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Plan B in action...

semi-overcast 30 °C
View Indonesia (Jul-Aug 2013) on niscratz's travel map.

So, by the Tuesday of that week, 3 days after I was supposed to leave, I finally felt good enough to go ahead and re-book my flights. I called up the lovely Rose at Emirates and managed to re-book my flights for that Friday (July 5th). My destination changed from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpar as there were no seats left to Jakarta. My 12 hours in Dubai changed to just 4 - no more open-top bus tour around Dubai. I had 3 days to get myself ready (having done pretty much nothing for the previous week). My internal flights couldn't be easily changed, so I had to go about re-booking those, only to find that lionair no longer accepted either of my credit cards for online payments. We would like to inform you that for online reservation we could not accept overseas credit cards, reported their customer care team. Bullshit I replied, I've already booked lionair flights online with an overseas credit card without any problems. But something on their website had clearly started functioning properly, and I was unable to rebook the internal flights I needed. Last minute bookings can be stressful. Airasia's prices go thro' the roof (relatively speaking) when close to the day of departure. It was a real pain in the ass to have to go about re-doing all of my itinerary that I had so carefully put together in order to least suffer from the effects of jetlag while taking full advantage of stops in different cities and towns on the way. But it had to be done. And hopefully my insurance company will cover the extra costs...

And so, on Friday night, I flew from Paris to KL with tickets thro' to Jakarta booked, and the overnight ferry that makes up the last leg of my journey to Hoga paid for. But with a small gap between Jakarta and Sulwesi to still be filled in.. I arrived in KL on Saturday night and made my way to Chinatown where the lovely little hostel I'm staying at is situated. I've had 2 days in KL and the first was filled with a long sleep-in and then a search thro' all the travel agencies in the Times Square shopping mega-mall to find one that could get me my internal flights cheaply.. Incredibly, none were able to! Some were clearly not with it, never having even heard of the airline. Others were unable to find a way to get a price in Malaysian Ringit (only in Indonesian Rupiah), and so didn't know what to charge my credit card.. Others were shut as it was a Sunday.. In the end I gave up, getting slightly frazzled at the thoughts of how much I was going to have to pay for a flight booked the day before departure, and went for a beer! Today I headed out to the airport (an hour bus journey each way) to the official lionair booking people and there I was able to book all the internal travel I intend doing over the next 7 weeks (well, all of those that I'd decided on the dates of!) for a ridiculously cheap price given that one flight was for tomorrow and another for the following day - Long Live Lionair: they may have crashed in Bali earlier this year, but nobody died, so not only are they cheap right up to the last minute, but they are also good at crashing safely...

The hostel I'm staying at is filled with a very interesting mix of people. Last night I was hanging out with a bunch of Palestinians - granted none of them have lived in Palestine in a long time, if ever, but 2 of them just arrived from Syria last week. When I asked what they were planning on doing in Malaysia they told me just escaping the war.. Needless to say, it kind of put my blocked ears and delayed departure into a certain perspective.. There's also a Pakistani who's in KL to do an interview for a Masters program in engineering in Finland...! Finland has no embassy in Pakistan, so this guy had the choice of being interviewed in Nepal, Thailand or Malaysia.. Then there are the regular assortment of backpackers, including 2 English guys that I'm going for dinner with this evening. I was hoping to catch up with 2 Malaysian friends that I met here 5 years ago, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen at this stage - pity - they were great craic and knew all the best Chinese places to eat in.

Tomorrow morning is an early one - my flight to Jakarta is at 10 am, but it takes over an hour to get to the airport, so I'm going to go pack now before dinner.. I'll be in touch again whenever I next get online.

Posted by niscratz 03:49 Archived in Malaysia

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