Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Part 2 of The Return Home trilogy - Flying Home

Woke up about less than 5 hours later, took my last shower in Linden 3B and tearily stuffed my bags with what was left on the desk with Mum's help. Finally checked out of 369B Linden at about 9 something, saying goodbye to my room for 10 months. After some hugs and goodbyes from the other girls, myself, parents and Ka Hing left in Mom's van to the airport (miraculously all the bags got in). Huey left a little later with Brian and Sandi along with a couple of bags of stuff for the newbies and to whoever else wants it.

At check-in, both me and Ka Hing have to pay the $25 excess weight fee each cos one of the two carryons check-in baggage was a little overweight, which we didn't give a rat's ass about at that point.

And yes, at this point I was still a little teary up until we were halfway through the flight to Minneapolis, which we reached between noon and 1 p.m. After parting with the 'rents, the three of us (myself, Ka Hing and Huey) decided to have lunch before checking in. Bought a copy of the collector's edition of Rolling Stone (1000th issue mah) After having lunch at Quiznos, we took a train ride over to the other terminal and after a long trek with our backpacks and laptops, went over to the gate that we're supposed to be at and met up with Sheila and also one of the dorm mates (who was travelling back to China and had been in the airport since 6 something in the morning). It was about this time that we found that there were two seperate flights to Tokyo and that Huey and Sheila was on a different flight from the rest of us.

So me and apek (aka Ka Hing) had each other for company for the 11 hour flight from Minneapolis to Tokyo. We were stuck between two people in the middle aisle (Initially, we were one seat apart but after some seat shuffling we got to sit with the other). Both of us tried to sleep, but to no avail (only managed a little towards the end). So ended up watching the 3 inflight movies (Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Chronicles of Narnia and Greyfriar's Bobby), eating and being groggy.

Once we touched down at Tokyo, we went through immigration and headed towards the wrong gate (due to grogginess, apek thought the flight number was 19 instead of 9). Found that it was the wrong gate when we saw that the flight was to Manila and not Singapore. Without much time to spare and after some direction enquiry we rushed down to the gate (think The Amazing Race) and then unto the tram to the plane.

(We were seperated by a seat or two because Mi Ki and Mandy were supposed to fly back with us, but they couldn't because they had intended to return to do their internships but don't have their documents to show for that)

We were also in the middle aisle this time and apek took the aisle and I jumped a seat and sat next to him. There was also another guy who was on the other end, and there was an unoccupied seat between us and him, so we put it to good use and used it to stash our jackets, etc. For such a short flight we were on a better plane with individual monitors to entertain ourselves with. So I watched Casanova while the apek saw another movie the title I can't recall. Also by this time we were really, really sleepy and had to fight the urge to sleep now that we're back in the East.

But I gave up - I slept for a bit once I was done watching Casanova. Woke up again a couple of hours before touching down at Singapore and was challenged to a couple games of Reversi (or Othello) by apek. Beat him both times, haha. (I er, let it slip that I used to play Othello a lot back in the day - another thing which he didn't know).

[I'm "mysterious" not just because I don't tell a lot of people my life story, but just because they never asked, heh heh]

[The four of us were on the same flight, but scattered all over]. We saw Huey, but she didn't see us until we finally touched down at Changi. We tried getting her attention over the crowd, but she didn't hear us (though she later told that she heard something, but didn't know what) and that Sheila was somewhere in front.

We touched down at Changi airport at about 1 something in the morning, giving us less layover time than the last. So we took this time to go over to T2 and went online at the computer terminals with free internet for a bit. (We couldn't check in until the counter opened at 4.30 a.m.) Bought the latest issue of Empire with focus on The Da Vinci Code. Later had a S$6 iced drink with Sheila at one of the cafes that are still open at that hour and wandered a bit more until we got bored and decided to wait it out at the transfer counter, with apek and Huey joining us later. But not without getting foot massages with the Osim iSqueez foot massage machines that was at the transfer counters and throughout the airport.

We went over to the gate (which was some distance from where we checked in) and waited for it to open at 5.50 a.m. Went in after the flight crew and went through the metal detectors okay. After waiting for less than an hour (we were watching and mocking Martin Yan on TCS5) we boarded the plane back to KL. Despite having a coffee, I fell asleep due to extreme fatigue.

As we were landing, felt that the plane was hovering a little too low over the plantations and such.

Once we touched down at KLIA, it felt good to be back on Malaysian soil.

But little did I know...

(Stay tuned for the conclusion of the trilogy)