For some reason, whenever I have connected with one of the 5 segments of my round the world ticket, drama comes up and this 4th leg was just as difficult that I had to recap for the memories and laughs for years to come. Notice the times of all this as it adds to the fun/drama.
Leaving Langkawi Beach, Malaysia (for 17:35pm departure time):
-All started well as I took a cab to the airport at 16:00 and was there early at 16:15 (so I could pull out as much weight from my bag as possible to make the 15 kilo limit). I was able to pull out 10 kilos to carry on and that dropped my overall weight to 17 kilos and after a little smiling and nice chatting with the check in guy…he let it go once I pulled one more thing out (guess making the appearance that I was taking it out). I even checked the website before leaving the guesthouse and the flight on was time…
-As we were about to board at 17:05, the announced we were delayed and would depart at 18:45. I figured ok, I played a 3 hour layover for my leg flight just in case…so I had extra time
-We finally boarded later, and departed at 18:00 (and the flight is an hour and my next flight was at 19:25). Flying budget airlines also means you have to check your bags for point to point, so I had to check my bag, collect then recheck before the next flight. Annoying!!!
Leaving Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (21:25 departure time):
– I originally thought I would have a nice leisurely dinner and wi-fi surf at the coffee bean and tea leaf at the airport. Unfortunately, I had 35 minutes to get my bag, check it in, run to get dinner and exchange my money as you can`t take Malaysian money out of the country. So I hustled and got it all done and had 10 minutes before boarding. Whew…but I had to eat my salad fast as Air Asia doesn`t allow you to bring and eat any outside food on board. So I ate fast and just as I finished…
-An announcement was made that the flight was delayed. No details as to when we would leave. What??? Couldn`t they have told us this when I checked in my bags (20 minutes ago) so I didn`t have to rush around????
-After realizing I may miss my last flight to Singapore…I got concerned and went to talk to the crew and found out the flight hadn`t left Singapore yet, so we were going to leave at 23:25 (getting in at 00;15). My final flight departs from a different terminal at 01:10). Yikes. What was I to do?
-I was upset as if I missed my flight, United may cancel the rest of my RTW ticket and that would be bad. So I tried everything I could, made friends with one of the crew and got him to help me. Long story short….they agreed to pull my big checked bag from under the plane and allow me to carry it on. I said if I had my bag with me, I could run through the airport and may have a chance to make it. They didn`t think I was seriously, but I said I`ve ran in many airport, had my running shoes on and would give it a good try!
-So I found a corner to sit and plug in my i-touch to get power to email. I wanted to let Milena know I may not make it as we were planning to meet up in Margaret River the next day. Then I emailed a few friends and it wasn`t until I was halfway done emailing Amanda that it hit me….I had Amanda`s Swiss army knife in my bag along with scissors, and a knife on my wine opener (plus so much liquids which are weapons now). I didn`t want them to take them away from me, so I told the guy and fully disclosed the knives and he said no problem. “They would deal with it”. I said you can`t take it away as I didn`t want Amanda`s knife to get taken away as it was engraved. He kept saying no problem. I wondered…would they allow my bag on board with all these weapons….YEP! They did. I couldn`t believe it but they stashed my bag at the back of the plane and I was in the front. Too bad they left the bag with me for an hour and I could have taken the knives out and put in my pocket and taken the whole plane down (as that sounds like me and I look scary right???).
Landing in Singapore, Singapore (I was running out the airplane door at 00:35)
-I took off running and realized I was at the further gate at the terminal and when I saw a screen, realized I had a long way to go to my next departure gate and needed to take a tram. The sign said if you walked from where I was to where I needed to go it would take 39 minutes.
-By the time I found the tram, was out of breath and sweating a lot…I just missed the tram and had to wait 4 minutes, which normally wouldn`t be a big deal, but I was cutting it so close.
-So I looked at a map and realized I could run it. They said that last portion would take a person 19 minutes to walk and I think I ran it in about 5 minutes dragging my bag behind me.
-I got to the gate and this is where you go through security and I fully disclosed the knives and scissors and while panting and dripping in sweat (I`m glad I have no photos of this), I explained I needed to get on the flight, have my bag checked below and such. They didn`t understand and told me to go out and check my bag. My patience was short at this point and I said to get me someone from the flight crew as Air Asia had already called ahead to tell them of my situation and they knew (ends up the didn`t).
-So I finally got to the gate, had to argue to them to allow me to check in there and put my bag below the plane, but I got on the flight with about 4 minutes to spare before the doors closed. So once I had a boarding card in my hand, I saw there was free Internet right at the gate, so I even got to email Milena and tell her I made it and would see her the next day!
-I`ve never cut it so close, or had to work so hard for a flight but I was so happy. I planned for delays when I booked all 3 flights, but everything that could have gone wrong did, but in the end, I made it and got a really good workout at the same time.
Departing Singapore, Singapore (doors closed at 1:10am)
–I have to laugh as of course this last flight departs right on time…
-So after this, the saga continues….
Arriving in Perth, Australia (at 7:40am)
-Milena had been so sweet and emailed me how to get from the airport to the bus station and then down to Margaret River with all departure times, so I knew if I hustled, I may catch the 8:30am bus (as the next one was at 1:00pm.
-She suggested taking a cab and I did that and with all the traffic, I pulled up at the bus station at 8:29am and the bus was just closing the door and I begged him to take me, but I had to run in and buy a ticket from the counter…so I got on and had 5 hours to rest.
-At this point, I didn`t know what country or time zone I was in nor where I was going as I asked the driver what time we would arrive in Perth and he looked at me like I was crazy and said we aren`t going there….and I got upset as I thought I was on the wrong bus after all that. Then I realized I was going to Margaret River.
Once I got to Margaret River, Australia (in the southwest) I saw Milena and she had a diet coke and bottle of chilled white wine waiting for me…oh how she knows me so well after all our travels.