Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Airport Chronicles

As I read this article from Shea Rasol this morning, some parts of me can't help but very very mad to the officer. I do realize that this not happens anytime or anywhere; and please understand that it's not about the institution but the person. However, after three weeks flying back and forth in Malaysia-Vietnam-Cambodia, I also have various awkward experiences at the airport. These are my stories..

1. LCCT, Kuala Lumpur, April 22nd 2014, KUL-SGN
After arranging my suitcases - which I just realize in Malaysia, that I bring too much everything – I successfully managed my stuffs. I was really confident with it, and I even had a big smile on my face when I hand my passport and ticket to check myself in.
The lovely AirAsia lady was also smiling at me (something that actually very rarely happen, and I think only God knows why) – but after checking my luggage and my passport, she stopped for a while. She asked me whether I have a return ticket, and I said I don't have one. Ouch, problem number one.

Lovely AA lady: may I know why you don't have a return ticket?
Me: because I haven't decided it yet, I am open to some destinations. Maybe I will not come back to Kuala Lumpur, maybe I will go to Bangkok and go home from there.
Lovely AA lady: ummm, I am not sure about it.
Me: why? I am traveling, it's not like I'm gonna working in Vietnam or what.
Lovely AA lady: wait, I have to ask the officer.
Then I grab her hand – don't imagine something romantic, okay – and I said, “miss (her name), could you please help me? Don't worry, no matter where will I go home from, I will fly with Air Asia. Air Asia already helped me in many flights, so please make it easier for me now.” *adding sincere smile*

Thank God, she IS very kind, and responded, “yes, I will try my best.”
A more senior Air Asia lady came to us and asking some questions, like some alternatives for my home flight. The lovely lady one insisted to help me, so the senior said I can pass.

I never know that this could be a problem, although I know that this MIGHT become a real problem if you go to a much bigger country, like US, or maybe Middle East. Those kind of countries are facing serious problem with illegal workers, especially from Indonesia, but hey this is Vietnam!
Nhung, my Vietnamese friend commented on this story very casually, “okay so this is your Vietnam dreaaam~~~” and she sang when she said that :p

2. Siem Reap International Airport, May 8th 2014, REP-KUL

I came to the airport earlier than I supposed to. My flight is 8.35AM, and I arrived at the airport at 6.15AM. My flight was the first flight at that day, so nobody was there to serve me. I only saw some security guards and cleaning service crews. Even the cafe hasn't opened yet. Good.
I decided to ask my tuk-tuk driver picked me up so early because if only I sleep again after praying shubuh, I am not sure I can wake up and make it on time. Hahaha.
The check in table opened at 7AM, and I passed it smoothly. However, when I pass the X-ray check, the officer stopped me. TWICE!
The officer lady said that she saw nail clip in my cabin bag. I said no way because I remember I used it the day before and putted it in my suitcase. She ask to check my bag manually, and I said go ahead. She literally pulled out every single stuff in my bag, and stopped for my thermometer. And then she asked, “what is this?” God.. I wondered how thermometer looks like in Cambodia, anyone???

Another officer talked to her in Cambodian language, so she nodded and putted in everything back to my bag. Another officer, and now a guy – yes, I had THREE officers swarmed to me that moment, suddenly pulled out two small bottles from my bag. It's zam-zam water bottle, FYI. 

these are the magic bottles :)))
My mom ask me to bring it, just in case I get really thirsty at the plane, so I can drink it. I believe it's not only me who think that a small bottle of mineral water for RM6 is so deym expensive.

Officer: what is this?
Me: ...water.
Officer: what water?
Me: (I lost my words that time, so...) ...praying water.
Officer: drink it!
Me: what?
Officer: yes, drink it now. Here, in front of me.
Okay, he wants a show.. Give him.
So then I drink, lift my hand, and pray.
I pray for these officers, to get enlightenment from my God, or their God, so they know what thermometer and zam-zam water look like. Amen.
The moment I am done with my praying, there have been so many people looking at us, looking at ME. Great, is this how you treat a poor traveler, who only has less than $30 left in her pocket?
But thank God (again), the officer let me go with a strange expression in his face.
What? You never see a hijabi praying in front of you?

Those are my stories. Funny, isn't it?
In conclusion, after 25 years of traveling, I have some tips for you who might face this on your next trip – because we just never know:

1. Keep calm and smileeeee.
I know that when this thing happens, you will not have an urge to smile at all. But your smile will look much better. Especially when other passengers look at you. At least, if you smile, they will think, “Oh it's not a big deal. She is just facing 'special' check.”

2. Low down your voice.

While your ego said that you done nothing wrong, screaming and shouting to the officers will not helping. Really. Go back to point number one, if you scream, other passengers will surely think that there IS something wrong with you.

3. Try to speak English, as clear as you can. 

Specifically in Malaysia, I found a lot of Indonesians still trying to speak in Bahasa, and you know what, Malay people do NOT like it. It will be good if you speak Malay, but if not, English is much better. Last year, an officer lady stood up with anger to a member of my tour group because she spoke in Bahasa. I was shocked, the woman who spoke with the officer cried, and it was very very terrible.

4. Once again, keep smile. 

Don't take it too serious, these experiences are nothing compared with all of your good times in the trip. Instead, you can make fun of it. Like me with the 'praying water' story. My mom, my office mates, everyone that I tell this story with, burst into laugh. And it's good :)))

So, what about you?
Do you have any funny/silly stories related with airport?
Tell me, tell me! ^^


Pic source: 

1 comment:

  1. i do really really like story about praying water :D :v


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