“Calling all passengers for Flight MH020. Boarding at Gate B5. Gate B5.”
Finally, after 5 hours of waiting for our flight, they have finally announced that the plane is ready for boarding. The time now is 1135pm on the 20th of April 2012. We are 13 hours plus from our destination — Paris.
The day started pretty much like any other weekend, waking up late, going for breakfast and then double-checking our luggages (OK, disregard this). “Passport. Checked. Money. Checked. Camera?”, “Camera?” came the question again. “Say cheese, *click*, checked. Don’t forget the charger and the universal adapter.” Didn’t know that packing could be such a chore.
Packing list for this 2-week trip:
- 5 t-shirts (1 collared)
- 5 pieces of underwear
- 2 pairs of long pants (wearing 1 pair of jeans)
- A pair of shorts
- Face towel
- 3 pairs of socks
- All sorts of electrical appliances (chargers, adapter, USB connectors)
I stay in another part of the country, which is an hour’s flight from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) that we would be departing from. Hence the long layover while waiting for Flight MH020. We took the afternoon flight from Kota Bharu to KLIA, arriving at 5pm with plenty of time to spare. The wife went to look for a wi-fi hotspot to do her last minute research, while I went around testing my camera. Lucky for us, the check-in counters opened around 630pm, and we had burgers for dinner after that. Yes, I am leaving for Paris and all I could afford were some burgers.
The international departure hall is located on a satellite building across from the main terminal building. “Are you sure they are going to let you in?” my wife was referring to the slider that I was carrying. A 24-inch long steel bar. “I guess we just have to try and see.” She rolled her eyes. Surprisingly, nobody batted an eyelid as I place the slider onto the scanner. Mission accomplished.
It was just a little past 9pm when we stepped out of the little tram that ferry passengers from the main terminal to the international satellite building. One bad thing about the satellite building is the lack of chairs. Maybe it is because they want us to spend more time at the restaurants, bars or fast food joints scattered around. I do not know. Being second time lucky, the wife managed to grab seats next to a plug head. Hooray! We can re-charge our electronics prior to the flight.
“Bonjour. Merci.” Was trying to make them roll off the tongue easily. I used to take French lessons (basic) back in my university days, but due to the lack of participants, the class was cancelled after 10-15 lessons. What a pity.
“We invite the passengers sitting from row 42 to row 60 to board the plane first. As for the rest, please wait for further announcements.”
Took a glance at our tickets — Row 15. The clock was ticking down, the excitement increasing. T-minus 30 minutes till take off. I was fidgeting with my slider. The wife just want to get some shut-eye.
“Row 10, row 13, this is it, row 15. You take the window seat.”, ordered the wife. I was looking around, in case the flight attendants decide to place the undercover flight police next to us, in view of my slider. But nobody seems to fit the bill, but then again, they wouldn’t be called undercover for nothing, right?
“Flight crew, please cross-check all doors and prepare for take off.”
This is it. Bienvenue à Paris!
(to be continued)