Getting there…

Here in Sarawak, we have what is called the rural air services between the towns, particularly the small ones where the airfields are not big enough for the bigger aircrafts. To get to these places, we will have to use the 19-seater Twin Otter…

Twin Otter aircraft
*Jimmy’s photo from his Facebook album*

I’ve flown in these small planes many times before, the first few times to Mukah, a coastal town around 3 hours by road from Sibu. On one of the earliest occasions, I remember checking in at the counter and the airline personnel, without looking up at me, asked, “What’s your weight?”

“100,” I replied.

Instantly, he lifted his head, asking, “Kilos?” Tsk! Tsk! What did you think it was, you nincompoop, I murmured silently to myself. Pounds? But knowing what was best for me, I just nodded quietly…and counted my blessings that he did not insist on weighing me and my luggage altogether. I heard that they would do that on such flights and if one was too heavy, he or she would have to buy another ticket.

On another occasion, I booked a taxi to the airport/airfield…and a man in a van came to pick me up. He drove around all the hotels in the town to pick all the others who would be taking the same flight to Sibu. At the airport, we went to check in at the counter…and lo and behold! That same man, the van driver, appeared to check us all in. Then I saw him again – this time, pulling the cart with all the luggage to put inside the aircraft. I thought to myself, “If he is going to be the one flying the plane, I will walk all the way home to Sibu.” Luckily, he did not.

But that was not all! There were only three passengers on that flight. Inside the plane, there are single seaters on the left and double seaters on the right…

Inside a Twin Otter
*Jimmy’s photo from his Facebook album*

I chose to sit on the double seaters as the single seats would not be big enough to accommodate half of my butt! Other than that, the seat belt was so short – just long enough for me to use as an arm sling!

Just as everyone was settling in comfortably to wait for the pilot to get on board and fly the plane, the man appeared again. “Uncle! Uncle!” he hollered at me. (He was no spring chicken himself, calling me uncle!!!) Then, he blatantly ordered me out loud, “Uncle, you’re so fat…you sit on this side!” @#$%^&*!!!!!

I also took the plane once from Miri to Marudi. It was an uneventful flight and when the plane had landed, we all disembarked. The door of the aircraft would double as the staircase for boarding and disembarking…and there was a plastic-wrapped wire attached which could be used as a makeshift handrail. I had two bags so there was no way I could hold on to it as I got off the plane. Thus. I bounced down the steps one by one…and got off safely without tumbling over.

As I was walking to the terminal building, I noticed that the people were all looking somewhat amused. Then, I spotted my friends who were there to wait for me and they too were smiling. Curious, I asked them what was so funny. Imagine my indignation when they replied, “As you were walking down the steps of the plane, the wings flapped as if it was going to fly off,” and the two burst out laughing, unable to control themselves any longer.

And to add insult to injury, I was out browsing around the shops the other day when I spotted these…

Insult to injury

Omigawd!!! How could they? Call me fat, overweight, obese, XOS (extra-oversized), horizontally-challenged…or whatever you want but to call me a “lard’s bucket” is really pushing it too far! I think I’ll just go and kill myself. Bye-bye, cruel world…bye-bye! Sobssss!!!!!!