Penang oh Penang
Being a frequent flyer to Penang with MAS has never been peachy. I hate to commit to long meetings or travels between Penang/Georgetown and Perai area.
The taxis are simply selfish bunch of people who refused to switch on their meters, and although they have so far taught me well in my negotiation skills, I hate doing it on a regular basis, especially when catching a meeting, or my return flight.
The good sides of Penang trip have always been the beautiful city, abundant of old shophouses, darling little streets and shops, and the irresistible nasi kandar, which until today, makes me double or triple my runs after a plateful.
My biggest dissapointment is not with Penang, ironically, but with evening MAS flights returning to KL. Almost every time, without fail, my 5.10 p.m. flight will be cancelled, and the 6.40 p.m. flight will be delayed. What was deemed to be a quiet and deserved return flight after running up and down the steps of KOMTAR, is always smeared with frustration to sitting at a cold airport, with J-Lo singing. I am bitching everything about MAS and MASB, as they are all built around idiotic people, insensitive and plain lazy. The airport does not even have a standard Wi-Fi coverage, there are no water coolers (I do not pay for a RM6 mineral water), waiting area for every gate is insufficient of seats, toilets are dirty and so on and so forth. Really, what have they been doing? Today, my belt presented me to be body-checked by a male officer at the metal scanner booth. I am pretty sure that guy was more of ‘meraba’, instead of scanning for potential metal items on me. There I was, molested in public. Although I enjoy public nudity for m y visual pleasure, being grabbed by another man is less ideal.
Coming back to MAS flights, today I am sitting at the gate, bitching about the delay, and no Wi-Fi connection to check my emails etc, for my 6.40 p.m. flight was earlier delayed to 7.15 p.m., then to 7.35 p.m., and now a new time is at 7.55 p.m. my mind goes to Iris, standing bored at the babysitter’s front gate seeing kids after kids being picked-up by their parents, and she was the last one. On one occasion, I had to wait until 8.20 p.m. to return home. For sure I’d be groggy, and tired with the whole drama.
The SMS from Mairyfair to alert me about the flight delay came 25 mins before my original flight, which of course at that time, I have battled my way out of crazy Penang traffic through the factories. MAS did not even have a courtesy to send that SMS. I arrived at Penang Airport at 6.15 p.m. for a 6.40 p.m. flight. That flight should have left KLIA at 5.40 p.m., which by then, an SMS should have been sent to us if it has already been delayed. WTF, lah. National carrier konon. And you aired your apologies over the intercom, and apologizes for all inconveniences. If we miss our flight, we shall pay our fines to MAS. If MAS is late, aren’t they suppose to refund us something too?
There are so many undocumented frustrations with my late evenings at Penang Airport. I could honestly go on and on but what is the point. Like what the ‘kakak’ at the departure counter said to me, ‘mintak maaf, lah dik, akak tak tahu apa masalah MAS ni’. Of course she can’t be blamed. She is just manning the desk, tearing our boarding passes etc. But sometimes I felt like throwing the chair to someone to vent off. Bloody airline.
But this time around, I am more composed, thanks to my runs and exercises, that I am able to rationalize things. Hopefully this is a good thing, without compromising to become a complacent me, or too receiving to any political flaws or stupidity not on my part.
* the flight departed at 8.15 p.m.