Sunday, October 27, 2013

Korean Holiday 2013 - Day One

The Boy went to school for the first two lessons today as we had an afternoon flight. I dropped the dog off at the kennel - he was quite happy to be there. Back home and I started packing. Had to pick up The Boy less than three hours later. Lunch was just finishing up leftovers. Made sure the house was secure and took care of last minute packing. Booked the taxi - pick-up time was not guaranteed. Love those automated recordings absolving themselves of responsibility.

And the taxi arrived five minutes early! Trust the missus to leave one bag inside the house and hold us up. Informed the driver that the destination was the international terminal. "Can you direct me?" he asked. Very few taxi drivers seem to know the way. Almost gridlock on the Tonkin Hwy.

Taxi win!

The Air Asia X check-in lady let us have our 1kg excess luggage without charging us for it but warned us that others may not be so generous. Our hand luggage was maxxed out too at the 7kg each as well.

In the Customs and Border Security area, where no mobiles, cameras or recording devices are allowed, I saw one guy take three calls. Nothing done about it either. Quite a few people departing at this time but we were processed quickly though.

Nice seats toward the rear of the plane, second last row in fact, with a wider walkway as there were only two seats instead of three on the window sides. Hired a Galaxy Tab entertainment system for The Boy (watched The Great Gatsby - boring) and the missus (watched Born To Sing, a Korean movie which wasn't bad).

We were served our pre-ordered lasagnas which were quite OK. Very small meal but I'm glad we were served first as they took ages to serve the rest of the passengers who hadn't pre-ordered. That meant taking the orders, calculating the charge, finding necessary change (in MYR no matter the purchasing currency) and serving the meal. Something like about two hours before they came to collect the rubbish. Read quite a bit of my book - On The Trail Of Genghis Khan by Tim Cope.

Had to buy some water - 5 MYR. We didn't have any Malaysian currency but the stewardess would take AUD but not coins which I found very strange. Why not take the exact charge? Toilet break just before commencing decent, with the rush from other passengers beaten, so timing was good.

A Korean stewardess, from Canada, spoke to my missus in English and she couldn't understand her. I found that highly amusing.

KLIA - oh dear. There was a long walk, through oil-smelling air, to get into the terminal. A sign instructed us to go downstairs for transit but there was no obvious way to go. I asked at the immigration point but she just stamped my passport so we had to enter the country and then go back through immigration again. What a complete waste of time and so confusing - and we weren't the only ones. The airport is very much like a country bus station. It's loud, unclean, nothing of quality to buy in the duty-free - nothing at all like Changi Airport. The missus wanted to buy a watch for his sister but it was cheap rubbish or over-the-top quality.

At Cafe Espresso we bought some pre-packaged rolls which were really soggy and didn't taste like real meat. Even the expensive Sports Bar sold the same food. Coffee at Cafe Espresso was served in a dirty cup. They did change it when challenged but didn't apologise for the disgusting service. We entered the waiting lounge at midnight. More like a holding cell.

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