Saturday, 4 July 2009

Flying from Wellington to KL (3rd July 2009)

My morning pretty much started at 5am - up to shower, locked up my bags and await my shuttle pick-up at 6am for my first leg of flights leaving at 8am. Today was going to be a long day flying from Wellington to Auckland to Singapore then ending in Kuala Lumpur. Thankfully I've got my neck pillow and book to keep me occupied during my travels. Will need lots of coffee to keep me awake though...

Got my bags checked through all the way to Singapore (yay, no need to lug the huge bag with me between terminals in Auckland - not that I've packed much for home this time but still, it's a huge bag), all happy-happy and just about to start browsing the bookstore when it suddenly hit me that I didn't have my Malaysian ID card with me. Shit. Cost me an unnecessary 45 bucks return trip on the taxi just to grab the card. It has been 2 years since I went back to Malaysia and I had totally forgotten I needed to have the ID card with me during my stay (and travels) in the country (having a Malaysian drivers licence is not sufficient as proof of identity). ARGH!!

The days leading up to my 3 week trip away had been busy, mainly trying to sort most of my work out before I go. Honestly, I'm very glad I'm going away for a bit - just to get out from this cold weather and chill out (been months since my last holiday break). 3 weeks will zip by very quickly, with weddings to attend, family and friends to catch up with, short trips with mum to Cambodia and Bali, and just lots of running around.

(around 7.30ish in the morning)...time to board the plane for Auckland! The Air New Zealand latest in-flight safety video was really cool - most of the time, such videos are the standard boring drag but this one really caught my attention with humour injected to the usual safety instructions plus the crew members featured had body-painted on uniforms i.e. they were not wearing anything. I like! :) Spent my time in Auckland International Airport looking for duty free items to bring home and $4 for 30 minutes at the internet kiosk hacking away on the sticky keyboard replying emails (Auckland airport should provide free wi-fi service; it's free in Wellington airport).

Around 12.15pm, I boarded my flight to Singapore with Singapore Airlines. One thing I like about this airline is the service - always so polite and with a smile. The flight was around 10 hours which was somewhat long but I didn't really felt so because I was having my own movie marathon with my on-demand TV screen. Hehe, watched 4 movies during my flight! Oh, and they feed you so often throughout the flight - the food was yummy and I really liked it that they kept hydrating us with water and/or juice (I always feel so thirsty on planes). Tried their Singapore sling, a famous cocktail drink of the country which was a mix of gin, cherry brandy, Benedictine, cointreau, pineapple and lemon juice, and Angostura bitters. Very nice and reminded me of a Cosmopolitan. Here's my drink:


Oh, and you could charge your electronic equipments at your seat too - how cool is that? Made the most of it and charged my mobile phone :)

...hey, the toilets on the plane had full-length mirrors...not surprised if they had more Mile High Club flyers...hmm...

Arrived in Changi Airport around 7pm. I must say, I was a little freaked out seeing Singaporeans wearing masks in the airport. I don't think the country is that badly affected by the flu pandemic but because of their 'kia su, kia si' (directly translates to 'afraid to lose, afraid to die') mentality, this is what you see coming into the country. And then there's those temperature machine things you have to walk through before you get to the customs officer. Freaky...

Replied more emails (free internet access), had wanton noodles for dinner and waited for my flight on Air Asia to KL. I wasn't planning to fly into KL initially but mum and dad said it was more convenient for them to pick me up from KL so bought the flight for SGD73 from the web. I've never flown Air Asia before - they are said to be the world's best low-cost airline. Low-cost in the sense you can fly cheap provided you aren't planning to carry lots of luggage and have anything on board (both come at extra cost, of course). Great for us travellers not caring much about great flight service but just wanting to get to our destination fast and cheap.

Boarded my flight at 10.15pm and arrived some 55 minutes later to Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCC Terminal) in Sepang. I thought I had landed in some Polynesian island or something! It was nothing like an international airport - the passengers had to walk quite a distance from the plane into the arrival hall through outdoor covered walkway, very similar to those in the islands but not so far a walk. Again, there was that temperature machine just before customs but less people with masks around this time. It's very quick to go through customs in Malaysia when you've got your passport and ID card - all I had to do was slot them into the customs checkpoint machine, let it scan my thumbprint and I was good to go.

Mum, Dad, my brother, Andin and his gf, Yang Jing, were all waiting for me at the arrival hall. So nice to finally see them - it has definitely been awhile! This was also the first time I was meeting Yang Jing - I've only seen photos of her and heard of her through mum. Very lovely to finally meet her in person :) Photos taken at the arrival hall:


Mum and me


Me and my future sis-in-law, Yang Jing
Photo here with dad

A short stop for a late night coffee and tea, then a 2.5 hours car ride all the way back home to Batu Pahat. What a long day this has been but very glad to be back :)

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