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A Delightful Discovery, Part 2

11 Jul

It is when one travels that one finds treasures and delightful discoveries. Besides the Hasegawa EggPlane that I found, I found a couple more things.

Discovery # 1: a Waldo book entitled ‘The Totally Essential Travel Collection’. Yes, I am fond of Waldo and this book totally has me absorbed looking for him whenever I need a breather from staring at my monitor for too long in the office.

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Discovery #2: paint brushes from Michaels. I was like a kid in a candy store browsing the aisles looking longingly at all the art supplies. In the end, I opted for value, variety and quantity, and picked up these two packs of brushes which will come in super handy to use after the carving process.

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With such delightful discoveries, it’s no surprise that I started carving a new piece last night so that I can use the brushes. As for Waldo, staring at the monitor is now not so tedious. Life is good!

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When Will I Recover

9 Jul

It’s been nine days since we returned from the US and both of us have not fully recovered from the jet lag! My goodness… it’s taking rather long.

Every night the whole of last week, we were waking up twice in the middle of the night at two hour intervals. The only one night I slept throughout until morning was last Friday when I went out for dinner with my golf buddies and I drank whiskey. I think it helped. The other nights were normal routines without any aids or meds to expedite the recovery.

So how long does one take to recover from jet lag?

From what I read online, it would take about a day to recover for each time zone crossed. Hmm… the time difference for us is 15 hours, so about two weeks to recover? Gosh…

Generally, jet lag is worse when traveling from West to East. We started out from Portland, and headed East to Salt Lake City, Amsterdam and finally Kuala Lumpur, that’s going East all the way. With the extra one stop (at SLC), long transit time and flying, maybe that’s why we are taking longer than a week to recover. Our 2012 trip to the US, we flew from East to West, San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur and that time, I took a week to recover from the jet lag.

Well, I woke up once at five this morning instead of twice before sunrise. Maybe a sign that I am recovering. Hopefully by the end of this week, the body would finally catch up with the time zone I am in and totally recover from the jet lag.

A Delightful Discovery

8 Jul

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When I was young, I used to build hobby model aircrafts because my only sibling was into Tamiya models. I guess his interest rubbed off on me. There was one series that I particularly like which was the Hasegawa EggPlane series because they were very cute unlike those macho Tamiya aircrafts.

So it was with utter delight that I discovered an EggPlane at a hobby & craft shop in Corvallis during our recent trip to the US. I am definitely looking forward to assembling my egg-shaped plane soonest possible.

Bags are Finally Home

4 Jul

Yesterday the bags were finally delivered, at 9.55pm! It was a long day for us waiting for them and the bags, I supposed for their delay and ‘adventure’.

I must say, the last three days I wasn’t overly stressed over our delayed bags. Sure there was some anxiety initially because of the unknown and no updates. But soon after, there was confidence that KLM would sort it out. It was just a matter of time.

For such a global airline, KLM was very approachable when they responded to my queries rather quickly in my opinion. They had many channels to be contacted: Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, email, WhatsApp and Customer Contact Centre.

I chose WhatsApp because to me, the other platforms were either too worldly or corporate and not personal enough. The key here is being approachable rather than professional and I am glad I chose this channel.

The exchanges with KLM on WhatsApp helped bring them down to a more personal level and faster too, giving a lot more reassurance than email, which I used with a regional airline in April and they responded a day later.

Lessons learned here: always label your check-in bags (which we did), buy travel insurance (which we did too and will claim for the delay), make full use of the best and fastest communication platform to stay informed thus, avoiding stress and have a positive attitude towards the situation, it helps.

The Bags are Still Not Here, Part 2

3 Jul

The perils of jet lag continues! Waking up at 5.30am yesterday morning not for golf but due to jet lag seem to have clouded my senses.

I misinterpreted the information on the status of our bags as stated on the website that KLM provided. Bag One will leave Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on 2nd July, not arrive at KLIA on the said date. And the airport baggage claims office called yesterday evening to confirm this.

What this means then is that Bag One will arrive on 3rd July, today and delivered to us in the evening. Haish…

Meanwhile up till yesterday, Bag Two was still being traced. Dear oh dear…

Work and worry took the toll on me and last night, I crashed at 9.30pm; I couldn’t hold up and brave the anxiety anymore. And this morning I woke up at 3.30am. I’m not complaining though because there was a text message from KLM saying Bag Two is currently being transported to KUL! Yay.

I checked the website and indeed, Bag Two was labeled ‘Rushbag’ and on flight KL809 en route to KLIA. I hope it’s the same flight as Bag One.

We hope to receive both bags this evening. Fingers crossed.

The Bags are Still Not Here

2 Jul

Yesterday evening fighting jet lag, we waited in vain for our bags to be delivered. It was exasperating to call the airport and put on hold until the line went dead. Eeesh…

We checked Delta’s website—as we checked-in at their counter and our KLM flight codeshare with them—and the status showed the last entry being ‘Bags removed planeside at SLC’. What did this mean? They never left Salt Lake City? But we were told they were stuck in Amsterdam! Gulp.

So using the power of social media, I messaged KLM directly on WhatsApp last night and they responded in less than an hour. Pretty good. They gave me a new site to check which I did. And status showed ‘Tracking continues and to check later’. Hmm… at that point, it was getting late and the body couldn’t hold up anymore, what else can we do but sleep?

This morning, I woke up at 5.30am unable to sleep anymore. And I checked again. There’s some progress – the same website showed one bag, not both, is on the next flight in. As we did only one PIR (Property Irregularity Report) for both bags, how come status indicated only one bag coming in? Is it not necessary to indicate both? Hmm… not very reassuring I thought. I queried KLM this morning and they responded after an hour and a half. The second bag is still being traced! Goodness. But there’s no need for another PIR.

A quick counter check on flightaware.com showed the aircraft departed but was late. And Schiphol itself is experiencing a lot of delays, an average of 43 minutes for arrivals and one hour three minutes for departures.

We were just there on Sunday and our departure was delayed 24 minutes; I thought it was the inconsiderate dude (whom the Captain did announce to everyone) who came onboard late. But it’s actually more technical than that with the delays at such lengths for inbound and outbound.

Well, looks like we have to hang on again tonight to receive bag one of two coming home. Stay tuned for the adventures of Bag Two.

Oops, The Bags are Not Here

1 Jul

It’s mind boggling when I look back now at the total time of the whole journey inclusive of the car rides. So from the time we left Corvallis for the airport, the flights, transits and our taxi ride home, it was 43.5 hours! Goodness gracious me.

The delay of the bags added to this and it could have been worse if the delayed flight departures were longer. But being under half an hour each time, the flying itself made up for it.

Yesterday when we touchdown at KLIA, all I was thinking of was a nice cold shower and a good sleep to start my recovery from the jet lag. But our checked-in bags never arrived. With this clouding our minds, how to sleep snugly?

We stood at the baggage conveyor belt for more than half an hour and our two checked-in bags never came. They are still in Amsterdam, along with the bags of several other travelers who transited at Schiphol Airport.

Some of them were connecting from Paris and Japan, and us from the US. Like them, we lodged a report and this took time too as the office was packed. Initially I thought we had to go to the airport this evening to get them but hubby said they will be delivered to us instead. I await anxiously for them.

This morning I woke up at 6.20am. I had a good eight hours sleep with four and a half of it being deep sleep. That’s good, maybe a faster recovery but the nagging headache is still there, I don’t know why. Hubby on the other hand, woke up every two hours. He said he was still in airplane sleep mode and each time, he was expecting to be served a meal or ice cream! Hahaha…

We jumped right into work this morning, not wasting any time to rest.

Oh My Body, Part 2

30 Jun

There’s always something about the return journey compared to the initial arrival one. The traveling hours are about the same or sightly longer but the woes seem to be different.

When we first arrived in the US three weeks ago, the next day upon arrival I had recovered from the jet lag. The same can’t be said for returning to Malaysia for sure.

I recall our 2012 US trip, I took a week to recover from the jet lag. Now, seven years later, a week too or longer? Hmm…

Maybe the fact that we are returning from a holiday – back to reality, makes it hard for the body to accept, thus longer to readjust.

In the meantime, I was hoping to sleep 18 hours throughout when we arrive home but I cannot do so because our checked-in bags never arrived at KLIA! Haish…

Looks like recovery sleep has to be shortened to return to the airport tomorrow as our report has been done and bags should arrive by then to be collected.

Oh My Body

30 Jun

All that sitting and inability to find a snug position on the second leg had caused my backache to flare up. Throughout the journey, I had my painkiller on standby but I tried not to resort to them.

The last three hours of more sitting and waiting in Schiphol was just so arduous. And we didn’t want to walk too much too as we had the backpacks to carry and the cabin bags to pull along. We both knew it will just tire us and most likely we can’t sleep well on the third leg of the journey.

By 8.00pm, the announcement came on for boarding and in an orderly fashion, passengers boarded when their zones were called out. We sat in the aircraft for a good 40 minutes or so because of one late inconsiderate dude to come onboard. Eventually we were cleared for take off, 24 minutes passed the scheduled 8.50pm.

Within an hour, dinner was served! And after the meal, I tried to sleep again and it wasn’t easy. I just couldn’t get any comfortable positions. So I watched a movie and a couple of documentaries but not long enough to kill time. We still had over five hours to go. Felt like forever. Oh my body!

Eventually I forced myself to sleep. After all, I was wedged between two people this time, I couldn’t get up and the aisle passenger was asleep. Then I had to pee. Oh dear…

Do I wake her? It wouldn’t be polite because she was in deep slumber snoring away. Hubby too was sound asleep against the window. Hmm…I shouldn’t go pee and tried to sleep instead as my eyes were tired. I think I managed two hours at most and not more. And it made matters worse.

The legs were sore, the back hurt, the butt numb and the shoulders stiff and I still had to pee. As if these problems were not enough, a tiny nagging headache started developing. Oh my body…

We Wait Again

29 Jun

The transit this time at Schiphol is in the main terminal and there are so many things to eat and shops to browse. We arrived by 2.30pm after a rather pleasant journey with no bad turbulence. But the same can’t be said for comfort and the inability to sleep well. Our next flight is at 8.50pm but boarding, as printed is 8.09pm. Still… a long wait. Again.

By now, with three hours still to go, the both of us are really tired and no will to explore. Somehow with one extra transit and stop throws the whole body system awry. I just want to lie down and sleep if I can. Big yawn…