Sunday, December 21, 2008

Destination: Gold Coast

The Gold Coast. Picture miles of white sandy beaches. Sunshine beating down on a brilliantly bright day. Friendly aussie blokes and hot aussie babes. Ok, delete that last part.

A view of gold coast at sunset..notice the blue sea in the background

It has always been a favourite among Malaysians looking for an overseas escapade. And now, with AirAsia X, 'everyone can fly Xtra long' to Australia, including myself. :)

Our journey began at the crowded Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT). It beats me why they have to have a separate terminal for budget airlines, right next door to the main KLIA building. They could always re-use the old Subang airport, which is less half an hour away from my house, saving lots of travel time.

I love Air Asia. It makes air travel affordable for almost anybody. However, that low-price comes with a cost. Absolutely no frills. No food. No in-flight entertainment. You have to pay for everything else. Even the pilots have to buy their own tickets, cause air asia doesnt give free tickets to its crew. Considering the fact that you get cheap tickets, that's a small price to pay i guess.

The international departure terminal was, in a way, similar to a bus station. Why? Because of the huge crowd:

It reminded me of the crowd at Jalan Duta.

Excited faces..=D in the background: flight D7 2702

At 10.30, we took off on an agonisingly long 8-hour flight to Coolangatta airport, gold coast. As promised, unlike Malaysia Airlines there was no food included. It had to be purchased on board or pre-booked online. A box of food (nasi lemak or bbq chicken) = RM15. Comfort kit (neck pillow, blanket, eyeshades)=RM 35. Entertainment set=RM30. Expensive, yes, but thats the price you pay for getting cheaper overseas travel. :)

I met and chatted with an interesting passenger on the plane. He is an ex-australian army who's currently working as security in Iraq. Dangerous job. Some of his friends lost their lives working in Iraq. From what he said, Iraqis regard whites as 'infidels', while Asians are 'savages'.

A few points to note from our conversation:

On Americans : An arrogant people who think they are the best.

On Iraq muslims : Their love for Allah is beautiful, but their disunity and squabbling makes them less intelligent.

On Saddam Hussein : Even Westerners realise (in hindsight) that he was a good and necessary leader.

After a long talk, touching areas like Arab behaviour and failure of the UN, i slept very unsoundly, with all the turbulence.

And woke up to a beautiful sight. :)

Notice that on one side, it was subuh and on another, the sun had already risen

It was an inspiring sight to behold. And since its cold up there, frost formed on the windows:

Isn't Allah's creation just wonderful?

And finally after 8 hours of flying, we could see the Australian coastline:

Gold Coast, meet Ikmal. Ikmal, meet Gold Coast.