The good, the bad and the ugly…

It’s Erection…oops! I mean, it’s Election Day in Sarawak today. However, I’m not into politics and this is not going to be a post along that line. Instead, this will be my last post in connection with my recent trip to Penang for my niece’s wedding.

I checked out of the hotel and headed to the airport at around 10.00 a.m. that day, 4th April, 2011, so I had ample time to loiter and loaf around before my flight MH1145 departing at 12 noon. Knowing that I would only get a packet of salted peanuts on board and the only inflight meal I would get en route would be dinner on my KLIA-Sibu flight that night, I decided to stop by the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlet for brunch. I had been there twice before and I enjoyed what I had on both occasions here and also here.

Coffee Bean, Penang Airport

This time around, I wanted the Eggs Ben but they were out of those as well as the scones and the club. They suggested that I had the Brek O’Day but I had that before and I did not want to have it again so I opted for the salmon and egg muffin (RM20.30)…

Coffee Bean, salmon & egg muffin

It was very nice and I enjoyed it. Coffee was free flow…and I just could not resist ordering one of the tempting muffins for dessert…

Coffee Bean, choc chip muffin 1

This was the chocolate chip muffin (RM7.30)…

Coffee Bean, choc chip muffin 2

…and it was just right – moist enough, not dry and had a lot of chocolate chips inside…

Coffee Bean, choc chip muffin 3

After that scrumptious meal, I went into the departure lounge to board my flight to KLIA.

I was a bit put off by the cabin crew on that flight – for instance, as we were boarding, there was a steward who just stood there and I was the one who had to lend a hand to a lady passenger in getting her hand baggage into the overhead stowage compartment. I glared at the guy and he nonchalantly walked away. Frankly, I would think that his duties would go beyond just standing there and greeting passengers as they come aboard like a parrot…including helping everyone with their hand-carried items – young or old, male or female.

And if you think that was bad, the worst was yet to come. There was another one – petite and very “pretty” and effeminate to boot. He was serving the salted peanuts and not a word was spoken as he simply shoved the packet-filled basket into everybody’s faces (unlike the stewardess on my flight from KLIA to Penang who would ask everyone very sweetly, “Salted peanuts?” instead of adding insult to injury). After I had taken one, I said, “Thank you,” to him out loud…and what did he do? Like some kind of diva, he just flashed me a fake smile – you know the kind where they simply stretch their lips a little that reflects their insincerity true and true.

Well, to be fair, one or two swallows do not make a summer but these exceptions would be enough to spoil the MH = Malaysian hospitality image.

Another incident happened upon landing that day that quite disgusted me. For some reason, the aircraft stalled on the runway for a while and many of the passengers were on their feet getting ready to disembark. Despite the announcement on the PA system and the pleas of the air stewardess, none of them even bothered to bat an eyelid. What was worse was that one of the “ladies” was trying to get her things from the overhead stowage compartment. Obviously, she had stuffed them in the ones in  front before proceeding to her seat at the back when she boarded. That was so selfish, to say the least – she should put hers in the one right above her seat and if she was too lazy to carry them all the way, she should have checked them in. I would think that the cabin crew should always be on the alert and keep an eye on such recalcitrant characters to stop them from doing that when they board the aircraft.

Anyway, in the case of this one, she opened the compartment above the row across the aisle from where I was sitting…and something of hers fell out and onto an Indian man seated right below. It looked like a brush or a small broom and luckily, it was not something big and heavy. The infuriated man hollered at her, “Why don’t you sit down till the plane has stopped completely?” Ah well…not that it made any difference! She did not even apologise but instead, she just turned a deaf ear and went on chatting nonchalantly with her fellow-travellers like nothing had happened…and no prize for guessing what language they were using. Tsk! Tsk!!!

At KLIA, I just relaxed and lazed around while waiting in the departure lounge until I receieved an sms from Mandy saying that she would be dropping by. So, I went out and we met  for tea…at where else, but the Italian cafe, the Cafe Berbera again. I tried the spaghetti meatballs…

Cafe Berbera, spaghetti meatballs 1

…which I quite liked. The meatballs were nice but I think it was a bit too fine, probably because they used a blender in the making…

Cafe Berbera, spaghetti meatballs 2

We sat and chatted till it was almost time for my flight and I went back into the departure lounge to proceed to the stipulated gate. There was a delay of 30 minutes – MH2718 to Sibu…but that was no big deal. When you travel, you need to give some allowances for little hitches and bumps along the way…and the most important thing was that I landed at Sibu Airport safely at 10.00 p.m. that night.

It certainly had been a long day…and thus ended my most delightful weekend in Penang. Sigh!!!!