Monday, March 11, 2013

Departure

Foreword: I have promised myself to attempt to write a travel journal, and I wrote this entry 2 months ago I believe. I still haven't finished all 14 days of it, but I'm up to day 6. So, I'm releasing this now, so that I will be motivated to finish all 14 of it. :) So here it is. My Paris & London Travel Journal. :) 
Xs and Os.

I have always wanted to write a travel blog. And since recently, I got the opportunity to travel again, I think what better time to start than now (besides, it's like 1.50 a.m and I still can't sleep).

So we visited Paris (again) and London for 2 weeks. We departed on the 6th of November, and arrived in Malaysia on the 21st. I'd say, although we have just visited Paris the previous year, it's still an amazing trip for me, and I had definitely enjoyed myself. :)

Our flight was on a Friday I think, and it was a pretty late flight, I think the boarding time was 23:50 so we must have flew out past midnight. And since it was a friday, mom and dad still went to work as usual, my brother still had his final exam to sit (he ended up, to his delight, skipping 3 exam papers), and my sister still had to attend tuition class in the afternoon. So it was a pretty hectic day. I only started packing in the morning of my departure, sewing buttons that came off of my winter coat, and digging up my winter clothing in the cupboard in the guestroom.

After I finished packing, I realized that we haven't really decided on what we'll be doing in both countries. Being a meticulous planner that I am, I googled up some tourist attraction in Paris, went on google map, and marked the location on the map to see how far they are from each other, printed it, and tucked it safely in my suitcase. Mom bought the London Pass, so I checked what places might be interesting and did the same for London. I also checked halal restaurants in London (I've pretty much given up on looking for halal retaurant in Paris), and jotted down the address. Mind you, this was all going on at 7.30 pm, when we're supposed to be leaving the house at 8.30 pm. I haven't showered, or finished packing at this stage. So everything was pure chaos.

So anyway, at 8.30 we left for KLIA, in 2 seperate cars, and even in the car, the chaos doesn't stop. Mom's phone kept ringing,because dad kept calling her, to make sure that she had all the passports, tickets, cameras, chargers....the list goes on and on. And because of all the chaos, the butterfly that I usually fell in my stomach during the ride to the airport was replaced with exasperation, which I think was a shame. :( Once we arrived in KLIA, we decided to just check in, and get it over and done with, so that we can settle down and finally calm down and wait to board the plane.

Now, what I like about the departure hall, is it's immigration counter. They're always crowded on the Malaysian lane, but the International Passport lane was always deserted. hehehe. I always had to line up in a long line in arrival, so I particularly like THIS process of departure. After immigration, we headed out to the Golden Lounge, and finally take a breather. It was so hectic at home, that nobody got the chance to have a bite, so although, we'll be served supper in the plane, we were so famished, that we decided to have dinner in the lounge. The food was free, so my brother went crazy in there. hahaha. I retained a bit of my dignity, and just ate some lamb stew.



mom insists on taking our picture here



Perut kenyang, hati senang - when everybody's all settled down


Oh Hai. - Telling the mister that I'll be boarding soon.
Once everything has settled down, the butterfly in my stomach starts coming back, and the excitement finally sets in. I feel all giddy with anticipation as I boarded the plane, I was smiling like an idiot. :)

Once everybody had stored their hand luggages on the compartment, and settled down, it's picture time! lol




We flew with MAS this time, but last year we flew with Qatar airways. I personally like Qatar just a bit more. hehe. The movie selections was great in Qatar (though I think it's because they had Harry Potter 1-8, so I'm a bit biased in this sense), and the food in Qatar was a notch better than MAS. Just a notch though. The service of both airways are topnotch though. Oh but, Qatar had better perfume in their bathroom. AND they had perfume in their vanity bag set, so, Qatar wins this round. 

Alhamdulillah, take off went without a glitch, and an hour (or two) after take off, supper was served. I was pretty full (and a bit sleepy) by then, so I wasn't really in the mood for food, but I stuffed my face anyways. (hashtag fatty). We flew business class, so we were served a 4-course meal I think (as opposed to 2 course(?) in economy), and they served sate as an appetizer. I mean, who can resist that?? Plus bak kata ayah saya "rugi la dah bayar tak makan".

Before the meal, we were offered drinks, cold and hot. And then the Sate, and then smoked salmon (2 appetizer rasanya), buns and breads, and finally the main course. I can't really remember what I had for dessert. But I'm pretty sure, that there was a dessert, can't really remember what it was though.. :( 



Alya's main course supper
Sorry I didn't take pictures of the food. I was really sleepy, and my camera was in my bag, which I already stored in the compartment, and I was all warm and toasty dalam selimut and didn't wanna get up. I got this picture off of my mom's camera.

Once we're done eating, hot drinks was served. Do you know how calming it is to have hot drinks in an airplane? Very calming. By the time I was done with my milk tea, I was really sleepy. Remember how I said I love reading in an airplane, and I like doing that whenever I travel? yeah. It didn't happen this time. I was halfway through watching Harry Potter The Deathly Hallow part 2 when fell asleep. And I slept like a log. It was a 13-hour flight, and I slept for 8 hours I think. I could recline my seat, and stretch out my legs, but being a freak that I am, I slept curled up sideways anyways.

Sure enough, I woke up with a dead left arm, and a need to use the bathroom. So once I got rid of all the static cling, and freshen up (read: douse myself with the free airline perfume), I got back to my seat, and felt that my skin was really dry, and my nose starts hurting. That's the thing with long flights, you get as dry as a raisin. As i was about to ask for a bottle of water, it was time for breakfast. Hot towels were distributed among the passangers, and I'm telling you, I have never appreciated hot towels like I did then. It was like I was caressed by breeze from heaven. Sedap gilaa rasa hot towel on dry skin and tired eyes (tired konon. padahal dah tidur 8 jam).

The breakfast was marvelous!! If I remember correctly, there were fresh fruits and muesli, followed by breakfast of your choice (I chose cheese omelette, which was awesome), and finished with hot drinks.

breakfast



What's breakfast without nasi lemak?
After breakfast, I was very awake, so I decided to do a bit of reading, and watched some movies to kill time before arriving in Paris. I think we had about 3 hours to kill, so a book and a movie was perfect. 

The next thing I know we arrived in Paris! We landed in Charles de Gaulle around 6 a.m Paris time, and was picked up by a car service that we pre-ordered in Malaysia, ready to take on Paris!


Watch this space for the next entry: Paris Day 1. Till then! 
XX
**tips: when you're on a long-hour flight, make sure to keep hydrated. Don't hesitate to ask for bottles of water from the stewardess. If you don't keep those water coming, you'd end up with taut skin, painfully dry nose (I once had to shove wet tissues up my nose because of this), and eye irritation. Oh, also, don't forget to stretch every once in a while. Ta! :)

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