Thursday, May 14, 2009

From Shah Alam to Putrajaya: A Girl Stuck in Amsterdam

Three weeks ago I went to Norway for a business trip. I intended to write about my trip there.. but that will have to wait, for this story, about going home to Malaysia at the end of the trip, was the most interesting part :p

Day One

8 am: arrived in Schipol Airport, Amsterdam from Trondheim, Norway
10 am: off to the boarding gate for the Amsterdam-KL flight. Squealed happily at the sight of MAS airplane at the tarmac. Ever since I studied in the United States, the sight of a MAS plane at a foreign airport will bring a tremendous amount of happiness, because it reminds me of home (MH is Malaysian Hospitality ye, kawan-kawan) and because I can finally eat rice and meat..!!
11 am: on the plane, waiting for take off at noon. Enjoying a glass of orange juice, while lazying around on the super-comfy business class seat, doing my Sudoku.
1 am: The plane still had not moved. Was on my fourth drink when the pilot announced that fuel leakage was detected and a few hours were needed to fix the problem. All passengers were asked to leave the plane. What, what…? Lunch vouchers were given out. More rounds in-and-out of the duty free shop.
4 pm: Reassembled at the boarding gate, only to be told, ‘Sorry folks, it is impossible that the plane will fly tonight’
6 pm: Claimed our luggage bag, received hotel assignment (lodging courtesy of MAS – chet, kalau suruh bayar sendiri, memang laa), checked into Sheraton Hotel (thank god it was only 300 m away from the airport).
9 pm: After dinner, went out to the city center via train and ‘window shopping’ at the red Light District.. muahahaa, pengalaman yang mendewasakan! We stumbled upon a fun fair, and decided to take a ride on the Ferris wheel, and were treated with a sweeping night view of the city. Plus, in the next car was a group of seriously cute guys ~ whom we flirted with, while hanging a few hundreds feet above the ground. And by ‘we’ I mean my friends – I was too busy praying that I won’t drop to my death (yes, I am afraid of height).

The canal at night

That's J-Lo at Madame Tussauds

Day Two

7 am: checked in, for the second time. Went through immigration, for the second time.
10 am: boarded the plane, for the second time. Everyone was laughing about yesterday. The person sitting on my left did not appear today – perhaps he managed to get on another flight to KL yesterday.
12 pm: ETD was supposedly at 11 am. The plane was still… not… moving. Apparently an old man fall sick and the EMT came by and declared he was not fit to fly. The pilot announced that we had to wait for the ground staff to off-load his checked-in luggage.
12.30 pm: The pilot was on the speaker again. Apparently the landing tire was not retracting. What.. what? Disbelieved, all passengers were asked to deplane – again. My poor friend - she bought a bouquet of fresh tulip for her mother. Looks like it just wasted two days of freshness, not leaving Amsterdam at all.
3 pm: Reassembled at the boarding gate after lunch (again, courtesy of MAS) and after a quick stop at the small art exhibition the Rijksmuseum was showcasing at the airport.
5 pm: Hahahaha, guess what! I was on a shuttle bus going to another hotel (this time on the far side of the airport) because they can’t fix the problem – again! After dinner, everyone was so tired that we did not have an excursion to the city tonight.

Muka ala-ala penat dan tension

Day Three

6.30 am: checked in, for the third time (notice that the check-in time gets earlier day by day. As if they haven’t torture us enough!)
9 am: Boarded the plane. Today, the person sitting on my right did not appear – Awesome! Now my roomy seat is becoming even more spacious!
9.45 am: ETD at 10 am. Oh, will we fly? Will we fly?
10 am: We are flyingggggggggggggggggggggg!!!! I could hear a wave of applause rolling in from the economy class behind me (we the business class people are way too posh to do so, excusez-moi)

I am fortunate that at least I am stuck at Amsterdam airport, which is a good place to be stuck in, because it is big and there are a lot of stuff to do. If we were stuck in other god-forsaken airport, I probably died of boringness.
I am also thankful for my fun and cool traveling companions who I can now be assured are the people I don’t mind getting deserted in an island with, and the strangers who become friends (lots of business card were exchanged) and the interesting personalities who shared their stories with me (a Datuk who had such a worldly traveling experience, a German gentleman who is an important figure in gas industry, a Malaysian lawyer residing in UK, and a biotech person who shared very interesting stories on biotech development in Malaysia).
I am also thankful that I traveling as a single – I pity the families with small children, and families on the way to their vacation (I hope they get some sort of refund for the days they lost). This must be a worse ordeal for them compared to me (but the kids seemed to enjoy it. By the second day they were all playing and running around together).

Oh yes.. what’s the relevance of the title – From Shah Alam to Putrajaya – to this entry? Well, the plane that was supposed to bring us home and the one that they can’t fix is named Shah Alam. But it was another plane called Putrajaya, which was flown in to Amsterdam on the third day that eventually brought us back to Kuala Lumpur. Shah Alam stayed behind to fly the 12 o’clock passengers (my batch flew out around 10 am). Heh, I wonder if they managed to take off?

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, is this a sign that abang Anuar Zain (a Shah Alam resident) and I was not meant to be together? Or that if we do, are we going to have a problematic, tiring life together? Adakah……….?


  1., I'd love to be in ur place. i'd love to be stuck in amsterdam!

    tapi ending ko apa kena mengenaaaa?? hahahaha

  2. better stuck in amsterdam..klu kt airport cokia mana...sure mati kutu di buatnyer...

  3. nasib baik dh dngr the main point of the story dah... so tak lah jeles sgt skrng bace balik .. (READ: still ~~ I'm jeles, cuma less that 1%)

    ...erm.. btw.. the LAAAT paragraph ..erm u can actually just discard... drama sgt.. :p

  4. farina: ending aku tu lah misteri utama dlm cerita ini. adakah itu petunjuk dari tuhan yg aku dan org shah alam are not meant to be together..? hahahaha

    kak yus: senior saya pernah stuck kat airport sudan ke ethiopia ntah. the airport is basically a bandsal.. so I'm The Lucky One (haahha, lagu Anuar Zain nih)

    Aiman: hellloooo.. org tu pergi Capetown, you ingat I x jeles masa baca blog you? huhuhu

  5. wahahaha..wut an experience! tapi 'window shopping' at amsterdam was really fun kan? tak pernahhhh tgk window sebegitu! dan part misteri shah alam wutsoever itu, i think its a sign fatma.definitely!wahahahahahahahaha

  6. mungkin itu petunjuk dari Tuhan, minn.. hahahaha..uwaaaaaaa

  7. blognya bagus-bagus....tetep semangat ng-blogging nih!

  8. thanks for dropping by, krisna! datang lagi ya..