Friday, March 21, 2008

Melbourne Trip - Day Two

13 March 2008

After popping more medicine the night before, I was feeling only slightly better. But, not wanting to spoil the holiday for everyone else, I got up, bathed and put on the only blouse I had in the bag that arrived with us, and prepared a simple breakfast of cereal, bread and peanut butter, hot chocolate, and hot tea.

Aiman was excited to get the day going, and so, as soon as breakfast was done with, we headed out to town. But, not before taking some shots in front of our apartment - 43 Caroline St, South Yarra.

Before we left for town too, my hubby called the airport and we were told that our bag had arrived from a flight that left for Melbourne the night before. Thank God! The bag would be delivered to our apartment after lunch when it had gone through customs. Not wanting to waste time since our stay in Melbourne is going to be for only 5 days, my hubby decided that we should go ahead with our plans to see the town, visit the aquarium and the zoo. Hopefully our bag would have arrived at our apartment by the time we get back in the afternoon.

Here is a shot of the apartment in front our apartment. Our apartment was in a very cosy neighbourhood.

This is a shot of Toorak Road which is perpendicular to Caroline St. A very busy road lined with boutique standard eating outlets and shops. The South Yarra Train Station is also on this road, which is only 3 blocks away from our apartment, or about a 10 minutes walk. Very convenient.

We got off at Flinders Station and took the City Loop which is a free ride around the city.

By the way, I am impressed by the fact that you only need one ticket to use any of the efficient Melbourne public transport system, be it the bus, tram, or train. On Sundays, you pay Saver Sunday which is at half price, and you can go across zones.

Aiman was excited initially to get on the tram, but after a while, as it got hotter as the tram was not air-conditioned, he got bored and fell asleep. *grin* The loop around the city took about 20 - 30 minutes.

Our first stop was the Aquarium. By comparison to Sydney Aquarium and Singapore Underwater World, Melbourne Aquarium was kind of small. There weren't that many things to see and we managed to cover the aquarium in less than 2 hours. We spent more than half the day at Sydney Aquarium!

After a simple lunch at the aquarium, we took the tram to Melbourne Zoo, which was a long, hot journey out of town. I felt like we were heading towards the desert as we slowly approached the zoo. A very out of way place, very quite and almost deserted. Almost like going into a cowboy town! LOL!

My health, which was already not in tip top condition, was made worse by the heat, but I plodded on for the sake of my son. I think I have never drank so many bottles of water before in a week than I did on that day. I think it was 39 degrees that day, if I am not mistaken.

We got to the zoo at 2.30pm, and thought that we wouldn't be able to cover the whole zoo by the closing time, which was 5.00pm. However, as the day got hotter, and most of the animals kept under the shade due to the heat, Aiman did not enjoy the trip, and kept complaining and wanting to go home to the comfort of the apartment.

After spending about an hour, we took the tram back to town before changing at Domain Station for the tram back to South Yarra.

We had hoped that by the time we got home, our bag would have been delivered to our partment, or at least to the management office.

We were disappointed that our bag still had not arrived, and when we checked with the baggage handling unit at the airport, we were shocked to be told that our bag has not even left for Melbourne. It would only leave by the next flight that night and arrive the next day! We had only the clothes we had worn all day, and were were getting worried as to what has happend to our bag. This is because, when we called in the morning, we were told that our bag had arrived that morning already and awaiting customs clearance. And now, we were told that our bag has not even left Malaysia? Where could our bag be?

Several more calls made to the airport made us even more frustrated, confused and worried. The lady manning the call simply could not trace our bag, and she was very rude at the way she handled our case. All we wanted was to confirm if our bag was really going to be leaving on the next flight to Melbourne, but she rudely told us that the status of the bag remained unchanged. When we asked her about the report this morning that our bag had arrived, she insisted that her report is correct. We could not get her to confirm further the status of our bag, and that made me feel even more stress out, making my sore throat even worse.

My last option - I called back Malaysia and spoke to a friend who works for Malaysia Airports Berhad and asked his assistance to locate my bag. He was very helpful and came back to me immediately to inform me that our bag did leave for Melbourne by the night flight the night before that and had arrived in Melbourne that morning. The first report was correct.

Armed with that information, I called back the baggage handling unit, and was again connected to the rude lady who insisted that the bag has not left for Melbourne yet. Gosh, this lady is terrible! When I told her that I have the reliable information that my bag is already in Melbourne, and asked her to checked again, she rudely refused, but then suddenly said that the bag had suddenly just cleared customs and would be delivered to us between 7 - 9pm that night. Huh? Where was the bag all this while? Never once did she offer an apology!

We waited patiently for our bag to be delivered. Each time a car stops in front of our apartment, I would eagerly await to see the driver take out our bag from the car, but, alas, 9.00pm came and left with no bag. I was starting to get restless and stressed out. 9.10pm....9.20pm...9.30pm...... it's going to be a very long night, and we have no other clothes to wear except the ones we wore today and on the plane...... We were still unsure as to whether our bag was really going to be delivered to us, considering the conflicting report that we got from the airport.

Come 9.45pm, my hubby said let us all go to the airport and settle this once and for all. We couldn't stand it anymore not knowing if our bag is really in Melbourne already, or was even going to be on the night flight to Melbourne, arriving the next day. We just had to find out.

When we finally got to the airport, spending an extra AUD60.00 for the cab fare, we finally got our answers after waiting for 10 minutes at the baggage handling counter.

Our bag WAS here in the morning! For some reason, the report did not state where was our bag all this while, and it was on it's way to be delivered to us as we made our way to the airport. uurrgghhhh!!

After making a request for it to be delivered back to the airport while we waited so that we can actually physically see the bag ourselves, we sat down for hot chocolate to calm our nevers down. Our bag arrived back to the airport close to 11.00pm. I could kiss the bag when I saw it! LOL!

The bag safely back with us, another taxi ride back to the apartment, and a warm shower, we all went to bed at close to midnight, feeling relieved.

It had been a very long day..... I am just glad and thank God for the safe arrival of our bag.....

End of Day TWO


Lillie said...

Glad everything ended well finally.
Lovely photos, someone is missing thou..including the stash photos plus those at the craft fair ! ;P

Happy weekend..and take care :D

Barbara said...

Your narration is sooo interesting. Keep em coming :)

I am waiting for THE part, you know what I am talking about :D

nikai said...

I hate to have my bags delayed too.. once in Switzerland I got my bags just to be carried back to the airport.. all the while, attending the meeting in collared t-shirts.. malu lah..

eli said...

you were complaining about the hot weather there and we are now wondering why it's still snowing as we officially entered spring argghhh...

glad that your bag safely arrived if not you had reasons to shop for new clothes.. heheh

will visit again for the rest of yr vacation stories. keep writing k.