Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas In The Skies

We were surrounded by faces with a beaten-down look you see in airports and other transport terminals during a holiday. That look which says, "Next year mom and pop are visiting our house!". Mine bore a more beastly expression. Resembling that of a zombie mom's, sans the blood and decaying skin. A drooling Luna on a fireman's carry protested in grunts and shallow cries. The poor thing wanted to be laid somewhere. Anywhere.

My two-year-old daughter and I were traveling by ourselves.

Half an hour ago, our bird touched down Kuala Lumpur's Low Cost Carrier Terminal. The flight from Clark, Philippines was near empty. I put on my backpack, scooped Luna off her seat and stared at my roller carry on. As if to answer the question in my head, "Now how am I gonna carry that?!", a man of Indian descent voluntarily carried it for me without saying a word. 

Christmas morn. Up in the skies, somewhere above Australia.
The LCCT doesn't have aerobridges. And though this hectic airport is relatively small, the walk from the plane to the arrival area can take forever. The man lugged my carry on out of cabin, down the steps, and to the covered walkway. For some idiotic reason called pride, I told him that I'll take it from there and gave him a huge terima kasih accompanied by a weak smile. He strolled beside me for a while and threw glances every now and then, expecting me to raise a white flag any second.

I didn't. 

One hand solely supported a fifteen-kilo tot, while the other tugged a roller bag. The five-minute walk seemed to last for eternity. Drops of sweat trickled down the whole expanse of my skin. I contemplated on crying just to let it all out, but quickly concluded that I can't be bothered doing so. Cause you know, I didn't have the extra hand to wipe away the tears.
The Sleeping Beauty slept through the stroke of midnight.
When we entered the airport building, I thought my Christmas eve ordeal will finally be over. Until I found the Air Asia transfer desk with a queue at least twenty deep. For the whole twenty-five minutes that I stood there, I watched the crew attend to each passenger. Two minutes the least, four minutes the max. My turn came and I waited even longer.

After snatching our boarding passes off  the crew's hand, we breezed through the x-ray machine with the help of an old man who was also aboard our previous flight. And at last, I laid Luna on a cushioned seat across our designated gate. It wasn't long until the boarding call blasted through the speakers.

Our walk to the Sydney-bound Air Asia X was of greater distance. I reckon such planes are parked farther for they have more massive bodies. As I laboriously strode alongside fellow passengers, I perused through them before handpicking my next aid. I literally poked a tall, blond guy's Popeye-ish biceps (Probably more than I should have.) and asked with googly eyes, "Can you please help me carry my bag up the stairs?".  His golden locks swayed as he nodded.

My Noche Buena, Pak Nasser's Nasi Lemak. Couldn't ask for anything more... Okay, except maybe a glass of red. Or two. Or three.
A cabin attendant greeted us "Merry Christmas!" as we stepped in. She and the rest of the crew were wearing headbands with reindeer antlers. Justin Bieber's Christmas album played as passengers searched for seats and stuffed belongings in the overhead compartment. Goldilocks and I parted ways as we walked on our respective aisles.

I cannot begin to express the tremendous mirth I felt when I buckled Luna to her seat. My numb shoulder was finally able to take a break. At least for the next seven and a half hours. It was about 11:40 in the evening when the plane began to taxi. We departed on time. I smiled at the thought of having nasi lemak for Noche Buena. It may be a lonesome meal, but hey, that's still nasi lemak.

Up and away we went. Farther from my parents' gloomy farewell... And closer to the hubby's arms. We had not seen him for three weeks. At the stroke of midnight, only a few passengers stayed awake. Perhaps they waited for their pre-booked meals too. I passed out after gobbling my late dinner.

So this is Christmas.

The morning after, I woke up to a view of Australia's otherworldly outback thousands of feet below. The sun was gloriously shining. It was going to be a beautiful day of reunion.

Except... The hubby didn't recognize our daughter when he saw her at the arrivals area. But that's another story for a different day.


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Kat said...
January 8, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Haven't spent Christmas in the skies. We did, however, spent Christmas on the road.

You are a superwoman for lugging Luna and your bags! Oh, the price we have to pay for taking LCCs.

Ron said...
January 8, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Awww kawawa naman si Luna walang hamon sa eroplano. hehehehe unforgettable Christmas!

At di talaga nakilala ni Masterblaster no. lol

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Kat, I'd take Christmas on the road any day - err, Christmas. LOL.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Ron, yeah. And he's denying it 'til this very day.

Violy Vallester said...
January 8, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Wow isa ka takagang super mom! Hope I can do that too someday Baka iiyak ako Sa pagod at inis.. Hehe.

Aleah | said...
January 8, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Ohhhhh I was looking forward to reading why he didn't recognize the cutie!!! LOL Never spent Christmas on the plane yet. Die hard talaga kayo!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 8, 2013 at 9:09 PM

I know you'll be able to endure it too, Vivi.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 8, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Aleah, he said she looked different. LMAO.

blissfulguro said...
January 8, 2013 at 9:28 PM

I kinda feel the same whenever I travel with my mom, of course without the fireman's carry part :)

Batangala said...
January 8, 2013 at 10:46 PM

my wife did a similar thing in 2005 when angel was just 3 years old but hers was much better coz she took an easier route coz it was via cathay pacific.

they were stopped at the HK airport because the metal detector buzzed as my daughter was wearing those shoes with roller skates. they had to show the soles were made partially of metal.

they followed me 2 months after i arrived in Brisbane. i remember meeting my wife and daughter at the airport, with angel too shy to hug me as if she just met for the first time, ha ha ha

Sole Pendulum said...
January 8, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Indeed a mumma's love is like no other. :)

Ryan Mach said...
January 9, 2013 at 7:57 AM

I would have gone emotional if I were in your shoes. Hehe. But it must have been a unique experience, spending Christmas thousands of feet above the earth.

Tin | The Average Jane said...
January 9, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Oh my. I definitely feel your pain. I still get scared when I have to travel with the Little One alone since she's really a handful. =(

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 9, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Ryan, one of the most memorable Christmases fo sho.

Jherson Jaya said...
January 9, 2013 at 5:14 PM

You know what, seriously as in with no joke, I thought of this thingy that you did with your Luna... hehe... spending Christmas Eve in the sky =')

Tripsiders said...
January 9, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I haven't experience spending Christmas in the skies but I would love to try it but without a baby (for now) .. hehehe..:)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 9, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Jherson, well... It does make for an intresting conversation piece. Haha!

docgelo said...
January 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM

this post is sweet; you hurdled everything on christmas eve just to be with your man. every father and husband will smile his widest for that!

and i cannot agree more with you, gay -ang toxic maglakad sa tarmac ng kl-lcct! each time i fly air asia in kl or land in that terminal, i am reminded i purchased a budget flight but i cannot complain. i can only wish they could think a better way to ease the burden of passengers like you and me carrying loads of 7kg or perhaps more if you have a lovely doll in tow.

natawa lang ako sa justin bieber christmas album sa eroplano! :p

manigong bagong taon sa emami family!
wish to meet you one day.

Shawi Cortez said...
January 12, 2013 at 1:01 PM

you already! kayo na ang nag-ch-Christmas in the skies. haha. part two please?

at paki-LBC mo nga rito sa ilocos si Goldilocks ;)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 12, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Doc Gelo, that's so true! LCCT feels more like a bus terminal than an airport. But we can't complain, the flights are just sooo cheap!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 12, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Shawi, if only I could :)

bertN said...
January 12, 2013 at 10:01 PM

A two year old, a roller carry-on luggage and a backpack...I'll probably just stay at home and get drunk LOL. You are a superwoman to travel like that.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 12, 2013 at 11:18 PM

^Hahaha! You really crack me up! Wise alternative, I must say.

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