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Monday, January 16, 2006

Culture shock

was in Jkt just before the New Year, and then KL and BKK last week for work.

Jkt was alright but culture shock becos of:
- my first sighting of real extensive shanty-towns where the homes were built with waste wood, planks, taupalins, anything every which way. and kids running barefoot and bared torso, cant help but think how lucky kiddies are to have so much, and that killed my appetite to buy them more toys from the airport
- was chauffered around, and i couldnt believe my eyes when i found that the media of choice in cars is the humble cassette tape player.

KL was alright too but i was extra wary becos of all that negative reporting. thankfully nothing happened to me, unless you count the terrible room they put me in PJ Hilton. it had lights that will not turn on and i was groping in the dark half the time, and cabinet lights that will not go off so i had to sleep with them on, and aircon that was freaking freezing cold (companion said hers were too warm). had to sleep with a t-shirt plus sweater plus track pants under double blankets, my first in a tropical country. at least i earned double krisflyer miles in hilton... sniff* ah-choo*!

- i realised that 1 should not wear sleeveless clothings, and if it is too hot, pair a sleeveless with a jacket. was "molested" by a staff from subsi office when we shook hands, and his left hand conveniently patting my shoulder and that same hand glided down my arm. EWWWWW~* phui phui phui.


the flight routing for KL and BKK was terrible cos we had to save $400 per tix by going on MH via SIN-KL-BKK-KL-SIN. but had to waste a WHOLE day on BKK-KL-SIN on home leg. at least i got to buy duty-free liquor cos KL was only transit. :D

MH Service comments:
- food was terrible. on our KL-BKK flight we were given a choice of fish with noodle or chicken with rice. i chose fish with noodle after seeing the passenger on the next aisle opening his, not that it looked good but it looked like something i can bare with. my companion chose chicken with rice after seeing the same, and when she opened hers, "oh gosh, just as bad" kekeke.

- boss was in biz class on KL-BKK flight, switched off his happening nokia phone when it rang just before take-off. sat in his seat the whole 1:45 hr flight. got up when touched down and realised that phone wasnt in his pocket. thot no prob just look around the seat and floor. NOTHING! */^%(#*$! got air hostess and crew to strip the chair and still NOTHING. crew rationaled that phone must have fallen off boss pocket onto the floor before take off, and had slit down (on take off) or up (on landing) and somebody must have picked it up. fantastic logic. now explain the bit about cheapo biz class traveller who keeps a dropped phone to me please?

- SQ girls have a training module on make-up and company prescribed colors and style, i wonder if MH has the same? if yes, why do they use that garish plastic pink lipstick?

- The ultimate was in the BKK-KL leg. was feeling cold and sleepy (too much to drink the nite before, 'nuf said) and asked for a pillow and blanket. Air hostess with plasticky grin(mace) came back with pillow, and snapped "I will come back with your blanket in a minute" to my query. she passed by again with nothing and my companion asked a blanket too, but she went away so quickly without acknowledging the request that we wondered if she heard it. We thot that she didnt when she came back with only 1 (crumpy not plastic wrapped goodness knows who was using it before), and the plasticky fake smile said "sorry mdm, due to limitation of supply, can you please SHARE?" faintz


KLIA comments:

- Stupid touts and advertisement (CHEAP TOUR PACKAGES! BUDGET HOTELS! EASY CAR RENTAL!) plastered every which way right outside the imigration / airport limo counter. So aggressive and the touts actually wear official-looking plastic tags that makes unsuspecting visitors think it is alright to go with them. shudders. and the "normal" taxi queue is so so so far away. thankfully there were 3 of us and we took the really official airport limo. [postscribe: read that this matter was raised in their local newspaper forum pages too, and the powers that be do not have authority to stop the touts. heh. money too good say lah]

- Those stupid sign boards for departure times and check-in rows!
--->The one facing the grand entrance were too high up and too small to read properly.
---> the ones on the ground had only 2 screens and flashed every 10 sec, and since there were a total of 10 pages, you had to wait for 90 sec to go back to the page that you didnt get to read finish to confirm your flight information. not so important if everything were normal, but mine was delayed and the boarding gate changed.
---> the ones with all the screens were situated in the centre of consoles and were not convenient to go to

- BK serves drinks that were filled to the brim of the cups, no wonder the cleaners were cleaning up every 2 minutes when somebody spilled their drinks. and they dont have bbq sauce for chicken tenders :(

- went to Malaysian Local Produce to buy some foodstuff to bring home. Aisles were narrow, dumb. NO baskets for you to carry your purchases, dumb. Things were piled up unsupported, dumb. Tried to pay with visa but the stupid machine couldnt call through the transaction, only after 5 min did they realise that the phone jack had fallen off the visa terminal, DUMB. they managed to connect and still it didnt work, paid with cash.
- Companion bought stuff there too, and after she paid with cash while waiting for my transaction to go through, the staff went to the shelves to pick up 1 each of all the stuff she bought. i thought "wah, got buy 1 get 1 free ah?" only to have them use the scanner to scan the price lables and print a receipt for companion, and then place the stuff back on the shelves again. what to do? labour cheap mah.


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