Gotta run, got a plane to catch…

sibu plane 2 catch

I’ll be going back to Sibu in a couple of hours. It’s work related,
the flight leaves at 5:30 pm and I have three site surveys to do in
Sibu. First one is tomorrow morning at 8 am, that’s the reason behind
the last minute change in departure. I’ll be flying back to Kuching
again on Sunday night, last flight. I have a net connection in Sibu,
but I doubt I’ll be doing much updating until tomorrow since
it’s…Sedating Sibu, after all. πŸ˜‰

The difference between 0825 and 2025


I went to the airport to find out that the travel agent our company
uses made a mistake on my ticket and booked me for the 8:25 am flight
instead of the 8:25 pm flight…but all is good, the night flight was
underbooked and had plenty of seats left, so I paid the RM 18 no show
levy and boarded my designated flight. Jesus Christ, someone in the
travel agency needs a good kick in the ass as this trip is crucial.

Boo fucking hoo and cry me a river of tears

I’m blogging from one of the net access centers at the C terminal at
KLIA which costs RM 1 per minute. Yes, I’m going back to Melbourne
already. πŸ™ Unfortunately, I get to spend my New Years Eve on a plane.
Anyway, I’m pretty bummed about all of this coz I had hoped for a 3 or
4 month holiday in Sibu. I knew it wasn’t possible though coz I still
have to do my Industrial Experience and I’m taking a summer course in 6
days. Oh well, too bad, coz I had wanted to spend more time in Sibu.
Now I can’t even spend Chinese New Year in Sibu! I had heaps of fun
during my one month break though. Anyway, I didn’t get to blog
yesterday because my hard disk decided to die on me so I couldn’t use
my computer at all. Have a happy new year everyone…

Hello from Malaysia

Tullamarine Airport (Melbourne)

I’m absolutely beat. I only got 4 hours of sleep on Saturday night
to make time for packing my stuff and I moved 12 (!) bags of stuff to
the common room for storage on Sunday morning. I took the Skybus to the
airport and got there 1 hour before the departure time. I quickly
checked in my bag (I only had one) and grabbed a bite to eat at Burger
King before going to the gate just as the last few stragglers were
boarding the plane. Phew.

The flight to KL was okay but my ass felt like…well, ass.
My tail bone area was really sore from sitting too much. Does anyone
else have this problem on long flights? I wonder if it’s my bad posture
(I slouch too much) or coz my ass padding is too thin. Perhaps it’s
because I can’t seem to relax my ass muscles? Perhaps the word ass is
used too much in this post too. Moving on.
Anyway, I got a window seat and there was this 50 year old guy beside
me who played Bejeweled! on the personal screen all through the flight!
Seriously, it was a 10 hour flight and he was playing it all the while.
Man, that’s so hardcore. What an OG. He only stopped for toilet breaks
and when food was served. Whoa…that’s pretty impressive.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

Another thing of note is that MAS’s food budget seems to have been
increased. There are chocolates served with every meal now. This seems
to be the standard in all meal serving MAS flights because I got a
chocolate on my KL – Kuching flight too. The chocolate on the Melbourne
– KL is a Top Deck bar and the KL – Kuching one is a Kit Kat. They were
also serving big ass bars of ice cream (!) on the Melbourne – KL flight
too. Not with the meals though, it was served the way they serve
peanuts – passed around in a tray. When I say big ass, it really is
big. It was a 750 mL bar, if I’m not mistaken. Nice. Being the greedy
sort, I had two, but I nearly couldn’t finish the second one.
Apparently, there is such a thing as too much ice cream.

Oh, and I spilled 7-up on myself during the flight too. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll have remembered me spilling orange juice on the guy next to me
[] on the KL – Melbourne flight last semester. πŸ™‚ Now I
know how that felt. Heh. I was holding a cup filled with 7-up when I
decided that now was good idea to drift off to sleep. Next thing I
knew, I was holding an empty cup and I had a not entirely pleasant
dampness near my groin area. I tried to do some damage control by
attempting to soak up the 7-up with the wool blanket they provide, but
as you know, wool is not known for its absorbency. The cabin crew was
oblivious to my pages too, there was only 1 working this entire aisle
and he was preparing food. In a fit of improvisation, I used the pillow
they provide to soak the 7-up up. That worked nicely, but I won’t go
into the looks I got from people watching me rubbing my genital area
with a woolen blanket. I’m not sure what they were thinking, but I
didn’t think they saw me spill my drink from the looks on their faces.
My apologies to anyone who got a pillow smelling vaguely of 7-up these
couple of days. I don’t think they wash those things before reusing

Anyway, I got a shock towards the end of the flight when I checked
Channel 12 (the real time flight update channel) and saw that we had
only just passed Alice Springs and still had nearly 6 hours to go! My
jaw literally dropped and my ass cried at the thought of having to
endure another 6 hours. It was a total WTF?!?!? moment. I reckon we
just had another 2 hours max to go. Luckily one of the cabin crew
caught my totally flabbergasted look and told me that the channel is
not working. Man, what a relief! Not just for my ass, for me too, I was
beat from only getting 4 hours of sleep the previous night and having
to move 12 heavy luggage’s to the common room (about 400 meters and 4
flights of stairs from my room).

For some reason, those seats smell like ass

Anyway, I arrived at KLIA at around 8:30 pm and went to the domestic
terminal to catch my Kuching flight. The flight was delayed, but it
didn’t matter to me coz I didn’t have a connecting flight to catch
until the next morning. Anyway, I reached Kuching at 12:45 am and
wanted to get some sleep in the air conditioned boarding lounge.
Unfortunately, Kuching airport is not a 24 hour affair and the lounge
was closed for the night. I had to make do at the open air waiting
terminal instead. I pushed two long sets of chairs together and tried
to go to sleep. I couldn’t even use my bag for a pillow coz I had stuff
inside that won’t appreciate the weight of my head. Furthermore, there
are grooves bordering every chair, which dug into my back the whole
night. I finally settled into a weird ‘S’ shaped position to avoid most
of the grooves and got a fitful 2 hours of sleep.

I didn’t even need my cell phone alarm to wake me up, several
passengers took it upon themselves to do that by walking around and
talking animatedly in an unacceptable volume before it was even dawn.
Anyway, I arrived in Sibu at around 8:25 am and was out the whole day
with my girlfriend. It’s 10:40 pm now and I’m so looking forward to a
12 hour sleep later. Mmm…sleep.

Water water everywhere, and not a drop to drink

Interesting fact: The flash from cameras sets off the infrared
automatic flushers in toilets. I took a photo of a urinal at KLIA, I
was intending to talk about how they have an LCD panel showing the time
in those things now. The flash set off ALL of the flushers in the
toilet. I tried it again, and sure enough, it worked like magic. FLASH
went my digicam. FLUSH went all 10 urinals. FLASH went my digicam
again. FLUSH went all 10 urinals like clockwork.

P/S – I do not have an obsession with toilets, but I do seem to find myself thinking about them a lot. πŸ™‚


Melbourne again. GMT +10 again. I arrived at around 6:45 am but got delayed by a HORRENDOUS line
to the red exit. The red exit is for people who have stuff to declare. The line snaked all through
the baggage collection area. I was waiting there for half an hour and I had barely moved 10 meters
and the line in front of me was 50 meters at least. There was this one customs guy going through
the line to try to reduce the people going for the red exit. After a bit of questioning, some
people were directed to the green exit. Now, come my turn, I told the customs officer I was
carrying stuff for a friend and I’m not too sure what’s in there so I have to go through the red
exit. This revelation alarmed the customs occifer, I mean, officer, and he directed me RIGHT
THROUGH THE CROWD to the alternate red exit! Apparently, there are two red exits, the normal one
with a mini x ray machine and manual checks and the alternate one with an industrial sized x ray
machine and more stringent checking. There were only 4 or 5 people in the alternate red exit. The
only way to get to the alternate red exit is to bypass the cordon, and for that you must be
escorted by a customs officer. How nice indeed. I jumped the bulk of the queue just by saying that
I was carrying “unknown stuffs” (make a conspirational face while you say it) for someone
else. Oh what a tangled web we weave. Heh. Granted, the checking is more thorough, but hey, it
saves you from queuing up. So if anyone experiences a long red exit queue at Tullamarine airport,
it won’t hurt to try telling the customs officer that you’re “taking something for a
friend”. Heh. I was slightly worried coz I had a warez version of Photoshop 7 conveniently
concealed behind my legit Nikon View driver CD, but fortunately the customs guy did not care to
look through it. I’m starting to think that the intellectual property issue is becoming less
enforced nowadays. What of those horror stories about warez CD being fined A$1000 each?

Oh, something funny happened on the KL -> Melbourne flight. There I was, reading a newspaper
while an orange juice laid in the cup holder of my seat, conveniently within arms reach. Alas, I
accidentally tipped the nearly full cup with my newspaper and it poured unto the pants of the guy
sitting beside me! How embarrassing…I apologized and got the cabin attendant to bring us some
napkins. The guy was pretty cool about it, but I still felt bad coz it wet the whole left side of
his pants and I could see he was uncomfortable for he put napkins on his pants to try and absorb
the orange juice. Oh well, these things happen in sardine class. Speaking about fluids, the Sibu
-> Kuching and Kuching -> KL flight left me all st and uncomfortable due to the heat.

I finally caved in and paid RM 20 (!) for a private shower at the KLIA Airside Transit Hotel
[]. They give you a towel and you use the private toilet/sink/shower room. Bar soap
or liquid soap is provided in the shower. I still can’t believe I paid RM 20 (!!) for a shower,
but it sure felt good, coz I was st and uncomfortable by the time I reached KLIA. You know,
if you’re so inclined, you can actually bum a free shower if you want to. The hotel staff only
provides you with a towel and you leave the used towel in the shower, so if you bring your own
towel, I presume they won’t know either.

Well, I noticed that the in-flight entertainment system of Malaysia Airlines has improved. They
now have a larger library of games – even multiplayer games (chess, reversi, trivia) where you can
compete with other passengers. The trivia one is quite fun coz when the scores are tallied, it
displays all the current players and their seat number. But the best thing is that they have
Bejeweled! Apparently they have gotten a license from PopCap Games []. It’s not exactly easy to play
though, coz you have to manually move the square down the grid instead of using the mouse in the
PC version [] and the Web version [] or the stylus in the
Palm version []. Nevertheless,
it was very interesting to see it available in-flight.

PC Games on the in-flight entertainment system.



Flight Cancelled – Fog

I have finally arrived in Sibu at 10:10 am today. I couldn’t take the
Sunday flight out coz the fog grounded all of the incoming planes, which
were routed to Sydney. After a 2 hour wait, the airport cancelled all
remaining flights and put us up at the
Rydges with dinner and breakfast
vouchers and a cabcharge coupon (lets you get on a cab for free). The
hotel is in corner Exhibition St. and Lt. Bourke Street. Right in the
middle of the city…I would have thought they will put us up at the
Hilton opposite the airport. Heh. Rydges is not a bad hotel nevertheless,
I think its a layby hotel for cabin crew coz there are heaps of them
walking around. I got a suite with a king sized bed all to myself. Not bad
at all, although I would have preferred to fly out on Sunday. Well, there
were two flights out of Melbourne on Monday, the 3 pm and the 11:50 pm.
The MAS people said they will try their best to put us on one of those two
flights. I didn’t get to go on the 3pm coz I have a connecting flight that
couldn’t be made with the 3pm, so they assigned me to the 11:50 pm one. Oh
well. I didn’t do much though, just slept through the night and woke up at
9:30 am to line up at the MAS counter and grabbed some breakfast after
that. I slept most of the afternoon as well. Heh. MAS paid for two nights
at the hotel, but I had to check out at 9 pm to catch my flight back. The
flight was overbooked so good thing I was there earlier. Anyway, I
couldn’t get the pics up coz I don’t have image editing software at my
home computer. Will pick up a warez CD of Photoshop on my way back later.
Feeling tired now…nearly had an accident just now too. Those damn brakes
need to be changed.

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