Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Perhentian Island Challenge Part 1

KL has been going through several heavy pouring rainy sessions in the past week but nothing beats the downpour on 17/10/2008, Friday. Flash floods were reported everywhere in KL and it was total chaos.
Flash flood in KL
I, on the other hand was trying to get to KL Sentral from Mont Kiara to catch a bus for my 900pm flight to Kota Bharu for my second participation year in Perhentian Island Challenge held in the paradise islands of Perhentian.
Perhentian Island Challenge 2008

It was already 6pm when I was out of the office looking for a cab. At that chaotic time, there was a long queue at the taxi stand and that was the start of my arrive-LCCT-on-time ordeal. People were murmuring that it's crazy to even get out of the Hartamas area. Anyway, there was this Caucasian at the front of the queue. As he was getting in the cab, I ran up to him and asked him if I could share a cab with him. I couldn't care where his destination was but I just had to get out of Hartamas/Mont Kiara ASAP. His destination was JW Marriot and mine was KL Sentral.
The radio in the cab was broadcasting a minute by minute traffic situation. There was one announcement which made me shudder "The SMART Tunnel has been closed to traffic and the entire KL is having a red light party(sarcastically lampooning the bad traffic jams. When you're in a jam, all you see are brake lights of the vehicles in front of you, hence red light party).Anyway, it was from a lame English radio station.
Traffic madness
I told the cab driver to drop me off at any Komuter, Monorail, Star LRT or Putra LRT and he told me he will be passing the Monorail at Sheraton Imperial. I got to the Monorail there at 650pm and I ran like Speedy Gonzales to the station and managed to get on the monorail to KL Sentral.

Along the way, I knew taking a bus was out of the option and I decided to take the KLIA Ekspres which will bring me to KLIA and from there, I will take a cab to LCCT which is like 15 minutes away. Smart right? I relaxed a bit with my well thought plans in my mind.
I reached KL Sentral and proceeded to the ERL station. It'll take me 28 minutes to reach KLIA and after calculation, I estimated my arrival time at KLIA would be at 750pm. After taking a cab, I will be at LCCT by 810pm just in time to check in. Once the doors of the ERL train opended, I dashed out ala Amazing Race style to the taxi ticket counter. Getting the taxi coupon would my last obstacle and I thought to myself, what's so difficult about getting a taxi coupon? When I reach the counter, I saw at least 40 people queuing up at the counter and another 30 more standing in line to wait for their cabs.
I just screamed and used the Lord's name in vain because truly, after all I've been through, God should be blamed, I did not waste time. I ran down to the bus terminal of KLIA and hoped that maybe there was a feeder bus going to LCCT There was none! Tick Tock Tick Tock

My instincts kicked in and my objective is to get to LCCT no matter. I instantly grabbed anyone I could find and begged them to send me to LCCT. After terryfying 3 people, one guy from the bus counter shouted that Basker from the deli nearby was able to send me and that he'd ask him first. I met Basker and told him of my predicament. He agreed to send me for the sum of RM30.00. I agreed and heaved a sigh of relief...... not really because that bastard Basker was sms-ing while he was driving and made the wrong turn. That cost me several precious minutes I had left.
I then told him I would minus off RM1.00 from the fare because I only had RM29.00
in my wallet. He was fine with it.

FInally I arrived the Kota Bharu counter at the nick of time and was so glad that the ordeal is over. One thing I have to say is that I'm kinda impressed with our Malaysian transportation system because there were several options given to me at my time of need.

To be continued