Monday, March 29, 2010

Idiots in Sri Lankan Air Asia and Arrival in Kuching, Borneo

Kuching skyline. This photo only courtesy of henrytanck.



Kuching, Sarawak -Colombo seemed weeks away, but it was really all in a day's rumination! From Negombo, my three-wheeler (their prefered "term" for the bajaj) driver Roshan was already waiting for me in front of Hotel Silver Sands by 5:45AM. The trip to the airport took 25 minutes, and the morning air smelled fresh. By 6:30AM, I was wading through the chaos in front of Bandaranaike International Airport! Huge crowds were waiting to get in.

As I was checking in for my
Air Asia flight, the counter guy asked for my Malaysian Visa! He handed me back my passport and prodded, "Show me!" The idiot needs to be taken back to Travel 101 school! How can he man a counter when he doesn't know that a Filipino like me travels visa-free all over Asia? I told him so and it took a while to register. Then he turns to a colleague who confirms this. Idiots like him shouldn't be employed by Air Asia! Besides, it was so easy to verify this - just read through my passport, in the last 2 years, I have had soooooo many Malaysian stamps, my last 4 months should have a dozen of them!
Air Asia does employ idiots!

Flight back to KL was unremarkable, except that I was sandwiched by nice Sri Lankans. The guy works in Singapore (and has been all over the US, for IBM), while the Sri Lankan girl with a Canadian passport is just visiting Malaysia for 2 weeks and Sri Lanka for 4 weeks. Three and 1/2 hours later, I was back in LCCT in Kuala Lumpur!

I was dying for chicken so i tried McDonald's 2-piece chicken (@ 12.35 ringgit). Didn't like their chicken. There was a tangy taste to it. God, I wished I had KFC instead. After my meal, it was time to check in again for my onward flight to Kuching!
Kuching is the premiere city in the state of Sarawak, which sits in the island of Borneo southeast of KL. It is far! A good 1 hour and 45 minutes plane ride from KL!

Kuching International Airport looked new and sophisticated! The night lights reflected hotel ambiance more than an airport. I was expecting my airport pickup which was running 15 minutes late! I took a prepaid taxi to
Saramo Hotel along Abell Road - at 26 ringgit - then learned that my pickup eventually came. Good thing, the taxi service refunded my money minus 3 ringgit for the service. The ride to the hotel took 20 minutes, and I was treated to hair-raising music by Aegis ("Halik"), Banyuhay, et. al. They actually listened to these craps, thinking I'd be delighted to listen to them from my weary travels. Am sorry but I was just too tired to be civil, so I shut up! They were just being hospitable.

Saramo Hotel is located right in the city center, just beside Air Asia office. At half past 8, the place looked dark and remote. After my hotel check in, I wandered around and looked for an internet cafe, which was nowhere near! I belatedly realized that Internet Service in this area is limited to the one at the Riverside Shop. I went to some malls and even tried to buy a Japanese DVD -19 ringgit a piece - but after several tries with 5 - yes, FIVE - of my credit cards, nothing worked! What a bummer! I didn't want to use my cash on DVD's, so I didn't buy them!

I went to the beautiful waterfront and saw the sights along the way, including the State Parliament, the Astana ("
palace") right across the river; then walked along the dark Carpenter Street, which was their Chinatown. No internet cafes here. This was an experience though - walking at 9PM in eerily dark avenues. I call it night time tourism. ;->

Then I called it a day! One restful slumber in Kuching!



Kuching mosque. This photo only courtesy of travelpod's koppers.



Kuching Post Office. It felt surreal seeing this place all deserted at night. No passersby, except for a few stray cats! This photo only courtesy of www.ibanorum.netfirms.com.




This is the Eye in the Sky!




2 comments:

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

ang layo na nararating mo pards!

informative tong post mo.:)

musta na!

eye in the sky said...

Salamat, ever.