Friday, January 19, 2007

Brought the rain back with us

The weather was horrendouesly cold. Even colder than London. It was 10 oC when we landed and it was 12oC in London. And it rained and rained from late night and almost the whole day.

It rained every single day in Brussels and almost everyday except two when we were in the UK. On one day we went to Leeds Castle and on the other day we went to Harrods I think.

Its funny how we call this place home. The Little One was so excited when she saw her toys again. Almost immediately she went to her walker (not that round thing she sits in but rather the thing that a baby pushes to aid her to walk) and pushed it round the living room. She sat happily on her high chair and surprise surprise she climbed the stairs all the way up all my herself. This is a huge milestone for her and for us as well. It meant that we had to fit in gates at the bottom and at the top of the stairs as well.

As for the flight home I must give top marks for Swiss Air. I can tell you that flying on Economy on Swiss Air is 10 times better than flying for Saudia Airlines. We flew on Saudia Airlines from here to KL on business because we thought we needed the extra space and comfort as it was The Little One's first flight. And what did we get? Not much extra space (in fact it was so cramped when the inconsiderate guy in front reclined his seat we hardly had any space) and absolutely no service! On Saudia when we asked the stewardess to help us she replied with "Sorry we are not allowed to help."

Now Swiss Air is a different class of airline altogether! We were the last ones into the aeroplane because (a) our flight was delayed for over an hour due to the terrible weather at Heathrow. We almost thought that we'd miss our conecting flight. (b) The pushchair came out late from the aircraft even though we were one of the first few who rushed out of the plane in anticipation of the 20 mins we have left before our connecting flight takes off and that it would take about 20 mins from terminal A to terminal E where the next plane would take off.

But as we got into the Swiss Air flight we were greeted with all smiles. Even the ground staff who found us at the top of the escalators after the security was sweet. He told us that we needn't rush and that it was OK. Immediately when we stepped into the aircraft we were greeted with smiles and told that one of the stewardesses will not only show us to our seats but also help us with our bags! And ontop of that they reserved one whole row of the middle section (4 seats!!!) at the bulkhead row for us! Boy it was roomy! My legs could stretch and The Little One didn't get claustoprobic at all! (On Saudia we didn't get a basinet or a child seat belt!! Seat Belt whats That?!) On Swiss air they even prepared a bib, a handpuppet, a sticker book and a Disney baby nappy on the seat with lots of pillows and a blanket. All for The Little One. And they were constantly playing with her, waving, smiling and asking if she wanted apple juice etc!

I have since decided that its not about the class you travel in but the Airline whom you travel with. Service on Saudia is nonexistence but on Swiss Air the service felt very genuine. Top marks to the Swiss Air staff on LX228! I might even write a letter to them commending them on their wonderful service!

We almost thought that our baggage didn't make it with us because of the short connection but horay horaay our bags did surface on top of the conveyor belt. But our Quinny Zapp didn't. I had an inkling that it might happen and even suggested to my beloved to bring the buggy in with us but because we rushed in the staff told him to leave the Quinny Zapp outside. The thing with the Quinny Zapp is, its so small when its folded and comes in a nifty back that those not familiar with it won't know that its a buggy. We shall wait and see when the Quinny show up.

And before we reached home we asked the driver to stop at the nearby Kabsah place to buy a chicken and some rice which we enjoyed for both last night dinner and today's lunch.

I have to say that the trip was expensive because of the current horrendous exchange. I came back with 5 pairs of shoes (wanted to buy more but no more baggage space), a blue Storksak bag, lots of shopping bags as gifts and boxes of Pierre Marcolini chocolates. I left quite a lot behind because we didn't have the space or the weight allowance. I purposely used two of our smaller bags rather than the big bag because we knew Swiss Air is rather strict with excess baggage. I knew we were allowed 23kg each and the baby 10 kg and guess what our scale read during check-in? 55.4kg! Hah! Perhaps I could have fitted in another book or two but I could hardly zipp up all three bags!

The trip has made me feel energized. With batteries charged I hope they will be better days to come.

And The Little One? I think the trip has done her a world of good! In just three weeks we has grown so much! She is suddenly babbling more. She is very smiley and can make animal sounds. She really did sound like a hungry lion when she wanted some chicken for dinner last night. She asked to be read to a lot. Was it the fresh air? Was it the exposure? Was it the people or the location or the food she tasted? Whatever or whichever it was the trip has given her a lot of good! And most of all she doesn't cry as much when we put her in her car seat!

Isn't this a good excuse to go on more trips?


anasalwa said...

Hooray, hooray the little one had a wonderful flight, and you too.
I wonder what the saudiairlines cabin crew meant when she said they're not allowed to help. aren't they supposed to help the passengers?
I, too had a wonderful experience flew back to Malaysia and back here with SIA. Their cabin crew service was impecable. 10 out 0f 10. I wrote about them in my last month entry.

Rozi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lollies said...

oh oh someone sure has been away for a good time. welcome back to the cold arabland.

its freezing here too