You’d think we’d be pros by now… but I suspect no matter long you travel, a travel day with young kids is always exhausting and never goes completely to plan. Yesterday we flew down to Kuala Lumpur to see Nana (Colin’s mother) and Aunty Donna, who are in town for a week shopping.
Mistake number one…
Our travel day problems started when we let the children stay up until almost 10pm the night before. They were playing with the Vagabond Kids and Baby Almost Fearless, while we were having such a wonderful time and conversation with their parents that we lost track of time! These families have some amazing stories – if you haven’t already checked out their sites make sure you do. We’d planned our leaving time for 10am so we’d have plenty of time to stop at the shops and buy DVD’s for Christina from Sarang Galloway in KL. Of course we all slept in (Hayley till 9.15am) and we didn’t make it out the door until 10.40am. Bus into town and DVD’s bought by 11.30am… just as it started to pour with rain.
Waiting, waiting, waiting…
Stuck in KFC for 30 minutes waiting for the rain to stop. Thankfully KFC gave the kids a colouring set each to while away the time quietly (unlike the noisy toys that McDonalds gave us for our last road trip to Thailand). Eventually the rain stopped, providingus with a ten minute walk through the puddles and steaming post-rain humidity got us to the bus stop for the new Rapid Penang 102 bus. Still over three hours to our flight – no problems! Of course we were a little worried when the map on the Rapid Penang website of the 102 route didn’t really correspond with where we were sitting (even though I was pretty sure this was where the bus went) and the school girls sitting nearby were adamant that no airport bus went past here. The nearby school crossing guards working assured us the bus did go past here so we sat down to wait. 12.30pm… 12.45pm… still no bus to the airport. Although by now we’d seen the 102 heading from the airport to Batu Ferringhi in the opposite direction so at least we knew we were waiting in the right spot. We taught the kids some clapping games to pass the time, while Hayley set up an impromptu school for her baby. 12.55pm… still no bus. Called the bus company. “Yes yes, bus coming now. 1pm it will be there”
Still waiting and ready to give up on our ideals of only using public transport this trip!
By now Noah had well and truly melted down. Sitting in the midday heat, even in the shade, on the side of the road for over an hour is a little hard for a 5 year old that’s only had 6 hours sleep. Its even worse when the school bus idling in front of us is venting out enough smog to create a microclimate that rivals Beijing in summer. At 1.10pm we watching the clock, thinking we could only wait another 15 minute, otherwise we?d miss our 2.55pm flight. “The bus normally comes at 1” the crossing guard sympathetically tell us. We start looking for taxis. None come by. By now schools finished for the day and traffic is at a standstill with everyone picking up their kids.
Finally the bus is here, except…
Hot, tired and semi-nauseaus from exhaust fumes, we’d had enough by 1.15pm so off Col set in search of a taxi. He hedged his bets for 10 minutes waiting at the nearby corner that both taxis and the mythical bus pass by, before giving up and walking to the taxi rank outside the DVD store that we left 90 minutes ago. “Here comes the bus” the crossing guard excitedly tells us before he starts looking puzzled. “Where’s your husband?” I laugh and explain as the 102 bus zooms past and Col comes jogging down the road with his taxi following him (jogging at this point is faster than driving given the post school traffic). At least our taxi ended up beating the bus to the airport.
No donuts, hyperactive kids and dead legs – will this trip never end?
Through check-in and arrived at the gate in less than 10 minutes ? perhaps our luck had changed… it hadn?t. The kids love flying AirAsia as they always have donuts on board. Except for today that is. They’d been talking about the donut plane non-stop for days. Its how we kept them going sitting waiting in the sun! Now instead they just talk the whole flight and argue over the window seat. Off the plane and onto our bus in under 10 minutes – we’re only in KL for a week and have gotten used to travelling light so we only had carry on. Both Noah and Hayley fall asleep on the AirAsia Skybus, only waking as we arrive at KL Sentral. Of course Noah’s fallen asleep laying on top of his leg and woken to discover the wonderful feeling of severe pins-and-needles. He’d never had it before so couldn’t tell us what was wrong other than to just scream. We carried both kids off the bus and ended up taking another taxi to our accommodation rather than carrying two heavy children all the way to the monorail (a 10 minute walk with bags and kids!). Did I mention our taxi smelt so badly of stale sweat I actually started to wonder if the driver just went to the toilet inside the taxi our of sheer laziness? So here we are in KL for a week. Its nice to be on the road again, even if we had a few adventures getting there.