Monthly Archives: October 2007

Delirium

 
Stupid airport! Be less stupid! Be less 3:00am! Be less 5 hours until my flight! Aurgh!
 
My soul hurts.

And Then the Mean Clouds Ate the Happy Clouds…

 
Everything was finally going well and then today everything got screwed up.
 
I missed my flight.
 
Partially my fault, mostly Malaysian Air.
 
The flight from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur only left me with about an hour and forty-five minutes until the next flight. Even though I knew I had to go from one terminal to another, I figured I could make it on time. And damn it, I nearly did.
 
The first part of my trip was awesome.  The plane boarded and took off on time. In an amazing show of "Let’s Have Everything Go Jodi-Bear’s Way Today", the plane even landed 15 minutes early. Unbelievable! Then I get in a cab with a driver who understood "I needed to be at the airport 10 minutes ago". The ride was slightly frightening, but at least he was fast. I was at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) by 5 minutes after one. Spectacular! My flight wasn’t until 2:20.
 
Then things went wrong. Terribly wrong.
 
First, when I went to the check-in counter, they told me that I couldn’t check in with just a verification number, that because it was an international flight (mind you, an hour-long international flight – sigh) I would have to go to the ticket desk, one floor down, to get a ticket first. No problem! I still had over an hour.
 
I ran downstairs and found the office. There were a lot of people waiting and that was the first time that I was a bit worried that I may not make it after all. I took a "B" ticket (for "Economy Class") and sat down. I almost wish that I chewed my nails, I was that edgy. Two minutes went by and I went back to talk to the woman that was at the Queue Ticket machine. I told her that my flight left, not boarded, LEFT, at 2:20. Would I have time to get checked in and everything if I didn’t have my ticket, like, right now? She told me to take a "C" ticket (for people who’s flights are leaving "now").
 
I had two tickets. B267 and C091.  I was 16 people away from the B line and 5 people down the line for C line. And at this point, it was 17 minutes after one.
 
And I waited.
 
And waited.
 
Finally, B267 came up on the board. Note that it came up before the C line number – RIDICULOUS! Especially when you consider that the C line was for people who should be on the plane NOW.  At this time it was 1:47 and I knew things were getting tight. I ran up to ticket counter 8, and pointedly ask the guy behind the counter if I would make my flight. HE SAID YES. In under 2 minutes, I had my ticket and RAN (with a 20kg backpack, my legs are still sore!) to the boarding counter.
 
And they told me to piss off.
 
I was so angry. SO ANGRY! I didn’t tell that guy off though, he can’t do anything about the incompetent twits (I was going to use a word much stronger than "twits" there, a four letter word that ends in "unts" and isn’t "aunts") at the ticket counter that didn’t listen to me and then lied  to me about making the flight. Worse, when I went back, I kept being shuffled around – no one wanted to deal with the obviously irrate Canuck girl (fair enough, I was about ready to jersey someone and start a fight, gloves off).
 
In the end, there was nothing they could do but waive the penalty fee (when she said that, I was not very polite about it. I said something along the lines of, "You are joking, right? Trying to make that sound like a favour?"). I even had to pay an extra 50 ringget for tomorrows flight because it is a flipping weekend flight now. Aurghpants.
 
However, it works out. I took a tour into Kuala Lumpur and saw the sights (like the famous twin towers).  I’m not happy about spending the night in the airport (not only do I not want to pay for a hotel, but I’m terrified about missing yet another flight) but I’m sure it will be okay.
 
I can sleep tomorrow.

Walking on Sunshine

 
HOORAY!
 
My pension hit the bank today so I can eat on the train and I will definitely make it past Beijing. On the downside, there go all my plans of opening an opium den in China to make some extra cash before I continued on.
 
HOORAY!

Like a hurt lost and blinded fool…

 
Oh, life is bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up
 
 
So… how far have I come? By the time I reach London, how long did it take me to get there? Not including my wee side trips (to North Korea, China, Thailand, Langkawi, Hong Kong, Cambodia, the Philippines), how many kilometres have I traveled just to get to where I am going?  That is, if London is my final destination? 
 
Vancouver, Canada to Seoul, South Korea (plane)                        8153 km
Seoul, South Korea to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (plane)                   4609 km
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (plane)         1005 km
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Hanoi, Vietnam (train)                      1726 km
Hanoi, Vietnam to Beijing, China (train)                                        2967 km
Beijing, China to Moscow, Russia via Mongolia (train)                     7621 km
Moscow, Russia to London, England (train, approx)                        2498 km
 
 
That totals 18, 460 km.  Out of that total, I will travel 14, 812 km by train.

Stress: 1 Jodi: 1

 
I’ve been pretty stressed out about two things for the last little while:
 
1. Getting my passport back
2. Getting my Korean pension
 
I’m happy to say that I have my passport safe and sound, so I am no longer trapped in Langkawi.  However, I still don’t have my Korean pension, and that is not cool. As fun as you all may think it could be, stranded penniless in Beijing, China, I don’t think I’m up for it. So keep your fingers crossed and hopefully I will see that money hit my account in the next few days. Regardless, I’m moving on. It won’t help me to just sit here and wait for it.
 
I have some more of my itinerary planned. If all goes well, I will fly out of here on Thursday and arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at 3:15pm. After that the plan is to leave Saigon on Sunday and arrive in Hanoi on Monday.  Then, if all goes well with train ticketing (and the damned pension comes through!) I will be leaving Hanoi for Beijing on Friday, October 19th.   I’ll arrive in Beijing on Sunday, October 21.  I should leave there on Wednesday, October 24th, if all goes well.
 
If all goes well….

Thanks Sherlock

 
I generally only enjoy books that were written within the past century (and preferably after 1950 – I mostly enjoy works of postmodernism), but I’ve been really enjoying this book of short stories about Sherlock Holmes. There is something about the style and content that I’m findinig particularly pleasing. In reading these stories, there has been on quote that has stood out for me so far (from the story The Red-Headed League, first published in August, 1891):
 
My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence.
 
Well spoken, Mr. Holmes.

Not Much News

 
Go figure. You stick me on a tropical island for a few weeks, and I get even *lazier* about doing things like emailing and blogging. Who would have thought?
 
Not much is going on – just a lot of nothing which is fine with me. Ashleigh has left, so the nights are even quiet now (which is good, if not for me, at least for my liver).  I was having fun at the Raggae Bar though – I even sang (badly) with the band one night, and have done a few tequilla shots with the lead singer. I think it is a good idea to always know the bartender and the people in the band. Next time I go, I will have to bring my camera.
 
Other than that, I’ve mostly been reading and napping and getting sunburned. I’m still not very tanned – well, tanned for me, but not tanned as far as other people would be concerned. I think I have managed to give myself a scar though because of the sun. The first time I got burned, I had a mosquito bite on my right arm between the elbow and the shoulder that I had been scratching. It was, I dunno, swollen, I guess. Well, when I got the sunburn, all of my skin went rosy-pink, except that one spot. It fried. It was less swollen, but now there were a few small blisters. Now that the scab is gone from it (the blisters eventually went), there is a pink spot there that no amount of Vitamin E cream is going to get rid of. I managed to avoid getting hip cancer… let’s hope this weird little spot on my arm doesn’t turn into skin cancer. Even though it would be an easy souvenir to take with me… it isn’t the kind of thing I want to remember Langkawi by.
 
According to my emailed updates, I have a Mongolian and Russian visa. That leaves just Vietnam and China. I am hoping still to have my passport back by Monday. Although now I may have a new problem (Sigh, there is always a NEW problem) in that I haven’t received my Korean Pension yet. It should have been here (according to them) by October 1st, and I don’t have it yet. Bad news bears, people, bad news bears. I can’t afford to get from here to there without that money. I think I could manage to get as far as Hanoi at this point… MAYBE Beijing, but not beyond. Sigh. Keep your fingers crossed.
 
And with that, I’m going back to my book (I’m reading Sherlock Holmes right now) and later I’m going for a walk. If it wasn’t for the sunburn and the stress about the pension – life would be pretty darned good right now.