I was shocked when I found out that AirAsia had retimed our flight to KL from the earlier 1500 hrs to 1600 hrs. As I had another flight to catch to Labuan at 1800 hrs, the time gap of an hour was too short to enable me to collect my baggage to be checked in again for the onward flight to Labuan even though I was already within the terminal. AirAsia doesn't provide direct check in of your baggages to your final destination.
Their staff assured us that AirAsia will put us on the next day's flight to Labuan at no cost should we miss today's flight since it was their fault. They will not pay for lodging though. With that assurance I called up my son Azrin to wait for us at the LCCT incase we may have to put up the night at his place. Hey what happens if I dont have a son living near the LCCT and I have to stay overnight for the next day's flight?
Tok Ma spending the last few moments with Balqis at KB Airport. Tok Ma wont be flying with us to Labuan.
After explaining my predicament, the lady at the check in counter cooly accepted my check in and agreed to wait for my baggage to arrive. I have this feeling that her relaxed attitude with the flight due to depart with less than 30 minutes to spare could translate into another delayed flight. I don't care much if it was delayed as long as I can get on the flight.
True to my earlier hunch, the flight was delayed by half an hour, not as bad as the earlier delay in Kota Bharu. Now they have come up with an 'On Time Guarantee' whereby if you experience a delay of more than 3 hours and they fail to inform you in advance, they will compensate you with RM300. Don't get too excited about it as there are clauses that will ensure that it wont be that easy to benefit from it.
Azrin and his whole family was there to meet us. If the flight was not delayed from KB, we could have spent more time with them.
With the new Airbus 320, the journey on both sectors were super smooth. I had ordered online a meal of nasi lemak when buying my flight ticket on the KUL-LBU-KUL sectors. Lucky thing as I found myself so hungry and the quite tasty nasi lemak with al the usual condiments and a piece of 'curry chicken' was to my taste. Azini didn't want any even though I offered to buy another meal for her. I guess she prefered to wait and have dinner with her husband in Labuan.
We touched down at the new Labuan Airport at about 8.40 PM and there waiting for us was my son in law Lokman. Balqis was wheeled out in her pram and Lokman took Balqis from me at the door to the arrival hall. I tried to go back to the arrival hall to help Azini collect our baggage but was not allowed by the female security personnel who was guarding the entrance when I couldnt produce my boarding pass. After a short while Azini came out with the baggage. We drove back to their flat at Taman Mutiara, Bedaun, Labuan, Malaysia.
This airport is a new airport as I remember the old airport was much smaller when I was last here some ten years ago.
It was night and I couldn't see much of Labuan.
The next day my SIL and Azini were busy cleaning up the house. The house must be made such that anything within reach of Balqis must be stashed somewhere safer. Though she has yet to walk, she could stand up by holding on to chairs or table and just pull everything down.
Azini had to prepare to get back to college in Keningau for another 2 weeks of classes.
We left Taman Mutiara at 2.30 PM to send Azini to the International Ferry Terminal. This terminal serves the passengers going to all destinations such as Brunei, Kota Kinabalu and Menumbuk. Azini's destination was Menumbuk and the fare was RM15 by small ferries with outboard motors. Each boat will only carry 12 passengers. Anything more than that number is ilegall but up to sixteen passengers has been known to be carried by such boats.
Fares and timetables can be collected at the ticketing office. One thing special about this terminal is the announcement of arrivals and departures of ferries just like the way they do at the airport. Even final calls were made to passengers who had bought tickets but have yet to board the ferries.
The view of the International Ferry Terminal in Labuan.
At the exit of the ferry arrival hall there is displayed the places of interest in Labuan. How convenient.
After Azini had boarded the ferry we left the terminal. Lokman took me around the island and I was so excited when I saw so many places that I can come back and do some photo shoot. I wonder if I can find enough time to visit them all.Of special interest will be the birdpark, the chimney, the tunnel, peace memorial etc.
We stopped to have the best satay on the island at a place called Layang Layangan. I would choose their satay anytime over the current fare they are serving in Kajang. Their beef satey is far superior in taste. A whole young coconut will be served with the satay and the satay cost an affordable 50 sen a stick and no fat or skin will be put in between the meat as is often done in Kelantan.
Lokman and Balqis waiting for our order to come.
A whole cocnut is served with no ice or sugar added.
We had a nice view of the beach at low tide.
On the way back to Taman Mutiara we came across this sunset and I told Lokman to stop the car to enable me to take this luxuriant color of the sky over Labuan.
Glorious sunset. I must let Akmal fiddle around with the above photo using photoshp and let us see what he can come up with.
I waited again today for another display of colors in the sky but God created the special show to be on only on that particular Sunday evening. Who knows when the next show will be on.
My daily routine beside nannying Balqis to surf the net whenever I have the chance. If she is not asleep I will have to compete with her for the use of the laptop. She is really adept with the note book and will know which button to hit in order to alter the image on the screen. A good hit with her plam never fails to bring the result.
Balqis taking her turn at using the laptop.
Those are the account of my arrival and the first few days in Labuan. I must explore the rest of the island when I have the chance.