Day 20 – Flying back home
Unfortunately, today was the last day of the study tour. We had to get up really early to go to the airport. At 6.45 hour, the bus arrived to bring us to the airport, and guess what, the bus driver who brought us almost everywhere during the tour was standing outside!
We drove for a small hour to the airport where we unloaded our bags and prepared to check in. But first, we gave the bus driver a small present for bringing us to all places safely.
After checking in, Karlijn and Marco went to the first aid because Marco had an earache. Luckily, he was allowed to travel. After we arrived at the gate, everyone got 20 minutes to do wat they want. Some of us went for coffee, while others bought some souvenirs. At the gate we only had to wait for a few minutes before we could enter the airplane. During this flight we didn’t fly with an Airbus a380, but an almost as luxurious Boeing 777. This airplane was also equipped with TV screens and game controllers, so plenty of entertainment to get through the trip!
However, everyone was exhausted. It didn’t take long until almost everyone was asleep. Some slept with their heads on the table while others were wrapped as a mummy!
During the flight we got some nice meals and drinks to kill time. The six hour flight was over quickly, but we had to get ready for the short changeover. In contrast to the outbound flight, we only had 45 minutes to get to the departure gate. Before leaving the plane, some arrangements were taken so everyone would arrive on time at the gate. We all managed to arrive on time at the gate. We even had to wait a few minutes before we could get on the last plane. The last plane was also a Boeing 777, an even more luxurious version than the first one. During this flight less people were asleep, so they could get used to the Dutch time rhythm. Some people played poker together on the game console while others watched a movie, this was all really time-consuming. So also the second flight was over quickly! At 20.00 hours the pilot started the landing, not much later the airplane was landed safely.
After leaving the plane we had to go to the passport checkpoint. It was clear that everyone was happy to go home, because I almost had to run to keep up with the walking speed! The people who were at the luggage carousel first took all our luggage off the carousel, therefore it didn’t take long to collect our bags and go home. Some of us went with the train to Eindhoven, while others were picked up by car. Altogether the trip from Kuala Lumpur to home went very well.
I would like to thank all commission members for arranging this nice and well-organized study tour! Also, I would like to thank everyone for this wonderful and unforgettable journey.
Day 19 – Monkeying around
Today was our last day in Malaysia and we explored the Batu caves. After a short night we needed to get up very early and people started to feel very tired after three awesome weeks of travelling. We went to the Batu caves with high expectations after hearing stories about the huge golden statue and the large caves. On the train station and in the train most of the participants decided to take a short power nap to gain some energy to climb the stairs to the cave.
When we arrived at our destination we could already see a glimpse of the enormous golden Murugan that is in front of the cave. With great enthusiasm we walked to the statue in the burning sun and already passed some cute Indian temples and salesman that sold ‘monkey food’. This should have been a warning for what was coming. Coming closer to the caves we started to see a lot of monkeys and pigeons. It turned out that the monkeys associated plastic bags with food and while we were climbing the stairs to the caves you could occasionally hear people scream when a monkey grabbed a plastic bag (some filled with food, some unfortunately filled with newly bought souvenirs) out of their hands. Side note: it turns out that you provoke the alpha male when splashing water over one of his monkey buddies.
After climbing a lot of stairs we realized that the golden Murugan was the most impressive thing we were going to see at the Batu caves. Except for some nice temples build into the cave it turned out that the cave was unswept and untidy due to the many visitors. This was why everyone left the cave after a short time to go for lunch.
The afternoon was reserved for a walk through Lake Gardens located in Kuala Lumpur. This turned out to be a beautiful park with flowers and fountains and a great place to relax and prepare ourselves mentally for packing our bags and going home. The evening, and also our study tour, was ended with a very tasteful diner at an authentic Chinese restaurant.