CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Leaving On A Jetplane

I wished I could tell all, relate every thought on my mind, every emotion in my heart, every ache on my soles. I was trying very hard to remember every single detail, so hard sometimes I forgot to just immerse myself in the moment. This was the journey of my wildest dreams, too wild for a tamed, subdued person like me. Who would have thought a home baker, a self employed worker, a self proclaimed manager be given the opportunity to fly out to a country which was never in her "to do list" in the first place. United States of America was as good as any country in this world spun on the blue globe. It was just there for me to point out with my index finger but never to venture.

The journey commenced the moment we had to apply for the elusive American visa. It wasn't easy folks, even harder for my friend Lisa who had to spend days filling up the unnecessary forms which required details like the information on all our siblings. So just imagine our chef who had more than 10! Honestly, we never dared to harbour high hopes to actually make it to the land of the free. There were too many bumps along the way which were disheartening to the soul. Lisa's handbag was stolen together with our visa receipts, Chef and Watie's husband's visas were not approved till the very last minute, not to mention the reluctance of our spouses and children to allow us to make this trip. The days prior to the departure were just as eventful, but I was glad for the experience, good and bad were swallowed
with of a glass of self reflection.



***************************




I thought I had a good plan, which was to make myself cry days before the trip in hope to cry less at the airport. It failed miserably. I had to leave my kids and husband on Raya eve, unthinkable for many, unforgivable for me. After rounds of kisses and tight embraces I had to break free to descend the escalator to board my flight. It was then it rained tears on me. I couldn't look back for fear of losing my composure. But I did anyway, right before their images disappear from my cloudy vision. I flanked my hands and blew kisses, so many, that it was difficult for my son to catch and keep them in his pockets. My daughter just cried uncontrollably, my husband...he wrote me the most beautiful sms ever as he was too tight a throat to say it himself. Oh sedihnya saya masa tu Tuhan saja yang tahu.


Since our visas were only approved at the 11th hour, we didn't get to reserve good tickets for our flight. Dah jadi macam naik bas loncat, the difference was the journey occupied almost 29 hours of our time. We arrived at Changi Airport via Japan Airline around 10pm and had to wait till 6am the next day to fly to Hong Kong with United Airlines pulak. The transit was very trying for us, kami seperti orang2 yang kepenatan dan kehilangan arah meandering all over the place. In the end we slept on the airport's carpeted floor beralaskan bag makanan, bag tangan dan siku. Berlinanglah air mata pada keesokan harinya when Syawal was received by just us dusting the dust and the dirt from our pants. After a quick rendang tok and nasi impit breakfast we boarded the next flight to Hong Kong before the final 16 hour one straight to Chicago O'hare Airport.


For those who have travelled with Malaysian Airlines before, flying with another foreign carrier felt as if you are chained onto your seat as a bandit ready to be transported to a god forsaken prison. The leg room was small, the seats weren't as comfy, the facilities were limited. No tv screen at each seat, the food was bland and the cabin crew wasn't as helpful and friendly. Being constrained in our seats with a typhoon somewhere in Japan to propel through and 16 hours to count down didn't ease our discomfort either. Masa nilah all of us appreciated our national carrier, "bestnya kalau naik MAS" was on our thoughts most of the time. I noticed we sometimes have the tendency of belittling anything Malaysian but surprisingly on this particular trip I became the opposite. I discovered being Malaysian is a privilege, a birthright you should cherish and take pride in. I have never been more proud to be a Malaysian, I was representing my country in my own little way.


...and so, after much turbulence, endless doa's, countless visits to the loo, coffee breaks, tea time, orange juice moments and vegetarian food consumptions, we finally made it to Chicago, United States of America! Alhamdulillah.




to be continued.


Lisa the jet setter and chef the lone walker

15 treats:

Kitchen Guardian said...

cepat wiz...sambung cerita...well i was speechless when your santa husband delivered kueh makmor tt night and broke the news tt you were going to US on malam raya...stunned. but you so deserve it, i mean the trip the learning the experience..i am just dreaming of going to central park new york...

Khairul Husna Kadir said...

Wizzz dear, i cant wait to read more!
yep, I sure can relate to the feelings when you leave behind your loved ones ..ohhh so unbearable! Excited that u r going somewhere for ur passion but at the same time, so sad having to leave them behind....We are torn....Talk about that SMS from Azam...indeed a great distance turned him poetic and romantic huh? ha ha ha...if u keep on doing this Wiz, Im sure Azam can finally produce his own Poem Collection!
Okay, keep writing and spilling us on the details!

edi said...

dear kak wiz,
i wish u all the best and all the best of luck in the world to accompany u thoroughout your journey. can't wait to read your next story!!

Sha said...

yeah, MAS makes me appreciate being Malaysian.

I usually cry when the pilot announces "to all Malaysians: selamat pulang"...

Ivy said...

I so feel your exhaustion from just the Visa application! Kenapa tak naik MAS je?

One of the many reasons deterring me from visiting the US, the visa application, layovers/transit and the hours and hours of flying... tak larat dah!

Juliana Mohd Daud said...

wiz, awak ni kan, mcm 'days of lives' la... hee hee...

well, actually, bukan salah airlines tu la i rasa, carrier yang you naik tu je kecik! like u said la jugak, maybe coz last minute. memang lah benar that msia airlines is abt the only airlines yg akan manjakan you bagai nak rak, because itu memang culture kita org malaysia, but i think the airlines you took tu kira ok la tu. it's gud to experience variety kan? airlines lain pun ada jugak tv and stuff, not to mention pleasant svc, hee hee... kalau i trvl sorang2 mcm u ni, or w tam je, without our 3 goons, we'll surely tak kisah apa saje! you are so blessed to have had this great opportunity...

keep the story coming ya... :)

Wiz said...

Yanie - Santa husband ha ha ha, yes he was for a week or so masa raya. Thamks for the thought.

Husna - He is very poetic to the extent of being misunderstood totally ha ha ha. I was more than torn, shredded into pieces more likely. Will try spill as much.

Edi - Thanks Edi, will try to write as much.

Sha - Ala sha ni. I was saving that for my finale entry about what the selamat pulang tu. Yes, that always gets to me, will get all patriotic and all.

Ivy - That's why USA was never in my to go list in the first place. jauh sgt la.

Jules - Yes the carrier was smaller but that was not what bothered us so much. I guessed dah biasa manja with your own national carrier bila dapat cabin crew yang pakai baling jer kotak makanan to you memang terkejut jugak la. I wasn't the only one who felt that way, pakcik sebelah tu pun terkezut jugak. I suka dimanjakan Jules, especially on trips you paid so much for. I don't ask for much, a smile would make my day. On this trip I travelled with 4 different airlines and I am proud to say we reign the best. Even the foreigners commented the same. Disebabkan I travel without my kids la yang I agree for these flights. I never appreciated MAS before this but I do now. There's no harm giving compliments when they are due.

Wolverina said...

sedihnya bila membayangkan situasi di airport. dekat2 nak raya pula tu ;'(

Sha said...

sorry Kak Wiz, been awhile since I heard that "phrase"...

Dulu gi the same place you went, for almost a month. Balik terus cari roti canai LOL

Juliana Mohd Daud said...

oops, ampun dan maaf dipinta, i thot that your trip ni was fully sponsored, my bad, my bad. if you had paid for it sendiri, then of course you have every right to complain. memang la, kalau dah campak2 kotak air tu, that's teruk already, alitalia yg ganas tu pun tak buat cam tu! patutnye you jerkah je kat crew tu, hee hee, kalau i jerkah je, then terus upgrade gi 1st class! msia airlines mmg la cool, kan diorg menang award best airline. actually kan, if you complain to the airline now pun still boleh tau, sometimes they would give you either free hotel stays yg time share kat msia ni or some sort of redemption stuff. anyway, alhamdulillah that you selamat semuanya, and that you have achieved further greatness in your wizness... :)

Ms Wong said...

Wisz, can't wait to read till the finale..kep the story coming ok!

Seafrost ~ Nina said...

Oh Wiz...you're 1 strong woman!
Cant wait for the next entry...
(p/s I wrote punyalah panjang tadi, then hilanggggg...kena kacau by my kiddo...huaaaa...nak type lagi, err...malas, hihihi)

Lisajoehari said...

yea what an experience kan... masa kotak makanan kene campak tu i felt like nak campakkan balik je kat nenek cabin crew tu. hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri, baik lagi di negeri sendiri kan... xoxo MAS!

hs said...

dear wiz
US has become an 'unfriendly country' to people like us who need the visa. It is absolutely a country with its own beauty (especially in autumn)but the difficulty to go through the bureaucracies really puts me off to return!

i.am.me said...

"being a Malaysian is a privilege" I'm totally agree, with the people, the food, the weather, everything!! You have to be in another place or country 1st, then you'll realise it~