November 30, 2022

Wow. The plane is broken. They forced us all to get new boarding passes, go through extra security and wait in the gate area (I had to leave the nice lounge with showers and beer) now 45 minutes after the boarding time THE PLANE IS BROKEN but they will attempt to fix it AT THE GATE.

 

It’s hard to complain when everything else has been going so well. And yet, it’s hard not to complain at the moment, though it does no good, so I only complain to the ether. It will have to do. My biggest complaint only being that I was sitting in a nice airport lounge, had access to food, drink, showers, and entertainment – but was told to check in and go through extra security for this flight – where there are not even bathrooms or water (they made me dump mine out) – and only then did they discover the plane was broken and it would take at least two hours to fix it. Such a strange world – the flight was originally Malaysia Air, as a Malaysian Air flight – now it is a Sri Lankan Airlines flight – and where does that leave the passengers – most of them resignedly inshallahing. There are no Karen’s here – at least not loud ones.  Complicating things – I booked through Trip.com so if I have a complaint – good fucking luck.

Hilton upgraded my room to an executive king earlier – I don’t even know what that means. I have a driver meeting me – but will he wait for two hours? All of these are unknowns but time will tell. Hard to even know if the airplane won’t fall out of the sky. This could be the one that ends it all – and if it is, well, fuck it, I had a great time in Bali. The massages, the new friends, the calm and lonely luxury without interruptions. I suppose having a nice reward like that before an airplane crash would be pretty cool. It would make a nice story for people to tell.

I’m exhausted, actually. So tired and stinky from a long day of travel. I was going to take advantage of those showers in the lounge but then thought – I’ll be getting to my hotel in a few hours, I’ll just wait. Now – despite having eliminated as many unknowns as possible I am faced with even more unknowns than had I done nothing. Frustrating. And to make things more odd, I feel as if I’m on a ship and the ground has started swaying.

All will be revealed. It always is. So let’s get on with it.

In the event that Flight UL 315 disappears with all aboard somewhere over the Indian Ocean, just know that I’ve enjoyed these past couple of weeks immensely and getting the chance to be my daughter’s father has been the greatest honor and joy of my life. Likely however, they will fix the plane and it will fly without major event to Colombo, Sri Lanka – as usually happens.

1st Postscript: The girl next to me and I partnered up and told the gate agent how much inconvenience it has caused us and how they should upgrade us to business class – we decided too late and it was already full – but at least they escorted us out of the hellish security section and into the first class lounge to wait it out.

2nd Postscript: The plane appears to be grounded. After a bit of badgering, I finally managed to get them to give me a hotel room in the airport layover hotel. I truly am exhausted so it is welcome. The big bummer is I had that Hilton Executive King lined up and some pretty cool activities as well, not to mention a driver waiting to pick me up. There seem to be no alternative flights to Colombo. On the positive side, the plane didn’t discover the problem somewhere over the Indian Ocean.

3rd Postscript: 18 hours after my original transfer time, they finally admitted – “The plane is too broken. It won’t go.” Frankly, I’m glad not to be getting on it. After some patient and repeated requesting, they decided not to make me wait two more days in Kuala Lumpur’s airport – which used to be one of my favorites, but has definitely lost its charm for me. So, they got me a flight on Singapore Airlines this afternoon and then a flight to Colombo from Singapore which will get me there more than 24 hours after my original schedule. As an added bonus, my shirt was so worn that I was embarrassed to wear it any longer so I have a souvenir Kuala Lumpur t-shirt that I never would have bought (or probably worn) otherwise.

4th Postscript: I had memories of flying on Malaysia Airlines being a luxury experience. I remembered KLIA, the hub in Kuala Lumpur being an airport to experience with a rain forest built in and so many amazing food options and shops. These memories were contrasted by the most recent experience. My flight changed over and over, the flight attendants seemed worn out and exhausted and the food on board was pretty blah.  KLIA like all airports post covid was largely shuttered and the rain forest boardwalk closed indefinitely. What terrorism and war didn’t destroy covid seems to have worn out. The shops were the same ones we see everywhere. American airports don’t seem so far behind any longer but not because they have caught up, because the lowest common denominator has been raised to average. So strange to be traveling again.  I am sure Malaysia is still wonderful but all I saw on this trip was too much of a badly aging airport and flagship carrier. 

 

 

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