering rediculous. After we took the paid push carts and porters, we put our bags on the converyor belt for x-ray check and later to the custom and immigration for another check.
We had to literary open every bag even make up bag for checks and it was hassle for backpackers traveller who had many compartments and locked with padlocks. Furthermore the officers did not even help to close the bags.
Just imagine that these check is applicable to everybody even those who come with tourist group. There were two officers doing the check and everybody have to wait for their turn.
From there we proceed to the ticket counte to confirm our flights and check in procedure. However out of every bad news there is always a good news. And this time, there was no limit luggage that we can carry so our heavy bags were happily carted away via the conveyer belt and on their way into the plane.
We took the time browsing the duty free shop and decided to buy more chocolates to bring back. My backpack was already heavy but yeah, why not more chocolates.
At the same time we were trying to locate a post box but couldn't find anywhere in the airport so we asked a security guard and he told us that a postbox is outside the airport and later offered to post the postcards for us. We gave him the postcards and thanked him.
Once we made our chocolate purchase, we proceed to the waiting area. There was long line outside the boarding room. Another security check.
We get into the line and there was only one officer doing the passport check and another manning the x-ray machine, while other officers sat and chatted among them. Typically Arabs.
We put everything on the conveyor belt for x-ray check and pass through the body check box. My turn and the darn machine went off. This was the second time metal detactor went off on me. The first time when we stopped here on our way to France. So, knowing where to go, I went straight to the private box for women and a woman officer use another metal detector and checked me again. Of course it went off at OBVIOUS places including my camel boots.
Waited that the waiting area with all the Brits who were on their way to Thailand via Amman. About 15 minutes later, a group of Chinese tourists joinned us... and all hells break loose. They were noisy hahahaha.
Half-an-hour later we boarded the plane and this time it was full house. We got another window seat. I slept most of the time we shot across the many time zones. Of course we got food in plane but again there were breads. I took two meals that were served but declined late night snacks.
The lights were dimmed and there was no good movied shown. The window shutters were down and like many others in that same Airbus, I was lost in dreamland...