Trip up North Part One

Although I did not drink any Chinese Tea the night before, I could not sleep well. And today is the day that I needed to drive up North to service three sites. The plan was to drive up to Alor Setar, then stay in the Hotel in Butterworth for the night and meet up with Loctor. And on the second day, service the remaining customer in Penang before going down to Sitiawan. Yep, its going to be a long day.

If I was driving my own Satria or the Kenari, this trip would not be a problem. But because I had to use the van for the first time, it was quite hard for me. The problem was in the driving itself. Firstly, because the van's seat was high, I was literally sitting on a high chair and pressing the accelerator and, in that position, it makes my ankles ache. Secondly, because the van is a company van, its speed is limited to a maximum of 90kmh. So, with my aching ankle, I was trying to either slow the vehicle down or speeding it up all the time. And its not easy overtaking other vehicles when you're too slow to accelerate. Most of the time I get "flashed" from behind. And with my technician sleeping next to me, he was of no help either as I keep blacking out for a few seconds. So, I had to stop in a few R&Rs to make sure I don't really fall asleep. By the time we reached Penang, things went sort of, hokey. Our first stop, which is Alor Setar, has been postponed to next week because the contractor has not completed his job yet. So, I was lucky to have called him before going to Alor Setar. So, we detoured to our second customer in Penang. Suddenly, after that job, we had a call that required us to go to Langkawi. I do not know which is worse: Rushing to the pier within one and half hours from Penang or going to Langkawi all by myself for the first time. So I told my Boss that if I managed to clear the Penang Bridge jam, I will try to reach there (within legal speed limit) and if I fail, we'll stick back to the original plan of staying the night in Butterworth/Prai adn kacau the Loctor.

Anyway, we reached the pier just in time for the last ferry which is due to leave at 1830. Funny thing is that there are a lot of "Agents" who will help you from booking a car in Langkawi to getting a Hotel. Anyway, through this agent, we got our van parked while he does the rest in booking a seat for us in the ferry and getting a Hotel for us in town with the best rate. And so, we're off! The ferry are not like the ones in Penang. Think of it as more of like a small passenger plane as the seats were arrange like so and they also have safety VCDs (sorry, no videos). Halfway through, they showed the second side of the bootleg Transformers movie and I fell asleep. Deep inside, when they showed that movie (which I have not even seen it yet) I know that the trip is not going to be 20 minutes or so. Later on, when I woke up, my techncian told me the trip was exactly one hour and ten minutes long. As a precaution, we decided to take our dinner at the jetty before going to the Hotel based on my previous experience in Langkawi in the late nineties where all the shops were closed quite early. Once we have settled down at the Hotel, I decided to take a quick walk next door to the Duty Free for some chocolates before everything closes at about nine thirty in the evening.

One nice thing about this Hotel is that they offered my technician either to have his food sent to him or come down for the buffet when he needs to start his fasting at five in the morning. So, this means I do not have to ask for a morning call after all as my tech can wake me up later. (Which he did not because after stuffing himself, he went back to sleep)

I just love the water fountain thingy in the middle
Some R&R really have nice decorations now

Saw this on the way to Penang Bridge
Reminds me of those 80's Game & Watch

In the ferry, hanging on one of those pillars
are the barf bags. You just pull them when
you need them, just like those traders at the
night market

My spoils for the day. A bag of nougat, 4 packs of
chocolates (which is delicious but melts under normal
Malaysian temperature)