Wednesday, October 1, 2008

34 Shots Of A 34-Hour Journey

Short talk: I came back to my hostel and found out that they are currently doing some upgrading on the internet connection in the hostel. We will only get back our internet access by next Tuesday. As if they cannot do it earlier, like during the summer holidays when all the students were not around, now we have to wait for one week before being able to online again. I am using the library's computer now and I hope they can finish their working on the line as soon as possible.
I will be lying, if I say I was and not exhausted after making the journey back to Japan.
Here is a chronological flow on how my journey from Taiping to Nagaoka went. I just attached some captions to go along with the pictures, because I could still feel the tiredness from the travelling and I do not feel like making this a long post. After all, I know most people will only browse through the pictures. So, here you go.
#1 | 08-09-29, 1056 hours - My parents, three younger sisters, grandma and second aunt sent me off at the Kamunting Raya bus terminal. Now that you have saw how tall my dad is, you should be able to conclude whether my height has anything to do with inherited genes, or I am just too tall like that.
#2 | 08-09-29, 1210 hours - After just one hour, the bus I was taking stopped at the slopes near Bukit Gantang, in the middle of the highway. Apparently, the bus had some engine failure and couldn't continue the journey. This is the last thing I would want it to happen, but luckily we were made to wait for just less than hour. We were later transferred into the next bus and continued our journey. There was one time a few years back, when the same thing happened and we waited for more than two hours. In the end, my journey from Taiping to KL that time took more than six freaking-long hours.
#3 | 08-09-29, 1232 hours - My brunch, which was packed by my mum earlier that morning. Two bottles of mineral water, a can of 100 Plus, an apple (to keep the doctor away), three
chai pau (I later found another char siew pau in the plastic bag), and some jackfruit which we plucked it several days earlier.
Fast forward mode: Reached Pudu, take STAR Line at Plaza Rakyat to Bandar Tasik Selatan. From there, exchanged into KLIA Transit and head to KLIA.
#4 | 08-09-29, 1744 hours - The first thing I did when I arrived at KLIA was to check on my flight at the giant electronic screen, just for confirmation purposes. As if I would be able to do anything if my flight is not shown there.
#5 | 08-09-29, 1805 hours - Every ex-PPKTJ-ians, or at least people from my batch should remember this place. This is where the whole bunch of us were given a final briefing by the JPA
officers before we boarded the train. Families, relatives and friends stood around the area on the first floor looking at all of us back then. More than one year has passed since April 02, 2007.
#6 | 08-09-29, 1806 - The escalator at the departing gate for international flights. This is where we kissed for the last time when Michelle sent me off early this year.
#7 | 08-09-29, 1817 hours - My final meal in Malaysia - a snack plate from Kentucky Fried Chicken. I had this all alone. Well, at least I was accompanied by my bags. Damn Quite pathetic, ain't it?

#8 | 08-09-29, 1821 hours - My boarding pass, for my flight to Changi. Having nothing much to do until my flight in four hours' time, I went around the area to look for power socket to online as there is free WiFi service at KLIA. In fact, I even Skype-d with my mum and Michelle from the airport, besides chatting with some friends to keep me company.
#9 | 08-09-29, 2012 hours - I was online-ing at the bench until I did not even realise that it had got dark by then. But I continued chatting until the last moment I need to leave.
#10 | 08-09-29, 2217 hours - After going through the security check and immigration, I spotted these decorations about the Malaysian traditional dresses. I think the Immigration officers have recognise me and I can now be their good friend because for the third consecutive time, I brought some drinking water inside my hand luggage. As expected, they asked me to take them out, but I asked them to allow me to drink it first. I finished one can of 100 Plus and half bottle of mineral water before I boarded the plane.
#11 | 08-09-29, 2218 hours - On the way to the boarding gate. I was among the last few person to be there, but I got onto the plane without any problems.
#12 | 08-09-29, 2226 hours - The cute little plane I took to Changi.
Bye bye Malaysia, and welcome Singapore. It was just a 55-minute flight and I landed at Changi after a cup of orange juice on board.
#13 | 08-09-29, 1146 hours - First thing I did when I arrived at Changi airport was to get my boarding pass at the check-in counter for transit passengers. However, I was told that the counter would only open at 3.30 a.m.
#14 | 08-09-29, 1153 hours - While waiting for the check-in counter to open, I walked around the airport.
#15 | 08-09-30, 0001 hours - Like KLIA, the airport in Changi has free internet access and I went to the information counter to sign-up an account to online with my laptop. I spent some time locating the area which they let the passengers to online with their own laptop and I would say it was a cosy and comfortable place. One thing I cannot understand is that Narita airport has no such service, despite Japan being such a developed country.
#16 | 08-09-30, 0301 hours - I was sitting for a while, and I decided to move to the white flat cushion, which is bigger and I could just lie down anytime. It was during this time that I saw someone familiar. My senpai, Boon Hon was taking the same flight as me, just that he is taking a direct flight from Changi and we had a chat for a while there.
#17 | 08-09-30, 0519 hours - I went to the check-in counter to get my boarding pass and headed to the gate straight away when I saw the "Gate is closing" sign on the board, only to find one long line in front of the gate when I reached the gate. The security check in Changi airport is much tighter as they even asked me to turn on my laptop. Too bad I left my battery in Malaysia somewhere inside my laptop bag and that made them perform another kind of check on my laptop and a more stringent body-check on me. I was asked to take off my shoe for checking, and in the end, I was allowed to board the plane, as the last passenger.
#18 | 08-09-30, 0622 - The first ray of sunlight during the dawn. But sadly, the picture here just do not justice to the breathtaking and magnificent view.
#19 | 08-09-30, 0707 hours - After the plane took off, I dozed off almost immediately and the next thing I know when I opened my eyes were my breakfast. They call this chicken rice.
#20 | 08-09-30, 1153 hours - The plane was just about an hour away from Tokyo, and they serve a simple bun with cheese for our lunch. I do not know why they served it cold.
#21 | 08-09-30, 1202 hours - Never look at the screen that shows the location of the flight, unless you are almost there. That is what I have learned from my past experiences because the more I look at it, the more I will feel like I will never reach my destination.
#22 | 08-09-30, 1336 hours (local time) - Everyone was getting ready for the landing.
#23 | 08-09-30, 1356 hours - Few seconds from touching down at Narita airport. Light drizzle greeted my arrival.
#24 | 08-09-30, 1615 hours - Took a train from the airport to Ueno station in Tokyo. This train looked empty because it was heading to the final stop and most people have already got down from it at earlier stations. Earlier at the immigration counter, the officer asked my to open up my luggage and when they saw some pandan leaves, they asked me whether they were some kind of onion leaves. Not knowing what the fish they call it in Japanese, I just said "yes" to him. He smiled and let me through.
#25 | 08-09-30, 1622 hours - Reached Ueno and I began to feel the coldness in the cloudy evening. Summer has ended and autumn is already here.
#26 | 08-09-30, 1626 hours - Ueno station, crowded with people as usual.
#27 | 08-09-30, 1632 hours - For only the second time, I made a tough decision by taking a shinkansen (bullet train) because I was too tired to wait and take a normal train at midnight. It cost almost me 7, 990 yen (RM 266) for just a two-hour ride. That is more than half of what I usually spend on my food every month.
#28 | 08-09-30, 1633 hours - Walking towards the shinkansen platform, knowing that it would leave in five minutes' time.
#29 | 08-09-30, 1639 hours - I walked down to the platform only to see the shinkansen leaving the station. I missed it for being late by only one minute and I had to wait for another hour for the next shinkansen. It is a love-hate relationship. I love it because the public transportation in Japan are punctual to the second, but when I am facing such situation and I hope for it to be late a few seconds, only to find myself missing a train or a bus, then I hate the system.
#30 | 08-09-30, 1654 hours - While waiting for the next train, this is what I did - walked along the platform and take pictures of shinkansen. Well, this was not the one I took, as it was bound for Nagano.
#31 | 08-09-30, 1657 hours - Spotted this cute sign hung in front of the door. The workers were cleaning the shinkansen and they put this sign to avoid the public from boarding it.
#32 | 08-09-30, 1726 hours - The different lines at the platform are meant for different types of train and I still get confused with them even until today. Believe me or not, because the Japanese here really queue-up according to those lines. However, I think this will never work in Malaysia. We cannot even queue-up properly when we only need to make one line every time a train stops.
#33 | 08-09-30, 1940 hours - Took the picture of the McDonald's restaurant in Nagaoka station while waiting for the bus to my college.
#34 | 08-09-30, 2024 hours - The first thing I did when I entered my room - a well-deserved rest after the long journey.
Selamat Hari Raya to all. I will be missing the ketupats and rendang at home.


KOKahKOK said...

loo....looks tired.... exhausted meh? anyway....back to study......good luck looo

Crabbed!! said...

As tired as you were...never too tired to snap a picture before a "well-deserved rest".


Endoru said...

Welcome back ! :)

Anonymous said...

'short' post?
still a very detailed post..
nv been to japan b4,but it seems like a super exhausting trip. Glad to know u made it bk safely :)


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K3ViN said...

wah tat really a long journey wor..... but glad u arrive safe lor. This what we need to gone though if we use transit lor... But of course it much more cheap then direct flight lor..... Anyway, welcome back to japan.

calvin said...

@ kokahkok:
i travelled for more than thirty hours without getting a proper sleep. so, you tell me whether it was exhausting or not.

yes, holiday mode is over and it will be textbooks, reports and lectures after this =/

calvin said...

@ crapped!!:
well, i was not posing for the last picture. really! =P

calvin said...

@ endoru:
thanks :)

calvin said...

@ sakura:
i thought of doing just a short post, but it ended up quite long in the end. it was tiring, but i should be fine after a day or two ;)

p/s: by the way, can i know who is this?

calvin said...

@ k3vin:
never mind about the long hours of transit flights. at least i saved a few hundred of ringgits by taking a transit flight ;)

Kae Vin said...

I also wanna go back to Japan :P

akatsukiotoko said...

Okaeri nasai!!! Also, Otsukare!!!

Crabbed!! said...

Sakura is a childhood friend of mine...^^

Crabbed!! said...

Oh, BTW... I trust you if you say you didn't post for that pic.

I'll just believe that your futuristic, next generation camera sprouted mechanical limbs, climbed out of your bag, positioned itself on your desk, then pressed itself on the head, recording an image of you on the bed.

It then helped you turn off the lights...and it sang a lovely lullaby before climbing back into your bag.

I'm guessing right??


calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
why never tell me? my luggage still had some space to fit you inside the other day xD

calvin said...

@ akatsukiotoko:
tadaima :)

calvin said...

@ crapped!!:
i see. so, i suppose sakura is also from malacca ;)

okay, i was bluffing when i said i was not posing for the last picture =P