Friday, December 04, 2009

Best Flight Ever!

Even though the crew was slightly inefficient.

Only started loading the baggage after everyone has boarded.

We were only allowed to get our boarding pass a little less than an hour before scheduled take off time.

Sorry i'm not as glamarous as Ringo of See in the background, those boxes? The owners look Malay, and the Mak Cik responded well when i asked her to take me a picture. They dress like Malays but they hold a Cambodian passport. I am so confused as to their background...

When the queue to check in started moving, this Black guy, W started talking to me. He said he's a student in Malaysia. Winifred College in Jalan Tun HS Lee. Travelling alone. I was ok with chit chat cuz i wanted to be like, come to think of it, she usually mixes with fairer races, i observe from her pictures with strangers.

At first it was okay, small talk. He said he didnt have any friends cuz there are no others from his country in his college and that his classmates cant really speak English, plus race is always an inevitable issue. I understand how it feels like to be an international student, when i was in Australia i did not make any white Australian friends (Will blog about it one day maybe).

So i was ok when he wanted to exchanged numbers. I sincerely wanted to bring him around KL (since he hasn't seen much of KL) after my exam this Tues.

That's before he started to scare me! First he said he's from India, come on, i know how Indians look like, he's the African kind of black!! Started saying more things to freak me out. Big time, i was shit scared. Wanted to sit with me on the plane, wanted to get to know me better, asked if i was married!

And then asked me to call him that night itself! Said he really wanted to hear my voice! Said he loved me!

Officially afraid! I stared at the counter, please let it be my turn! Almost there.

My turn, did the shit and then deliberately did not wait for him, practically ran to the toilet. Wanted to get away quick! Hurridly wanted to get to the boarding area. Thats the officials told me i needed to pay airport tax first and pointed me to the counter! USD25.

I joined the queue, and suddenly the guy was behind me!!!! He spoke to me! Play it cool, tried not to show my fear. He didnt know about the airport tax, i bet u don't know too, do u? He said he doesnt have anymore cash and wanted to borrow USD20 from me! I was super uncomfortable with that. He said he'd return within 3 days, i do not want to see him on Saturday, i need to study damn it!

I lied, i said i dont have any more cash! I am a bad liar, dont know if he saw right through me, i looked away, and thankfully he left me alone, presumably to find an ATM. Phew!

My heart was beating so fast, i panicked whenever i saw a black guy in a white polo tee from afar. Got on the plane, i had window seat. A Malay uncle had the isle seat. I got worried when i saw the empty seat in between Pak Cik and i!

Thank God, this Khmer lady came to sit next to me! She smiled, i smiled back. SO RELIEFED. She's young, wearing a pink tee that says "Human Power", there was a whole group of others like her, wearing the same tee, with the same haircut.

I took a picture of my international roaming before i turned off my phone, she was curious with technology and kept on peering over to see my camera whenever i took a photo. I took a photo with her.

Her English was limited. She could only say and understand a few things. She said my photographs were beautiful =)

I looked out the window as we took off, careful not to block her view. I didnt look at her until i heard her making some uneasy noises. The take off was bumpy. Was surprised to see her holding on to both armrests, she was holding her breath, didnt move, she closed her eyes, and tears streamed down her face.

Pak Cik and i was worried, he was looking at her too. I gave her a tissue paper. I couldnt figure out if she was scared of the flight or that she realized she wasnt going to see her family in a long time. I asked her if she was alright, she said she was okay. By then the plane was cruising smoothly in the air, enroute Kuala Lumpur.

The flight stewardess who was sporting a cool short haircut started giving out cards for non-Malaysians. Pak Cik got her one. I guessed she did not have a pen, i took out mine for her. She took it and looked at the card, she couldnt fill it up, it was all in English! Pak Cik asked for her passport and did it for her!

Hahahah, so nice of him yeah? He asked her to sign the form but she didnt know what he meant. I took her passport and pointed at her signature. She got the message.

Tho Channa, the 21 yr old Khmer girl, then asked him to help her friends fill out their cards! There were so many of them, all of them couldnt read/write English, so i had to help too! They had a sticker on their passport, it says they are entering Malaysia to be household maids.

We were above the clouds for some time now

I took a few more shots and then offered her my window seat which she gladly accepted. My salary isnt fabulous, but i can afford to fly Airasia again, this will be her only flight for some time. The gratitude that showed on her face was priceless

Pak Cik and i started chatting. I guess it was odd for a young Asian gal like myself to travel alone. He was curious to know. The conversation evolved and we were talking about NGOs, cuz thats what my bestfriend is doing. Turns out he's part of an NGO too!

An NGO whose target is poor Muslims, they went to Cambodia for Hari Raya Haji, bought 80 cows for slaughter, each at USD300 (RM1,020 at somewhat current forex rate). In Malaysia, whole live cows costs RM2000 Pak Cik told me. He and a few others went from Muslim Kompong (thats Cambodian spelling for kampung, i saw fr Channa's passport)...

So Pak Cik's NGO, Badan Amal Diniah Malaysia goes from Kompong to Kompong to slaughter and distribute a few cows to the community. So cool! I think my eyes totally lighted up, i was so happy!

"I didnt know there were such Malaysian NGOs" i exclaimed out loud! I asked if i could be part of it, they go to other South East Asian countries too, i was so enthusiactic and estatic!

When i asked Pak Cik if they only help Muslim poverty, he said their main target was Muslims but if there are say, Buddhists in the community, they do not discriminate and would still distribute the meat to the non-Muslims too. Made me even happier!

I took his contact details and gave him my Big 4 name card.

The stewardesses came by our isle to sell food. I ordered water and Pak Cik said he'd pay for me! Even offered Channa cholocate! She doesnt know how to order, so i picked M&Ms, something that she can share with her friends.

Channa didnt know what it was, i opened it for her, and even had to eat one to demonstrate that it's food! She tried one and as she chewed cautiously at first, i watched her eyes opened wide and a smile flashed across her face! Its like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, i bet, even though i never read the book by Roald Dahl

I took the vomit bag from the seat in front of me and used it as paper to teach her how to write her name.

I had to hold her hand at first. But she caught on really fast. I think she's really smart. Yellow M&Ms on her table.

I needed to pee and asked if she wanted to use the toilet too. She didnt know there was a toilet in the plane and was happily asking the others if they wanted to go too! Haha

A Chinese auntie queuing up at the toilet looked at me and Channa with question marks all over her face. She asked "U took her home?" I was like, "Nonono, agency." I should have said more but i was speechless. U cant simply take people home, can u?

The landing announcement came on while i was in the loo. When i came out, there were many Khmer girls waiting to use the toilet! Hahah. Channa and i headed back to our seats.

She went "WOW" at the lights of Putra Jaya/Cyber Jaya/Sepang. My country has never looked so beautiful before this, this time i was seeing it through her eyes

Channa was afraid of landing too, same reaction as take off but less dramatic. She leaned on my arm like as if she was my little sister, but this time she was silent.

It was my turn, i wanted to cry, i looked up and held back tears, i was praying hard that the family she is going to work for will be patient and will treat her well. I know they need a maid, not looking to do charity but please please give her a good home!

I saw Channa and said our final goodbye, she smiled and waved, i like her spirits, wish her well.

Its a ritual for me to take a picture of whatever AirAsia plane i take. I saw a black guy, wearing a polo tee descend those stairs, but i didnt want to run away, i MUST take a picture of my plane!

Tried taking self shots of me and the plane, Pak Cik saw and helped me! =D

I stuck to Pak Cik, his friend and another Malay couple and son with them, so W, the scary guy would see that i am with company! Hahah.

Thankfully W didnt approach me again, probably pissed that i didnt lend him the USD 20? I feel a little bad... would u lend a stranger USD 20?


She's Jess said...

Very touching. Your post made me tear a lil' on some part.

I wish her well too,

Sue Lin said...

Awww really??? Thanks Jess! I felt a bit stupid for expressing so much

Susan said...

I am so glad you came to Cambodia :). Thats how I feel everyday working for Carpets! Love Ya! I'm really glad the flight was such a rewarding experience. I'm going to google that NGO.

Sue Lin said...

Surprised to see u comment Susan! =) Yuppp i'm glad i went too! No wonder ur so happy there, really feel good about urself right???

I met ur mom on the way out on Sat, she was worried about u and was glad to hear me talk so positively about Cambodia =) Love ya too!

ying2 said...

wah..the black guy is so scary...the story between u n Channa is so touching..really enjoy reading it..Gambateh for your study ya..=)

Weird Dan said...

Woo hoo... u're traveling all around oh. Alone? Magnifico. Though funny you get bumped into someone LOL.

Isya said...

i have a few things to comment but no no not now okay, must study!! will comment tomorow.
Welcome back btw. i enjoyed reading this post :)

Sue Lin said...

Ying2 yeah!!! I was so so scared! Thanks =) glad u enjoyed reading, i really really wanted to write this first before everything else!

Dan hahah, not all around la. Just when i can, wherever i can. Not really alone, i have a friend who's there for a month so i had to make a trip =) Just my flights were alone

Isya dont forget to comment! Dying to hear what u have to say! Thanks, am really happy u enjoyed reading this, i was afraid i wrote too much at 1700words++!

Jacqueline said...

touching... *sniff*

Isya said...

hai iz me again!
wow, 1700++ words. almost assignment length dy.

and i really admire what you did/do. more so, traveling to another country all by yourself. i can just imagine how happy and accomplished you must feel. cause i blanja people makan also i feel so happy dy. hahaha.

i totally get how that girl felt cause i freak out when planes take off and land too eventhough i've gone on planes plenty of times. seriously, final destination ruined my life. i have cried plenty of times too due to turbulence. hahaha. soo, its good that she had someone like you beside her. all i had was some dude with BO!

and its amazing how you can talk to strangers. im quite introverted soo i still have issues talking to strangers. more so, when they look freaky. and if it was me, i don't think i would lend the money to someone i just met. if RM5 okay laaa, can give also but USD25 is a lot of money. can buy a pair of shoes dy.

urgh, sorry for the oh-so-long comment. will stop now. back to work :(

Sue Lin said...

Yeah Jac it was really an experience!

Isya!! Yeah, its more words than MAA assg! Hahah

I had my bestfriend waiting for me there in Cmbdia, so its really not much of being alone except for the flights. But yeah! I do feel accomplished! No regrets at all!

Belanja me la, i'll make u happy! HAHAHAH If the Pak Cik calls/emails me i call u kay?? We try to make it for one of his trips together-gether? He told me to call my colleagues! =)

I laughed at ur statement about the dude with BO, yucks! Eee, how many hours flight was that? I once had a he-bitch next to me on a flight back from Aust. So bitchy! Hahha

Actually, I cant really be the first one to speak to strangers too. Usually only works out when they talk to me first...

Yeah, RM5 or even RM10 is okay, but USD 20 is too much!!!!

Dont worry, i love ur long comments Isya! =)

CA and now work, i cant blog!