Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hello Rotterdam!

It's my second day in Rotterdam, and it's 8.30am. I managed to sleep at a pretty normal time, ie. midnight, last night, but was actually already pretty "dead" by 7pm. Just that I had to do some laundry, finish up some work for Slavedriver and stuff.

Anyway, apologies for not posting on my first day, which I should've!

Here's the lowdown on my journey.

I flew KLM because it was RM80 cheaper than MAS, and every ringgit counts when one euro = five ringgit. Boo. The plane was pretty decent, personal screens were big, and the films were not too shabby. The flight attendants weren't very nice though. The women were a little "old", and smiled at people like they had to, without any warmth that I find MAS attendants have. I didn't really have a problem with the women because they didn't serve me (except for one who collected the rubbish, and she picks them up and then tosses them in her bin... I mean, it's only 1 foot away from my face, can't she just "put" them in the bin, and not "chuck" them? It does make a difference when the passenger is eye-level with the bin and the whole act of "simply chucking" things is obvious. Yah, that little thing did irk me a bit).

But the male attendant I had was super tall and quite annoying. It's like his face has this condescending look, and even when he smiles, it looks so insincere. Goodness, how did he get a job in the customer service field?

I sat next to a big Sarawakian lady who is quite a traveller, due to her being from Sarawak, her husband being British (she lives in Edinburgh), but now working in Dubai. When the flight was nearly over, she asked me if I was Chinese, and I said yeah, and she said that I looked mixed... somewhat like "those South... south of Russia..."... and I said, "Kazakhstan??" because one of my friends has been asked if he's from there, which he's obviously not... and Ms Sarawak agreed and said yes, I do look a bit Kazakhstanian... Kazakhstani... whatever.

After landing, we taxied for 20 whole darn minutes before the plane stopped at the gate. And even then, their guidance system was down, so we weren't even really at the gate yet. Five minutes later, all the lights and music turned off, and backup lights came on. Okaaaaaaay..... Ms Sarawak said "Thank goodness it didn't happen when we were in the air." I wholeheartedly agree. Captain comes on to say that electricity box has dropped off (I'm sure he didn't mean that literally... right?) and back engine will start in just 20 to 30 seconds. So had to wait another freaking 10 minutes to leave the plane that I'd been sitting in for the past 13 hours.

Anyway, arrived at Schiphol (in Amsterdam), didn't have a problem with passport control, except she was really inquisitive and so particular that our line moved one person for every five people in the other lines. Grr. I've decided not to get worked out about them anymore, so I just zenned out when I spoke to her.

The people taking over the "I hate" title in the airport are... the customs people! OMG, every single bloody time I travel now, I get stopped and my bags get checked! What the... I really have to one day ask them what it is about me that makes them stop me. Seriously! I've travelled overseas 3 times this year and all 3 times, I've been checked. Once even when I was with Schrobbenmaster Rik, they waved him away and then stepped in front of me. Obviously they don't find anything, but it's so irritating to have to open everything for them.

Finally got outside and waited for Schrobbenmaster Rik to pick me up. He'd been delayed by the trains so would arrive an hour after I landed. I just sat there with my iPod. It was 6.20am, so really quiet and nice. It felt quite old-style, like the 70s, but I didn't dare step outside the station (the airport also has a train station underneath) yet.

When Schrobbenmaster Rik arrived and took me back to Rotterdam, I felt so relieved I didn't have to go myself. So confusing. Take this train, take that platform, don't trust the train lady, trains accidentally skipping stations. And all in Dutch too. To be fair, one network of trains was being updated/maintained/repaired, which pretty much messes up the whole system big time, as they all rely on each other majorly. I think people might even have missed flights from Schiphol.

There was a cute baby boy who was entranced by my phone and when I gave it to him, it went straight into his mouth. Reminded me of Arran.

Finally reached Rotterdam, took the tram back home, and it's really convenient, only 5 minutes walk back from the stop. Had a tour of the place and then set up my electronics (the age of the geek) before showering and crashing in bed for a few hours' catchup sleep.

My first dinner in Rotterdam. Word of the day: Kip = Chicken.

Nothing eventful happened the rest of the day except for a trip to the supermarket, finishing work, and visiting my bicycle. It looks big for me... I hope I don't fall down from it. Will be using it today to the university, across town, so wish me luck!

1 comment:

frachely said...

Now I think my flight with AirFrance was pretty pleasant haha.