Tag Archives: Airports

Gain One, Lose One

20 Sep

It was the beginning of Summer when M2 came home, and it was great. With the lockdown imposed, we felt safe in our bubble at home. Then M1 returned from the US not too long ago, and we were complete.

But just when we are comfortable with both girls being home after being empty nesters for some time, the situation has changed again. The Summer holiday has ended for M2, and she has to return to college. Within a short time, we gain one and lose one.

M2’s Summer vacation is officially over, and yesterday, she flew back to Ireland. I’m tracking her journey at flightaware.com as she is still flying when this post is published. I only hope she will be on time to arrive, unlike when M1 returned.

Sending M2 off at KLIA

During this pandemic, every country has its safety measures for international travelers. Although Ireland’s SOP is very different from the one imposed in our country, M2 must self-isolate even though fully vaccinated upon arrival. Rules are rules, and they should be abided by to stay safe.

Here’s wishing her all the best for the Fall semester ahead, and stay safe!

Anxiety and More Anxiety

27 Aug

After six and a half years and two degrees later, our M1 is finally coming home. We are, of course, thrilled with her decision. There was quite a fair bit of anxiety for her trying to book her flight home because of the pandemic.

She had two previous bookings canceled by the airlines because of limited flights and transiting countries having strict regulations to deal with the pandemic. What was supposed to be an 18-hour one-stopover journey became a two-stopover and much more than that. Way much more.

The two-stopover flight with Air Canada did not go as planned! The delayed first leg of the journey caused her to miss her connecting flight to Narita Airport for the second leg. Dear, oh dear. And she could not wait for the next available flight out with the same airline as the Covid-19 test would become invalid after 72 hours from testing. Throw in the immigration restrictions of no more than 24 hours for transit.

It’s so stressful to add to the anxiety dealing with new issues like flight timing, and immigration, on top of health.

Thankfully, she found an alternative airline for the same day, but the journey is longer. Oh well, an extended flight is better than being unable to return at all. With cases on the uptrend again, there isn’t much choice. I will be tracking her path on flightaware.com as always. We have to wait another day until she arrives.

Homeward Bound, Part 2

15 Jun

I had a restless night tracking M2’s flight. She has another five hours of flying before arriving in Singapore for a short stopover of an hour and a half. Then another hour’s flight before arriving in KLIA as of this entry.

I cannot believe how fast time has gone. Last October, she went back to Ireland, and now, another year of college is complete.

But we won’t get to be with her for another two weeks as she has to undergo quarantine requirements at a hotel. So close yet so far still. Sigh.

Homeward Bound

14 Jun

Today our M2 is flying back from Ireland! Woohoo. She has completed her second year at university and is homeward bound for the summer holidays. The journey will be tedious as a result of the stringent requirements to fly due to Covid-19.

Unlike last year, when she came home in March for a six-month summer holiday and was home-quarantined, this time, a chartered coach will greet her at the airport and send her to a hotel to be quarantined upon her arrival. We don’t have to pick her up as these measures are in place for all arriving at KLIA to Malaysia.

We only have to monitor her flight on flightaware.com to ensure her journey is on time. She flies this late afternoon (her local time) which is equivalent to our past midnight time, so I guess I won’t be sleeping much to track her flight until her final arrival.

Just the Two of Us

2 Oct

Now that M2 has arrived safely and undergoing her quarantine, we are back to just the two of us at home. And so, the routine is back to normal; in other words, I’m playing golf every other day again.

And in between this routine, it’s the DIY projects that keep me busy. Oh, project #4 was completed a day before her departure, and project #5 started soon after.

#4 – The cafe without lights
Night mode of the cafe

Leaving on a Jet Plane, Part 3

29 Sep

For two nights in a row, the both of us had restless sleep, anxious for M2’s journey. The flight was delayed in Doha, hence the anxiety for us.

Apparently, the runway was closed but no further details were provided for the passengers. And after a four and a half hours delay, the flight finally took off.

Well, she has finally arrived safely after the long and tiring journey, and has checked into the dorms, ready to start her two-weeks quarantine.

Leaving on a Jet Plane, Part 2

28 Sep

M2 flew off yesterday evening. My heart was heavy, and there were tears, mostly mine when I hugged her ever so tightly. The time has come to let her go, now that her college is ready to welcome back returning students.

We arrived at the airport early and waited for a bit before the check-in counters opened. Most of the passengers were young adults, students like M2, returning to their respective universities.

The airport was not a bustling hive of activity like the pre-pandemic days. The place looked gloomy. The ever-popular KFC and McDonald’s were shuttered since 18 March, the start of the nation lockdown phases. So unfortunate.

My brave girl returning to college by herself

M2 arrived in Doha early this morning and in transit for the next flight. We managed to talk to her just only. She’s in good spirits despite feeling tired from a lack of sleep and having to wear a face mask and face shield provided by Qatar Airways throughout the journey.

We will be more at ease once we hear from her again the next time from Dublin.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

25 Sep

It has been six months that M2 came back from Ireland at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic mayhem. And it was a good six months with her around; the house is not so big and empty.

But sadly, all good things must come to an end. Time has flown by so fast, and it is time for her to return to Ireland for her studies.

While we are worried about her journey, there are many precautions and SOPs taken by the airlines and airports to ensure a safe journey for every traveler. So we should be comforted by these new norm practices.

I will, as always, track her flight on flightaware.com and being unable to sleep through the night until I know she has arrived safely on campus. A mother’s worry is constant regardless of how old a child is.

She leaves on Sunday evening. Sniffles.

The End of the Food Trail

7 Jan

M1 has arrived safely this morning after a long but on time flight. So the adventures of her food trail officially ended on Sunday with an early dinner before leaving for the airport that night. With the end of the food trail, this means no more constant heavy meals for us except for several upcoming Chinese New Year-related dinners with friends that have been pre-arranged earlier. We have gone back to the 16/8 diet routine immediately, kicking it off with a salad lunch yesterday.

img_7641

Bak Kut Teh with two sides was a good farewell dinner choice

img_7662

Contrasting the meat-based dinner, lunch the next day was just fiber and more fiber

The big question I’m sure that must be on everyone’s mind, did I gain weight? Of course I did! How could I not when the eating window was switched to 16 hours and the non-eating window reduced to eight hours or less, three quarters of which was being asleep. So essentially there was very little time in between for a meal to be fully digested before the next meal.

There were nights when I fretted to step on the bathroom scale knowing the numbers I’d see would not be pleasant. But I took it in stride because I knew the situation was temporary and it won’t last long.

There were several times when the weight climbed steadily upwards, it was rather horrifying. However the numbers fluctuated when we ate less; I even managed to squeeze in a couple of salad lunches to lessen the guilt. Thankfully, yesterday morning when I stepped on the bathroom scale, the final result was somewhat comforting for I had expected it to be more. I gained only a kilo (2.2lbs) which wasn’t too bad considering it did spiked up more than that!

I’m sure within a week, this gain would be erased and the 16/8 continues until when Chinese New Year comes around, a new round of festive eating to indulge in!

Bags are Finally Home

4 Jul

Yesterday the bags were finally delivered, at 9.55pm! It was a long day for us waiting for them and the bags, I supposed for their delay and ‘adventure’.

I must say, the last three days I wasn’t overly stressed over our delayed bags. Sure there was some anxiety initially because of the unknown and no updates. But soon after, there was confidence that KLM would sort it out. It was just a matter of time.

For such a global airline, KLM was very approachable when they responded to my queries rather quickly in my opinion. They had many channels to be contacted: Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, email, WhatsApp and Customer Contact Centre.

I chose WhatsApp because to me, the other platforms were either too worldly or corporate and not personal enough. The key here is being approachable rather than professional and I am glad I chose this channel.

The exchanges with KLM on WhatsApp helped bring them down to a more personal level and faster too, giving a lot more reassurance than email, which I used with a regional airline in April and they responded a day later.

Lessons learned here: always label your check-in bags (which we did), buy travel insurance (which we did too and will claim for the delay), make full use of the best and fastest communication platform to stay informed thus, avoiding stress and have a positive attitude towards the situation, it helps.