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Summer 2007 - Malaysia I

Travel day - Osaka to Kuala Lumpur via Beijing

-17 °C
View Summer Vacation 2007 on agc_cwm's travel map.

So after weeks of careful planning on my part and a week of classes I really didn't care to teach, it was finally time to go on vacation. We had to get up bright and early to catch the train to the airport shuttle (which, as it turns out, is so much easier than actually taking the train all the way to the airport and having our backpacks hitting unsuspecting and irritated people on their way to work during rush-hour traffic). We got there plenty early, picked up our tickets, and waited in line until we were able to check in. We encountered a few of our coworkers on their way to various places as well. After checking in, we got a bite to eat, and then proceeded through security to wait for our flight to board. Story was that our flight was going to leave 10 minutes early; great! Reality was that because of all the vacation air traffic, we ended up leaving 30 minutes late. We decided that we wouldn't have been as irritated if they hadn't told us we were leaving early. Bah.

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So Air China from Osaka to Beijing was pretty uneventful, and the service was adequate, although slightly unfriendly. We chalked it up to someone having a bad day and left it at that. We arrived in Beijing safely. We were struck by a couple of things. Firstly, we had to fill out arrival and departure cards and present them at the same time, even though we were just there for a five hour layover. Waste of paper and time. Wouldn't have been so irritated if we had actually had a pen on us, but I digress. Secondly, getting through the process of the arrival/departure card was slow and unwelcoming. Beijing has a lot of work to do before the Olympics next year. The general unfriendliness continued until we arrived in Malaysia. There was a chance where we could press a button to indicate how the service was as we were going through the arrival/departure card thing, but we didn't do anything. Figured some guy would come out of a back room and interrogate us as to why we chose what we chose. I really hope I'm not getting a false sense of the country, but I really came to miss the service standards present in Japan. I don't care if you're having a crap day, or a crap life. Throw on a fake smile if you're serving people. Thirdly, the air quality in Beijing left much to be desired. I was glad we didn't have to leave the airport. Moving on.

Our next Air China flight was significantly longer and more uncomfortable than the first, significantly magnifying our crotchity-ness. Inadequate seat space, low water service by unfriendly flight attendants, and no movie on a 6 hour flight is not OK.

Longest. Six hours. Ever.

It was a relief to finally land in Kuala Lumpur. From there, security was a breeze, people were friendly and helpful, and we quickly and easily found our airport shuttle. Andrew had to get back into the swing of travelling again, and realizing that sometimes a friendly helpful person is really just a disguise for someone trying to sell you something.

So the shuttle was 15 minutes from our hotel. We arrived, checked in and crashed really hard after the travel day that seemed like it would never end.

Posted by agc_cwm 16:30 Archived in Malaysia

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