Thursday, 25 April 2013

Fingers crossed!

It's always lovely to finally locate some wifi and find a barrage of emails and messages from people. I can only hope that this recent interest doesn't dissipate too quickly. Thank you ;).

Apologies that I don't have a Travelpod update for you today, as although I took a short trip into KL city centre yesterday, my sightseeing was limited to the already visited (by me anyway) Petronas Towers which also speaks for itself as Malaysia's most famous landmark.  After that I somehow managed to get caught in another electric storm whilst making a dash for it between downpours, so have little to report other than getting drowned and having to almost swim (I'm not exaggerating) 'home'.

Petronas Towers - in case you didn't know that lol

I am now in Hanoi, Vietnam, having left at 3.30am this morning (KL time) and 20hours later have yet to locate my luggage that got lost en-route!  That's it in a nutshell - much of a muchness in an average backpackers day; but despite being used to mishaps on my travels this time it's really got me down.

To cut the long story short, my bag basically didn't arrive with the other luggage from my flight, the airline couldn't then find it on the system, let alone locate it's whereabouts. 3 hours later I'm still dealing with security officials and the like, at the airport, trying to determine if it is missing or just lost.  Turns out it was in Brunei!

I've always wanted to go there, just hadn't planned for my belongings to go there before me... however getting them back was another problem in itself. Several phone calls later it's being re-routed back to KL and onto Hanoi.

Whether it will arrive in the morning tomorrow is no doubt down to luck, which I really hope for once is on my side - I have everything crossed and more so because I'm in Vietnam (check out the 'don't be rude section' as defined here and you will understand!). I have had virtually no help all day with the problems encountered, at least from the people here; which was actually extremely frustrating (sorry, I broke the 'don't get cross' rule as well!), more so as the tour company I am now travelling with has always provided a tremendous customer service - here it seems I am 'not their responsibility'.

Not knowing whether to cry or just give up and go home - yes it did actually get as bad as that today (!), I'm at a loss as to why someone as well travelled as me can struggle at the first hurdle on a trip such as this! Am I just getting too old for this travel malarky? Is it right that a tour leader tells me that I am 'a foreigner' and would 'find it too difficult' when referring to my suggestion that I get the train and join the group in a few days; because he simply cannot delay the private minibus that departs in the morning, back to the more reasonable time of one hour later than he has changed it to?

It actually took the power of the 3 (11 actually in this case!) musketeers, meaning the other members of the group, to provide some empathy that was seriously lacking from our group leader. Thankfully the majority won, but if it was up to this tour leader, I would have to be left behind and with no support because he 'can't help'. Let's be blunt... he is the 'foreigner', and a particularly poor standard for a tour leader in my view! I know that other leaders would have gone out of their way to help me, despite it not being their responsibility, and they would have done it without making me feel like I should never book another trip with them again. It really doesn't bode well for wanting to take the hassle out of a holiday, when travelling independently would have been, on this occasion, much less unpleasant.

Unfortunately there is a complaint brewing nicely here... I will just take a breath first, before I break any more rules!

For now anyway.

So, yeah, not a great start to what I was hoping would be a great trip. Tomorrow is another day, thankfully. I can only keep my fingers crossed (ha!) that I don't stumble upon any more bad luck; unless of course it comes with a good story (blog entry!) and happy ending, please :(!

Totally needed this!





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