Turns out little ol’ Kuching is equipped to take Boeing 747s, according to the guide lines on the tarmac. Who knew?
We board and sit down in row 1. The seats are comfortable and wide, but the plane seemed to be a bit older, they were like a previous generation or something. Still worth the cash though. We had a welcome soft drink, and a hot towel, and there are high definition video screens. Video screens on short haul! I’m always impressed by that in Australia too. Man, European short haul flying kinda sucks.
Anyway. Another screen descends from the ceiling for the purpose of the safety video and stuff. Something I’d never seen before here was a prayer to Allah after everything else was said and done. In both Arabic and English, it said (I am paraphrasing) “Thanks Allah, without you we’d never have figured out how to build planes and stuff”. Interesting. Never seen similar on, say, Qatar Airways, nor a Christian equivalent for that matter.
I spent the flight watching episodes of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia which, much to my delight, seems to have got funny again. I gave up a couple of years ago because they seemed to lose it. Anyway, I found it intriguing that the only stuff deemed offensive enough to censor in some way (silence, bleeping, dubbing, whatever) was references to homosexuality. Even the pejorative references.
Landing at KL just as it’s getting dark, we belatedly realise the folly of something we’d seriously considered: going into the city, since we had 6 hours to kill. What, in the dark, and in a hot sweaty country with another 13 hour flight ahead of us? Nah. Without needing to collect our bag, we could afford to be very leisurely.
Firstly, this meant Helen got to go to the smoking room in the domestic terminal while I loitered suspiciously. Then we asked at the transfer desks if there was anything we needed to do except go through immigration. Nope, nothing. Passports takes a little bit of time ‘cos there’s a queue and things are being slow for no obvious reason, but once we’re done we’re there in the main terminal.
I nip to the loo, and am highly suspicious of the instructions on how to wash your arse. The guy hasn’t dropped his trousers, and looks startled. Also the seat reaches right up to his head! Perhaps I should use WhatsApp to report the inaccuracies.
Er, yes. Anyway. A quick look around the shops fails to interest us, so we get the long monorail ride out to the satellite where the good lounges are. We have a bunch of local currency and still 5 hours to occupy, so slowly wander around, continuing to buy nothing. I jump on my work Slack to ask the team if they want me to bring back any durian-based goodies for the office.
They do not.
Well fine. Since we don’t have enough currency to bother exchanging, we want to find something to buy and eventually do: some toiletries, for almost the exact amount of notes in our possession.
In tandem with all the non-shopping, we also get our bearings such as: locating the Cathay Pacific lounge, the two smoking rooms, and our gate (which is known well, well in advance). Oh and we go for a walk in the rain forest, because we’re in Malaysia so of course they have some rain forest actually inside the airport.
This time, we go straight to the dining room. It’s busy but we don’t have to wait to be seated. Champagne arrives, and a menu, and it all looks lovely. I’ll have the sea bass please.
I think we had another champagne or two in the main bit of the lounge, but way before I was ready to leave, it were time to go get on the plane home.
Security at Kuala Lumpur is at the gate, so it’s sensible to get there fairly early. I’d not wanted to leave the lounge, but also hadn’t wanted to chance anything, so we get to C22 a few minutes before boarding is announced.
On the plane, we’re in the same seats as on the way out except this time I’m in the window seat. Leg room is epic.
Take off is just gone 11pm, and we’re going to land at 5.25am - flying west, this 6 hours of local time takes 13 hours, so it’s just one long night. There’s nothing to see out of the window, therefore, apart from the odd flash of lightning. A storm had descended, and in fact one of the runways has been closed so we end up waiting AGES to take off.
Unlike on the way out, we’re given amenity kits. Hurrah! The crew serving us are friendly enough, happy to keep me occupied with champagne. I’m eager to eat again but because it’s a night flight, the routine really is “get this done ASAP then turn all the lights off so people can sleep”. I had soup to start and pasta main. Pretty sure I had cheese and port to finish. Didn’t I? Hmm, I’ve no photo of it. Maybe I didn’t.