Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Journey Begins

Alright I know that I have been really slacked in updating my blog but hopefuly it will change soon, so please bear with me :)

My journey to Pohnpei begins on 9th September, our flight was at 1.35pm Jakarta time and then transit at Singapore for 20 minutes before finally heading off to Manila. Flight from Singapore to Manila was 30 minutes late, We were thinking yeah We still have enough time as the time gap is 2 hours. We arrived in Manila at 9pm local time and our connecting flight to Guam is at 10.55pm.

How We were wrong. The international departure is actually in different location from international arrival! The stress starts to kick in, because We have to wait for our luggage before We head off to the terminal 2 (if I'm not mistaken). It took forever for our 3 big suitcases to arrive, I was praying to God to let us be on the connecting flight, because if We misses the connecting flight to Guam that means We are going to miss our flight to Chuuk & Pohnpei. There are only 2 flights in a week to Pohnpei from Guam so if We missed it that means We have to wait for 3 days for the next flight. We need to take taxi to go to the terminal 2, so after got out suitcases We were waiting at the airport shuttle and after 5 minutes passed there is no indication that the shuttle will arrive soon. We asked the guy what time is the schedule for the shuttle, and He said there is no fix schedule. Oh right, perfect!

Now the stress has really kicked in. We were so afraid that We couldn't make in on time. But then the guy said "oh you can take taxi and it cost 100 pesos", but We don't have peso so We ask the guys if We can pay with USD and he say yes absolutely, just pay US$5 phew We relieved. But the drama is not yet over. It took 10 minutes to be at the terminal 2 so We only have 1.5 hours until departure, ticking ticking ticking. There was a long line for the xray because they do body check too but the good thing that the girl who checked our tickets told us that We need to check in first as it's only 1 hour until departure. So I was running to the Continetal counter to check us in while Sam still at the xray machine.

There was another drama at the check in counter as the guy won't check me in because I don't have return ticket. There is no problem with Sam because He's using the diplomatic passport and me, of course I'm using my Indonesian passport, what else and there is no diplomatic stamp on my passport. According to the rule I need to have return ticket because they are worry that I may be working in Pohnpei and I won't be back. We have explained to them that We're going to Pohnpei for official work (Sam) and I am his wife, We also provide them with our marriage certificate but they won't let me on board the plane arghhh... So finally We have to buy $700 return ticket, they guarantee that the ticket is fully refundable, ah well let see.

After We checked in then We walk down to the gate and OMG We found another security screening. This time they take everything out from the bag and investigate each stuff carefully. They even do body check and We have to take off our shoes and hat, dear oh dear talking about high security. Mind you that We have 2 carry on bags and 2 laptop bags, so it took awhile for them to clear us out.

Oh and when We were in Manila, every single person that We met was talking to me in Tagalog :)). I have to explain to them that I'm Indonesian and I don't understand Tagalog, I guess my face can be mistakenly as Philippino :)

The flight arrived in Guam at 4.30am local time or around 9am Jakarta time, so We're pretty much dead tired and feel like zombie. Guam airport is small and at that hour not many shops open so We hang out at the food court until departure time at 8.30am. The airport was full with Japanese tourist who will catch early flight home (I guess) and I feel like I'm the ugly duck seeing all those Japanase women in full make up and dress up. Thank God the Continental in Manila has checked our bag in thorough Guam so We don't have to go thru Guam security which I'm sure even worst than in Manila.

On the way to Pohnpei the flight from Guam has to transit in Chuuk. And finally We arrive in Pohnpei at 1 pm or 10am Jakarta time.

What a long flights and dramas that We have to go thru to get here, but We are so happy that We finally arrive in our home for the next 2 or 3 years.

And the journey begins......

4 comments:

BabyBeluga said...

Never been to Guam either. I remember on one of my flight home from US to Indo, I sat next to an American pilot who worked in Guam. He seemed to enjoy living over there.

Dana Lee Ling said...

Kaselehlie and welcome to Pohnpei! Just a little bit remote... ;-)

Maureen said...

WOW what a journey to start a new adventure :D

I bet you will find tons of cool stuffs to write from Pohnpei!

Ecky said...

@ BabyBeluga: Guam more develop than Pohnpei and I heard it's a beautiful place for holiday. There are lots of Japanese & Korean tourists.

@ Dana Lee Ling: Kaselehlie and kalangan :)

@ Maureen: Indeed there are tons of stuff that I want to write, bear with me :)