Friday, 13 February 2009

48 Hours

This is one thing that I like about the people in Dubai. They are fast. On my last evening in Saigon,I made a long distance call to our travel co-ordinator in our office in Dubai.
Me : "Mallesh, I need you to change my flight. So listen..I'm in Saigon now. I need to get into the first flight to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow afternoon. You must make sure I have 48 hours in transit in Kuala Lumpur and then change my return flight to Dubai from Kuala Lumpur. Clear?"
Mallesh : "I need to check. Give me half an hour."
Me : "Fine, thank you"

* * * * * * * * * *
Within 10 minutes, Mallesh called me.
Mallesh : "There's Malaysian Airlines at 16:30 tomorrow and Emirates flight to Dubai at 00:30 on 7th Feb from Kuala Lumpur. But there is differential cost, who will pay?
Me : "How much?"
Mallesh : "AED 1,560"
Not that much, but I can really buy many stuffs with that (cheap-skate thinking).
Me : "Can't you put me into Economy class so we don't have that differential cost?"
It's the instant thought that came from creative accounting.
Mallesh : "No. You'll NOT be covered by insurance if you board an economy class. Company policies don't allow you to travel for business without insurance coverage"
Now he talked like a smart a**.
Me : "Ok. I'll pay"
Mallesh : "We'll send the e-ticket to your e-mail, which e-mail?"
Me : "Yahoo"
Mallesh : "OK"
Me : "Thank you, Mallesh"
In less than an hour, I received the e-mail and my mind had already reached home.
* * * * * * * * * *
Saigon is indeed a nice place that I wish to come back. No, definitely not for shopping. I had enough this time. There is this Cu Chi tunnel that I want to crawl into. It was a network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Kongs in their war against the Americans. It was located about 70km north of Saigon. It never occur to me that I could convince Madam Personnel Manager or Miss Operation Manager, the shopping queens, to come along. So I passed the idea. Further north of Saigon there is a coastal area which is claimed to be one of the most beautiful bay in the world. Far from the coastal area, there is waterfall and lake of Da Lat. The night before I left Saigon to KLIA, I was only able to google at the photos of the places that I missed this time around.

Well, perhaps someday I'll be there. In the mean time, so long Saigon...

* * * * * * * * * *

The flight from Saigon to KLIA was only 1 hour 55 minutes. We touched down around 7PM and I left the airport after half an hour. I didn't call my wife to inform about my 48 hours transit in KL. I planned it to be a surprise. So she would probably still be at the hospital or in her car in the long traffic queue on the Federal Highway. So I went to my mother's house, had dinner there and took my car, a 7-year-old Waja which is now driven by my mother. Then I went home. It was about 10PM. My wife was watching TV (She's not a typical medical specialist who reads medical journals and stuffs at home. At home she watches American Idols, Akademi Fantasia, Macam Macam Aznil and the likes). My daughter was struggling with her homework and my son was arranging his Power Rangers toys on the coffee table. When I came in.... it was a good surprise!

* * * * * * * * * *

So the next day, I bought a sushi set for two and a bento set from Subang Parade and brought them to UMMC. I had them as lunch with my wife in her late lunch break. Then I drove back to fetch my son from his school. After that he suggested that we went to a new playground that he has never been and I agreed. So he was a happy boy playing in the playground and I was the sleepy dad trying to catch a short afternoon nap. My daughter was happy to see us waiting for her at her school gate. In my Waja, we had this little conversation.

Hadiff : "Papa, are you quitting your job in Dubai?"

Me : "No. Why? You want me to?"

He nodded.

Me : "But I like my work there. You've been there, don't you like Dubai?"

Hadiff : "I like.... but I miss you"

Me : "You really miss me? Or you just want to have me to take you to the playground"

Hadiff : "Mmmmm. Fifty, fifty...."

He heard the word 'fifty, fifty' from the animated movie Madagascar 2 and he uses it frequently whenever he gets confused. Funny little fella. Aimi didn't say much. She seemed to have some words choked in her throat.

Some valuable hours out of the 48 hours were wasted in the traffic jam. The traffic in Klang and part of the Federal Highway had been worse than I last remembered. My wife took half day off on the second day but we had wasted the hours at the bank and on the phone talking to silly bank officer to sort out the problem with my credit card from a Malaysian bank. Anyway, the transit was short but it was worth it. I was happy to be with my family, even for a while. My flight back to Dubai was emotionally painful, after having to say good bye to my wife, my mom and my kids. Hadiff's word kept echoing in my mind....fifty, fifty.


[danial][ma] said...

hej! jumper...have agreat weekend in malaysia...hhhmmm...for second thought, i thought you took that pics with those bikini ladies..hehehehe...i wish i can start my traveling around asia too...maybe next year...

Azmir Ismail said...

hmm.. good question by yr boy. Kids at these age are still innocent in their eyes bro. Hmm, I am sure you n yr mrs have talked it over abt this matter. Bagus la you spent yr time with your familia.

ms.d said...

oh, so your wife is a doctor working in the UMMC?

my dad used to give his lecture on industrial hygiene for doctors who taking masters in public health at UMMC and HUKM..i sometimes accompany him to his lecture...hehee

good to hear you can spend your 48hrs transit with your family..and that "fifty-fifty"..hehehe.. so cute, kids nowdays are creative in using words from the movies...

i'm sure its a worth while moment for you to treasure before you get back to dubai.. :)

Jumper said...

I have met a few seasoned travellers who have covered most parts of the globe and they were saying nothing's like the exotic part of Asia. So you are right, you should start planning that round trip across Asia and claim yourself in the league of those seasoned travellers.

And by the way how much have you spent on flowers this Valentine's, Danial??

Thanks for dropping by. Yeah, we talked about it. But in life it's hard to make everything works they way we wish it should be. But I'm trying my best to give all I've got. Hey dude, I've seen the recent photo of your old flame in FB. We have topics to talk about...

Yes, she is. She's with the Internal Medicine Dept. She has yet to decide to sub-specilize either cardiology or neurology. A decision that she has trouble to make.

Industrial hygiene...I had a course on this topic when I was the First Line Manager in Nestle back home.

Indeed, it's a good last minute decision I made to come home, though it's for a while..There's no "fifty-fifty' on this one.

So tell us how do you like the flowers you must have received in abundant on this Valentine's....

Roti Kacang Merah said...

yeah, i would get my words choked too if i were to be your kids/wifey. so many things to say, to do, to make up to... yet so lil time... *sniff*

Inah said...

fifty sv already offered me a job here after i finished my PhD :)

i should think wisely :)

Syamsulfaiz said...

Hi jumper, time you go to Saigon make sure you really take the pictures of those scenery ya.

What a good surprise you threw at your family. They must be so excited to see you. When I read and see pictures of your kids, it made me miss my boy and wife in KL.

Lee said...

Hi Jumper, wow! You in Saigon? Thats one city I hope to visit one day. Bet the food there must be fantastic too.
Nice pics you have here.
Have fun and keep well, Lee.

Jumper said...

Would you? I thought you're expressive and you spit words right from your mind. Anyway, thanks for the comment.

So you're at the cross-road. I'd like to share my wife's experience. She had been offered to do her intern and continue working in Tasmania. After almost 7years in Australia she decided she had enough and turned down the offer. Sometimes after dealing with some frustrations working in Malaysia (you know la, politik kat Malaysia bukan setakat kat Parlimen je, kat hospital & kilang pun ada), she regrets her decision. But then again, when she comes back, I proposed her and we got married. So you see there's good and bad in every option. I hope you'll be guided by the Almighty to choose the better one..

In the meantime, enjoy Adelaide and hopefully the bush fire causes you no harm and foggy atmosphere yonder...

What happen to your blog la? I couldn't enter to menyibuk masukkan my comment??

I hope I'll do that someday. Yeah, my family had something different in their supposedly ordinary days. Thanks for commenting.

As I said, If you love Penang, you must fall in love with Saigon at the first sight. For this trip, I wasn't that adventurous trying many different kinds of local food at their commonplaces. Simply because I was in the company of others who preferred hotel food for food safety reasons. I had that famous Vietnamese springrolls and noddles. But seriously, the smell of the food fried from the stalls at the roadside was really tempting. Please Lee, do yourself a favour, visit Saigon, for I'm sure you'll love it.

hady said...


so, silap lah jangkaan saya sebelum ni
bukan breakfast in manila, lunch in ho chi minh and dinner in bangkok
instead, dinner in rumah sambil makan masakan isteri..


Jumper, lovely posting! i always eager to read ur post. u have a good story-telling-vocabulary.

p/s : thanks for ur prayer. hope my mum will recover.

p/s/s : itu gambar gadis gadis bikini, mrs. Jumper tak jeles ke??

Jumper said...

Thanks for dropping by and your flattering comments.

Dinner at home...instead of Bangkok. So that was the little open-ending story of mine. I wonder bila lah the open ending Oman trip of yours to be published???

Mrs Jumper is matured and sensible enough that I think she wouldn't mind.

niQue_naQ said...

what a lovely suprise for your family! :) me, i can never keep it to myself hehe i'd be bursting to tell someone :p

azizi said...

fifty fifty .....
sometimes pretty hard to make a big deal decision.
surely your kids will understand it.
not sooner, and not later.
it will.
as for now,
fifty-fifty. ;-)

Jumper said...

It was a pleasant surprise, indeed. Actually, I struggled to resist the temptations of bursting and breaking the news in advance. Considering it was a weekday and a schoolday, I decided not to bother them...
Thanks for dropping by and have a nice day.

Even adults struggle to make decision on simple things in life. So I can imagine the ambiguities present in the young mind of a little boy in his innocent life.
Have a good day! Thanks for commenting.

Roti Kacang Merah said...

"I thought you're expressive and you spit words right from your mind."

hahahaha. not when i'm sad, mate. like a typical crabby cancerian -- we would hide in our shells so as to protect ourselves from being hurt further.

in any case, is your dotty a cancerian? hehe

bila i datang jenguk lagi ke entry ni and i saw her photo... i could still feel her sadness. it was certainly a well-captured image of her. i'm sure all she wanted to do was to hug and hold her daddy tight and not let her daddy go; yet she knew in just a few more hours, her heart would bleed back for having to say goodbye... yet again. she's all choked up, merely protecting herself from further disappointments that she had only that much of time with her daddy. kita yang besar ni pastinya akan bersyukur for that minute (kecil, not minit) of time -- tapi budak kecik mana nak fikir bahagian bersyukur. dia fikir that she just wanted more of you.

i think la.

that is, if your dotty's a cancerian, then i know i'm right about that. haha

by the way, see...i told you your writing would attract readers. now you've got your own sets of fans ;-D

Jumper said...

Thank you for that insightful comment. My daughter is a Taurean. I normally don't bother much about the Zodiac signs and all the thoughts behind them. But I googled "Taurus" just now. It says Taurean emotion is far deeper than anyone can guess. This part is definitely true about her. Though I make good judgement on people especially on their motives and unspoken intentions, I really struggle to understand my own daughter's emotion except for the extreme moments when she breaks down and cries or laughs her heart out.On the contrary, I can read my son's like a book.

I have to thank YOU for your encouragement. If it's not for your insistence there will be no Jumper and his "deghian meloncat loncat". And thank you for being the first reader and commentator of this blog...[terasa pulak macam delivering the script after winning the award - the most perasan blogger]