Wind beneath my [mas]wings…

I’m home…safe and sound and in one piece! Anybody missed me?…Well, I left Sibu on Sunday morning and when I got to the airport, what I saw…

O fare, 0 passenger 1 O fare O passenger 2

…was not very encouraging. Times are hard…and even with zero fare, there were 0 passengers, or almost…

 O fares, a few passengers

As I have mentioned in my previous post, I was flying via maswings in their Fokker 50 aircraft. The thought crossed my mind that it was not a very appropriate name for an airline. I’m sure if you’re flying in a swinging aircraft, you’ll need a lot of hong eyew or minyak cap kapak (Axe brand oil)!

I flew to Bintulu where I had to disembark for immigration clearance and then I had to board the aircraft again…

Reboarding at Bintulu

The flight was pleasant…and we were served a packet of Milo from Sibu to Bintulu and from Bintulu to Kota Kinabalu, we were given this…

maswings inflight light refreshment

Inside, they had turkey ham sandwich and egg sandwich in cling wrap. You do not get to see them in the photograph as I had already eaten them all! LOL!!! Definitely nicer than the inedible, inpalatable stuff we get on the KL-Sibu-KL flights despite being packed in a classier and very impressive looking box. I would think that the box for this one is quite unnecessary too. Somehow or other, I would imagine certain individuals with “extra loose change” in their pockets derived from the lucrative deals, but this is just an uncanny suspicion on my part and not a statement of fact! Anyway, there was also a packet of Milo and a bar of KitKat in the box as well… 

maswings inflight light refreshment 2

The lady at the MAS counter in Sibu told me that I could only check in for the Sibu-KK sector and I would have to check in again at KK airport for my flight to Sandakan. Darn!!! The airport at KK was worse than a fish market! It was so crowded with mat sallehs and loud Cantonese-speaking Chinese (from Hong Kong probably) and it took me quite a while to go through the process. There were only a few counters and none for no-baggage check-in and the place was not air-conditioned, so you can imagine me oozing sweat from every pore…

Busy KK airport

I met a former student there, now a flourishing businessman…and he treated me to coffee and nasi lemak at The Mouth, the restaurant at the airport. I did not take any photographs as we were too engrossed in our conversation about who’s doing what, who’s married to who, how many kids and so on and so forth. I noticed this sign upon arrival though…

Sign at KK airport

I think the BM translation for “What’s that big one?” isn’t quite correct. What do you think? And I wonder what “big one” they are talking about! Hahahahaha!!! Well, I reached Sandakan at 1.20; there were no delays all the way so that’s one good thing.

Orang Utan mascot at Sandakan airport

No, that wasn’t Kpenyu waiting for me at Sandakan airport and that wasn’t his portrait on the wall either (though some may claim that there’s a resemblance! ROTFLMAO!!!). My friend, Lily, met me at the airport and brought me to the hotel…

Grand Hotel Sandakan

It is right across the road from some private Chinese school where I was going to give a talk the next day…and is located in Taman Indah which some say is the red-light area in Sandakan. Hehehehehe!!!! Ask no questions and I’ll tell no lies!!! When I went into the room, I was somewhat tickled at being welcomed by this very hospitable sign… 

Sign at Sandakan hotel

That was nice! I hate the stale cigarette stench in some hotel rooms that I have stayed in. Lily said she would pick me up later for dinner…but that will have to wait till the next post! Well, hasn’t it been said that patience is a virtue? LOL!!!