If you ask me what I like about my current job is that it takes me to places that I have never been before- albeit it is for work purposes and the places are anywhere but glam (ie. jet-setting to NY, London, Dubai etc). But that's ok because I really do appreciate the chances I get traveling without my own expense (except personal purchases).
Over Thursday and Friday last week, I was up and about at 5am to the airport for a flight at 7am to Alor Star. The usual outstation trips routine will include meeting up at McDonalds at LCCT (do you know the LCCT outlet is the most McProfitable in the whole Msia?) and then checkin' in and boarding.
For this trip, we were to kill 2 birds with one stone- 2 places in a day. But I'd say we achieved more than that, read on and find out where the 3rd place was ;-)
At Sultan Abdul Halim Airport (Alor Star)
We touched down at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport and it was love at first sight. The surroundings of the airport are nothing but green fields and it was such a refreshing moment to come out of the plane inhaling nothing but fresh air...... I swear we could all live till 95 if we stay there.
The outlet manager came and pick us up and it was an hour plus journey to our dutyfree shop at...... you guesss???? The Thai Border, or also known as Wang Kelian. Believe me if I tell you we literally went across bridges, through the jungle, up and down the hill, all the little ulu kampung roads to get to the shop! While I was in the car, I kept thinking whether there was even civilization in there!
Little streetside stalls at Thai Border
Like the few trips before this to Langkawi and Kota Kinabalu, we were there on a work assignment- year end stock take. So it was counting liquor and tobacco for me, very sien and tiring- told you it's nothing glam. Of cos while I was counting, I was also spying on which bottle to buy home, it's dutyfree and additional 20% staff discount! I got a bottle of Absolut Ruby Red and another bottle of Absolut Vanilla for less than RM45 per bottle. It was a steal! I also bought a dozen of Absolut Raspberri miniatures- it was retailing at RM4 per bottle! I regretted bringing such a small luggage, else I would have bought more!
Old skool bottled drinks
It was lunch time and my manager brought us to cross over to the Thai side. Thailand was just a mere 50 metres away.... no passport needed, just some conversations in Tagalog and hi-byes with the immigresion officers. We settled at a little run down shop which seemed like the only eatery around the jungle and had Thai "dai chow"- just few simple dishes.
Thai "dai chow" at Thai border
We had a fish curry, mixed vege and shrimps with sambal (very pedas!!), ulam, fried beef slices, salty vege with egg, and fried omelet with petai. We also found something that we couldn't find in Malaysia- Minute Maid orange juice in little glass bottles! It was such a thirst quencher that we all had 2 bottles each. The whole bill came up to 420 Baht = RM42.
Minute maid orange juice
We headed back to Malaysia after lunch and continued with our work until about 3pm where we took another hour plus ride back to civilization. Then it was another 2 hours cab ride to Penang! Didn't help that the cab was not too pleasant but still bearable......
Crossing the Penang Bridge
We reached Penang at about 6.30pm, checked in to B-Suite hotel which is near Bayan Lepas. The rooms were very spacious and it was pretty cheap too, if I'm not mistaken about RM150 or so per night. I shared the room with my lady boss and we were all too tired from the day's rides from KL-Alor Star-Wang Kelian-Penang. We were both in bed by 9pm!
Room 1305 @ B-Suite, Penang
What happened that night was rather interesting. I was sleeping and I heard noises, sounds of beads falling to the floor. At first I didn't pay much attention thinking perhaps it is beads falling or something (there's no logic as I know my boss is sleeping as well). But after 3 or 4 times hearing the same sound, I woke up and turned to my boss who also woke up as well. I asked, "What's that?????!!!" and she replied, "The air-cond."
It didn't make any sense but I tried to go back to sleep. The following morning, she told me that initially when she heard the same sound she thought someone tried to break in through the balcony, but she was afraid to approach the area to find out (I didn't know she was awake, I was probably sleeping like a pig), after awhile she realized it was the air cond. It was so cold that it started making ice cubes and those ices fell to the floor- hence the bead-like sounds.
Well, the air cond could have made ice cubes sooner, then we could have made ourselves some cocktails!
Friday was spent at the Penang Airport doing stock check as well..... reached KL on the same day in the evening. Super tiring! but very happy with my cheap steal of liquor :-)
As I was joking to my colleagues and boss, "Wah we have such a high-flying lifestyle. Breakfast in KL, lunch in Thailand, dinner in Penang! HAHAHA."
Though I wish it was London, New York and Paris.
I'll be off to Kota Kinabalu again from Wednesday-Friday! (You can tell I am most happy when I can get out from the 9-6pm office routine :D)