As is usual, we didn’t pack until it was almost time for us to
get to the airport: there’s a reason that we do this, but we forget why.
Anyway, as our Emirates flight was to leave at 02: 35, we made
certain that we arrived at Tullamarine by 11:30 the night before so that all
would be in order regarding our connecting flight with MAS from KLIA to Penang.
There was a huge queue for check-in at
Emirates… we almost got to the end of it when I saw a sign saying “on-line
check-ins” which we’d done on Sunday; so, I said ‘bugger’ and we bobbed under
the tape and found that we were the only ones there - we needn’t have arrived
at Tulla until around 01:00 - I have a vague recollection of us doing the same
thing each year; however, as I see it, it has lengthened our holiday a bit J
and it gave us time to sit around air-side and have a glass or two of red with
a sandwich at the most exorbitant prices imaginable.
Now the flights:
Emirates – The usual very friendly service with the attendants
using passengers’ names and ensuring that all is well… I can’t remember what it
was that I was frowning about, but I do recall that I was thinking about
something (possibly what we’d left behind, like the camera) when the attendant said
to me: “Is everything alright, Mr Cameron”.
The jet wasn’t filled, however, we remained in our seats the
entire flight and Jackie got some sleep as she had the window seat, as usual,
and I twisted and turned and couldn’t get comfortable in my aisle seat, even
with the spare ‘middle’ seat vacant – oh, to be able to afford to fly business
class and lie back! But we mustn’t complain as the return flight MEL – KUL –
MEL cost a paltry AUD 500 each.
We arrived early at KLIA and had plenty of time to cross from
the Satellite Terminal to the Main by aero-train and wait for the time to board
our MAS flight to Penang an hour-and-a-half later. Our checked-luggage was
automatically transferred to the MAS jet as Emirates had listed us as a
connecting flight and we only had to go through immigration at KLIA where we
were the only travellers (I thought at first that it must be closed) and we had
our fingerprints taken and endorsed on our passports – the whole process took just
over 30 seconds.
Malaysia Airlines – it was a short 50 minute hop to Penang
International Airport and we arrived at 11:15, after which, we collected our
checked-in luggage and breezed through customs.
We caught a taxi (RM 47) to Traders Penang where we were
greeted in the Club Lounge, given a welcome drink and then shown to our room
(1714) with a view to the Penang Bridge.
Georgetown – After refreshing ourselves we decided to walk to
Prangin Mall behind Traders and buy our Maxis SIMS and Hot-Tickets for the
internet. We had a problem getting the broadband to connect with our HTC
Desires and much configuration went on for quite some time without success.
Unfazed, we hired a trishaw each (RM 30/hour/pax) for two
hours and went for a ‘burn’ around Georgetown – first to Lebuh Chulia to the
money changer where we received RM 3.18/AUD 1.00, which we felt was
satisfactory, and then visited the Peranakan Mansion, Koo Kongsi, Little India
etc., ending up at Prangin Mall once more and a second, unsuccessful, attempt
at broadband connection for our phones with Maxis. We had been sold 2 x 7 day
& 4 x 2 day Hot-Tickets each (RM 80) and so, we returned the unused tickets
(we had scratched 2 x 7 day tickets to reveal and use the code) and we refunded
Back at Traders and to the Lobby Lounge for a Tiger or two and
then back to our room for a rest and change for dinner.
We had pre-dinner drinks and canapés at the Club prior to
dinner at Trader’s Islander Restaurant where Jackie was presented with a
birthday cake after our main course. We then relaxed in the Lobby Lounge and
had post-dinner drinks whilst being entertained by the ‘house’ trio who are
very talented and with whom we made a friendship during our stay in Penang.
Back at the room, the management had delivered a substantial
birthday cake for Jackie which we put in the refrigerator for another time –
how thoughtful of them
And so to bed.