Friday 8 January 2016
It boots and saddles early, we have to get to the Gold Coast airport for our 9:05 Air Asia flight to KL. That means a 4:30am alarm and 6:00am limo pick up. The money we saved flying Air Asia is reallocated for the limo.
It’s a long flight 8hrs 20 mins in fact and although we have exit row seats for the extra leg room it’s not a particularly comfortable one. The seats are tiny. But it’s a day flight I can bear it.
Although we have been to KL before this is the first time into the new airport, where AirAsia lands and we are surprised how long it takes us to talk from the gate to passport control. No kidding about 40 mins and we are not dawdling either.
At passport control there is the age old dilemma of picking the fast moving (or at least not the slowest one). I definitely picked the wrong line. I try to wait patiently, enviously watching everyone else get processed while my line slowly progresses at a snail’s pace. By the time I get to the front of the line I’m more than keen to get going, I know H will be worrying on the other side, waiting for me. Then I commit the 11th unforgivable sin – I step forward before I am asked and dropped by passport on the counter with a little too much vigour (I know shocking right?). The Malay official then proceeds to have a conniption, threatening to have me taken away for disrespecting him and raving about lord knows what. He then sends me back into the line and calls the next person through. Once he has finally processed that person he ignored me for 5 mins in petty punishment before he dines to wiggle a finger at me to step forward. I then get a second dressing down, followed by an interrogation on my planned activities in Malaysia. Seriously? This dude has a serious problem. I’m torn between shock at the verbal attack, anger that I’m being treated that way and terror on the nightmare he could create if I accidentally provoke him further (me thinks there’s some male Muslim, “lets put the female in her place” going on here!) Wow! Welcome to Malaysia!
With a final glare he dismisses me and I’m free! When I finally make it to baggage collection Howard is beside himself. “What the hell have I been doing?” Where do I start?
Eventually after finding an ATM to get some cash, required to buy a taxi voucher, then find the taxi line and get a taxi ride into KL, we can relax. New record Gate to Taxi about 2½ hours. Now it’s another 1 hour in the taxi to KL.
By the time we get to check into The Grand Millennium on Jalan Bukit Bintang it time for dinner. Knowing the area we immediately walk to Jalan Alor, the frantic hawker street. We select a semi respectable establishment called Sai Woo and order Nyonya Style Prawns, fried rice, noodles, a green vege dish (I love my greens but this dish was just nasty) and beers.
At the table next to us is a funny Korean girl, we find out that she has been in Australia for a working holiday for 12 months, she loves Australia, she is on her way home and is treating herself with one last feast before returning to the sub zero temperatures in Korea.
Its great to be back in this crazy city but the heat, pollution, long day and stress has taken its toll and we are ready to crash. It’s all I can do to drag my feet back to the hotel.