Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Day 3 - Hurry up and Wait

Day 3 in Kota Kinabalu

Hubby didn't get up early on our last day in Malaysia. He was still fast asleep after I had taken a shower and was still snoring even after I've packed my stuff away in my backpack. When he woke up, he told me he wants to stay longer and bragged about how comfy the bed was that he wanted to take it home to the Philippines. We got out of the hotel about 10-ish and both agreed to have breakfast at Burger King before we head to the airport. Unfortunately I have already packed the camera in my rucksack which I left in the room and forgot to take it with us so no meal pics today. I remember somebody telling me that in every country, a fast food franchise (in this case, Burger King) offers different types of burgers (and sauces or dressing) as opposed to their original variety from whichever country they came from. In Malaysia, they don't serve mayo with your ketchup as condiments when you order a burger, they have chilli sauce! We both had Chick N Crispy Burger with a choice of 3 different sauces - they are black pepper, salsa and barbecue. Vic picked black pepper and I opted for salsa because I thought it wouldn't be too spicy. Wrong! At first I was wondering why, when I am almost halfway through my sandwich, I haven't tasted any tomatoes or onions yet. Then I decided to open the burger and realized it is just chili sauce-flavored salsa or vice versa I guess. Vic noticed that the black pepper sauce is very strong. Good thing about their BK is they offer free refills for any drink which is great especially if your meal is really spicy.

We got back to the hotel to tidy up and chill for a bit prior to checking out a few minutes before 12pm. We crossed the street where there are taxis parked in an open lot and their drivers sitting idly by a shaded waiting area trying to cool themselves off from the hot sun. We asked beforehand how much it costs to go to the airport, their standard fee I guess is 30RM. We got to the airport around 12:30 and found us two seats by the lounge facing the check-in counters. This airport is really small just like DMIA but it is considered an international airport too.

Kota Kinabalu International Airport - Check-in counters
KK International Airport with the 2nd floor in view
We really don't have anywhere else to go, so hubby and I decided to just stay put inside the airport as the check-in counters don't open until 1:30 pm or so. There were a handful of souvenir shops - chocolates, perfumes, T-shirts and corals/shell-like decors (with "Sabah" or "Kota Kinabalu" hand painted on them) at the ground floor. Food shops/stalls, a restaurant offering traditional and modern Malaysian cuisine and a KFC dine-in is on the second floor. We had KFC for our lunch which fits the budget as we are on our way home anyway. I've noticed on this airport that the security from the outside as well as inside is not that tight. I'm not sure if there are CCTV cameras hidden but I have seen a lax in security personnel. There is only a rope and a 3 foot high metal barrier (which you can actually duck down and go in and out of and nobody will mind you) between the check-in counters and from where all the people sat. After they have scanned your luggage and placed a sticker that says "security scanned/checked", you can now line up at the check-in counter. As soon as you've checked-in, they scan your stuff again and you can now get into the pre-departure area which is totally crowded because everyone else has checked in and all are waiting for their planes to land on the tarmac. There are still some shops within that area but (just like every airport) more costly.

The queue of Air Asia passengers waiting to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur

Hubby got really bored waiting for our flight. He said it is longer to wait before checking in, queue at the check-in and then wait again to board the plane than the actual travel time from point A to point B. That's the way it goes. Unless you're the pilot or the cabin crew, you don't need to queue and wait. So I suggested that next time, he should bring something to read or just listen to my mp3 player.

We boarded the SEAir airbus earlier than we've expected. The flight coming to Kota Kinabalu was a bit delayed but thank goodness going back to Clark isn't. Unlike many "pasaway" (naughty/rule-breaking) passengers, I didn't dare ask my hubby to pose on cam so I can take a pic of him with the aircraft in the background. The camera-happy folks were told off by the ground staff for taking pics while walking towards the plane. We did however get to have our pic taken before taking off courtesy of the kind cabin crew who saw me taking a pic of Vic and volunteered to take our pic afterwards.

We encountered a very strong turbulence before landing in DMIA. Vic was scared to death. Lightning flashed over and over across the night sky outside the window. It was a call to keep calm and pray on. Vic was going on about whether it was really just a turbulence or something worse has happened to the old aircraft and we might crash in the water. I told him, "Hun, don't freak out. Have you tried praying perhaps?" But praise God we landed safe and sound and our plane in one piece. Time check was 7:30 pm thereabouts. There was a mad rush to the immigration so everyone can get their passports stamped, pick up their bags from the baggage carousel and go home. There were two immigration windows open that night, one is for Philippine passport holders and one is for Foreign passport holders but they were both empty! I think we were the only ones (the SEAir flight which came from KK) that arrived which is good. Vic got his passport stamped for another year with the Balikbayan Visa which is applicable to all spouses of Filipino citizens. We did not have any checked-in luggage so we just went straight out and bought bus tickets from Philtranco Bus Liner going to SM Megamall and headed home. Thanking God for a short but sweet summer holiday.

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