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End of my Circle Borneo sub-trip


View 2016 Borneo, Europe, Iceland & Canada on alexchan's travel map.

large_5550_14695042991249.jpgDrive 4h from Tip to Kota Kinabalu then fly 1h25 to Kuching my home town.
I woke early again and set off around 07345after breakfast. The drive from the Tip to Kota Kinabalu [Kota-Kinabalu-travel-guide-1096832] took about 3h15 this time to Inanam [Inanam-travel-guide-1088862] and a further 40 minutes to the airport. So, basically, it was 30 minutes shorter than the outward journey which had really bad traffic; the traffic was bad within KK itself too this time.

I had good views of Mount Kinabalu [Mount-Kinabalu-travel-guide-1310205] on the drive and stopped for some photos and then took a rest at the Taliban Food Centre in Inanam ;-)

The car return went smoothly about 1230 and I did my bagdrop with AirAsia; they had implemented the self-service bagdrop which I had trialled in Johor Bahru [Johor-Bahru-travel-guide-1088907] some months ago.

From there, I went to the Malaysia Airlines office to arrange for the refund of my KCH-PNK flight which was cancelled due to route withdrawal. There was a bit of a wait; some staff were hanging around at their desks but not serving customers.

My turn came and the fare component to be refunded was no surprise. However, the lady told me that the tax had been used up; apparently the tax was undercharged at the time of purchase. I asked for a copy of the original fare calculation which put her on alert; when she did the final calculation there was a refund on the tax component too which was to be expected.

I was told the refund could take 6 months (many airlines take 6 weeks for a partial refund). As it turns out, I got an email that evening saying that they have a new online process which will “only” take 3 months.

With that done, I went airside to the lounge for some lunch before boarding the flight to Kuching [Kuching-travel-guide-1096915].

This marks the end of my Circle-Borneo sub-trip. It had been more enjoyable than I had expected. I had expected it to be an experience to explore my own backyard but it was actually enjoyable in part due to the kindness of Indonesians.

I consistently find Indonesia to be one of the friendliest countries in the world. Over the years, Indonesians all the way from Aceh to West Papua have shown themselves to be friendly, chatty and hospitable; well-informed on their local surroundings; knowledgeable about the world (despite their lack of English); and helpful with suggestions and advice (eg. minibus drivers help their passengers get to the right stop, cleaners help visitors with what to see and do).
In the rush for riches and development, basic kindness to other human beings (especially strangers) seems to have been lost in many countries.

The kindness of everyday Indonesians help me overlook the challenges of a country that is hot, humid, basic, impoverished in many parts, lacking in good variety of food in rural areas despite having an awesome cuisine, and often suffering from proper rubbish disposal.

I hope to explore more of my home island again, reaching into the parts that I couldn’t cover this trip. Also, I’d like to use modes of transport other than flying wherever possible, eg. Tarakan – Nunukan – Tawau. But I will need a bit more time!

I was picked up by my brother and his family and we had Indian for dinner. My step-bro and his family were visiting from Houston and I caught up with them too at my parents’ place.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Malaysia

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