Sunday, October 24, 2004


I depart for my flight from KLIA at 4 PM which will be stopping at Bangkok for a short moment. My seat is 29B and while loading my hand luggage and the laptop into the overhead area, there is this 6" tall and slim black guy waiting patiently behind me and was staring at me all the time. Apparently he sits next to me for this entire flight.

I then got to know more about him. He originates from Somalia but he's a Saudi citizen. His dad is a doctor and he went to Malaysia, concisely KDU college to study Multimedia IT. He told me lots of stories ranging from how he got conned for renting a Kancil for RM 1000 per month and how he ended up in the Malaysian's Immigration Department's cell for three days and that was his worst 3 days in Malaysia. Needless to say, he kept me entertained throughout the flight. Some of his rather humourous quotes

"KL police is really fucked up"

"One thing I don't understand about, is KL's jam"

"Bahrain is such so small country, I swear. I don't mind getting lost here..hehe"

I think Gulf Air really sucks. It's worse than British Airways, Air France, heck even KLM. The first meal I had was a spicy fried rice with curry chicken, some dried maggi noodles and a yellowish jelly cake for dessert. It just taste weird. Period. I practically hand them back most of it unconsumed. I only managed to finish my orange juice drink. The second meal was relatively better. I had steamed fish with onion sauce and fried mixed vegetable chinese style, "chau chap". Oh and also some tasteless green noodles. I'm not a big fan of desserts so what I can best desribe the dessert given is super hard banana cake on some white sauce. The only consistent taste were the water, the bun and butter and the Heineken beer.

Upon landing at Bahrain International Airport at about 9.30 PM of the local time, the next thing I need is to get a visa. I was asked to pay BD 3 which roughly translates to about RM 30. I didn't have any Bahraini Dinars with me so I was asked to pay USD 15 instead. I gave him a USD 100 note and he gave me USD 70 and BD 5 in change. Now this is some complicated maths because the actual exchange rates stands at around 0.375 but the immediate exchange rate over the immigration counter seems to be 0.33. So I don't actually know how many dinars or usd I spent for the visa. The most logical sum for it still stands to me at USD 30 - BD 5.

Then there is this guy, Hassan, a personal servant of the boss of our local business partner, sent to take us from the airport. Goddamn he should use a larger car. We had a hard time cramping all our luggage into his Hyundai Accent. He then drove us to Aswaq Al Awafi to shop for groceries. I just bought instant noodles and eggs for the time being. My eyes literally pop out from their sockets when the abaya clad cashier said Nine Hundred and Seventy Five. After a 2 second delay, I then realised it's FILS. 1 Dinar = 1000 Fils.

We then hopped back into the car and soon after we reached at our second destination. Al Mahooz. This is where our service apartment is located. It's quite posh and nice really. My only complaints for this apartment is that there isn't any internet connection, the tap water is salty and there is no washing machine. However, it's a high end pad with full kitchen utensils, fully furnished, hotel style bathrooms, nice living room, fully airconditioned and it's clean. And of course, it comes with a hefty price tag. The rental is BD 550 per month and that would be RM 5500 per month mind you. Argh!!!

After taking a cold shower because I couldn't find the main water heater switch until I finished my shower, I crashed out on a dented bed. Well you see, it's not really dented but it has this big semi hemisphere shape created on it. Now I gotta be up tomorrow and the Hassan guy is going to pick us up at 10 AM to work. Sigh. Bye.