Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 1 – Arrival at Perth International


The flight took almost 5 ½ hours to finally get to Perth. I managed to doze off for a short while before we landed. Local time when we touched down was almost 6.30pm but since it is summer, the sun was still out bright.

Just before we landed, it was announced on the PA about the strict Australian regulations on bringing food into the country. A whole list was read out and we had like 9 out of the 10 NO-NO items along with us in our baggage. No dairy products was allowed in and yes , there was MILO 3 in 1 in our bags. It wasn’t just MILO, there was Maggie (wajib ada bila travel :)), cookies, tuna spread, spaghetti sauce etc, etc. And now the real challenge, between yours truly and the authorities.

You see, some 8 years ago, when we landed at Melbourne International, the Customs officials took away our unopened, still panas from the store shelf MILO 3 in 1. The entire 20 sachets of MILO went flying into the bin!! Aduss…sungguh lah sedih rasa dihati, apakah yang akan diminum oleh kanak-kanak MILO ku nanti. But I redha with what happened. I remember what the officer said to me till this very day, “Maam, you are to declare the food that you bring along with you. It’s an offence not doing so. You could go to jail!!” Gosh, they were just MILO, the fortified energy chocolate drink. Reason behind prohibition of MILO and other dairy products was the infamous hand, foot and mouth disease. But yang tak seronok nyer tu, he also rubbed it in yang MILO from Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia (huh????) was allowed in!! What the fish…??? (yes Waterlily, I’m borrowing your word)

I was very upset over the incident but dah tak de rezeki, so the was no use of sulking too long over it. Thank God our Maggie cups were cleared. They also took away the cookies we brought. It really puzzled me at times when thinking about what happened. Have traveled to many Mat Salleh countries, so far my MILO was never a problem. Kalu bawak meat stuffs, green and fresh vege or egg based products, faham lah nak kena confiscate.

So this time around, I was determined at outsmarting the Aussie Customs. I wasn’t bringing anything lethal nor illegal, anything wet, no meat based (uhuk..uhuk..the serunding was left behind). I had the usual Maggie cups, some cookies, and packets of Cadbury chocolate drink. All these food was slipped in between the nicely packed clothes. Nothing was visible on the surface of the luggage. There were 3 in 1 coffee packets stashed in the pockets of ABE’s neatly folded jeans. However, I did put in 2 sachets of the MILO 3 in 1 with some Tiger biscuits. That should do the trick, I really prayed to God. Siap baca-baca ayat kursi masa pack the bags. Well, kita tawakkal pada Allah kan.

In our visitor entry card, I put a tick at the box to declare that I was have food stuffs with me. I was following their regulations in all possible way, I have food and medication with me, so I declare them to you. Then it was our turn to have our passport stamped at the Immigrations. The officer asked us about the medication we brought with us. We explained to him, I have aspirin, gastric pills and cold medications for the kids just incase they fell sick. No problems with him and upon stamping our passports, we were off to collect our baggage. I noticed that he had marked our visitor card with the alphabet “Q” on it. Ahah….”Q” meant quarantine. Tak pe, then quarantine it is.


True enough, once we got our bags and once we showed the visitor cards to the other officer on duty, we were asked to go into another room and not walk out like the other passengers who didn’t do any declaration. The other passengers who didn’t make any food declaration, was asked to open their luggage for inspection anyway. My personal experience had it that the officers in the open customs check point area were more strict than the ones in the quarantine area. The sniff dogs went to almost every bag, and then signaling with fierce barks at passengers whom they suspected with food in their luggage. You’d feel as if you were real criminals. In the room, the officer asked us if he had any food with us. I said, “Yes, Maam.” and she asked us to open the bags and show us the food we brought. So I opened one bag first, and brought out the Maggie 3 in 1. Then she asked me if I had anymore food. Then out was my tuna spread and the miserable 2 sachets of 3 in 1 MILO. I saw the concern looks on her face and that got her to call her supervisor. When the supervisor came, he belek-belek the MILO and then he saw that part where it was written yang the MILO was made in Malaysia and he told me that he couldn’t allow the two sachets but the rest of the food was fine. I was elated with joy but I wasn’t going to show that yet. Then the bags were off to the scan machine and Alhamdulillah, they (the bags) and us were clear to go.

Just before we left, the Aussie supervisor told us the same story of the hand, foot and mouth thing and any dairy products from Malaysia was no go, but ok if they were from Singapore, Thailand and again Indonesia (huhh…still???). This time he told us that what we did was RIGHT as we had declared the food stuffs we brought in. I wanted to add on to what he said, something like, “Yeah, we learnt it the hard way last time.” But tak perlu lah sesi berbalas-balas jawapan dengan Mat Salleh yang mungkin has not even gone beyond Perth (chehh…tak baik nyer lah buruk sangka!!)

And that was it, we were ok to go. All Maggie cups made it safe and sound. So did the other Cadbury choc drink (which I was sure was also dairy based), the coffee 3 in 1 and a whole lot more of goodies in our bags. Earlier, I deliberated on whether I should or should not pack along the food stuffs. Of course I did some asking around prior to doing so, but there were no two stories that was similar. Some said yes this item can be brought in while others would have a contradicting experience. Of course, I had no intention of lugging my entire kitchen either. But when going to places where getting food (especially the Halal ones) could be tricky for the first few days for newbies in town, trust me, Maggie and tuna would be the fastest alternative. More so when for me when my kids are all such big eaters. They’d get hungry in the middle of the night, even after a heavy dinner.

74, Preston Street, Como, South Perth...home for the next one week

We finally got ourselves a Maxi taxi (for families and large groups) to the apartment where we would be staying. Surprisingly enough, there was no taxi booth as what is seen in KLIA or LCCT. We boarded the taxi and paid to the driver once we got off. All taxis had meters and we were to pay the charges as per what was displayed. The weather that afternoon was cool, slightly breezy and we got the kids to put on their jackets fearing that the sudden change in temperature might invite a nasty cold later. You just never know kan…

The top middle unit was ours



It took us about 20 minutes to get to the apartment on Preston Street in South Perth. Earlier I had Googled for apartments and their rates in Perth. After several enquiries, I finally made reservation at this place called Budget Apartment in Como, South Perth. It was a two bedroom apartment, with complete cooking, laundry and parking (parking rates can be a bomb in the city and other residential area) facilities. All communications with the business proprietor was done via emails. In fact the instructions on how to get the doors opened were just emailed to me. There were some codes that I had to use to get the door opened. Whatever would we do without the Internet kan!!!



Flowers just just blooming outside the apartment


Our unit, No 9, was on the top floor of the two story building. Built somewhat longish, the building houses about 20 of these two bedroom units. Actually this place reminded me of one place ABE used to rent on Spring Street, Madison when he was a student. My immediate response was, “Wahh…this place looks like Mr Fagan’s apartment, doesn’t it?” And he recognized the similarities immediately. (Chewah…sedangkan tempat jatuh lagi dikenang, inikan pula tempat berdating eh?? Heh..heh…)



We got in and settled down. Nissa wanted to take a peak at the playground and Farah was asked to accompany her. Alhamdulilah, we managed to still do our solat Jamak as Maghrib wasn’t till 8.15pm. Not longer after that, Nissa came back saying that she was already hungry. So Mommy here, mulalah acara memasak.

Fresh mushrooms for the spaghetti

Yummss...good dinner yah :)


Menu that night was spaghetti. Abe and the bigger kids walked to the small grocery store across the road and came back with milk, eggs, bread, butter and other stuffs. Dinner that night was simple yet very fulfilling as everyone was extra hungry and did two three extra helpings of the spaghetti. Nissa said my spaghetti was really delicious (mana tak nya, laparlah kata kan, semua makanan pun sedap daa…). Wooo…tak sangka yours truly hadn’t lost her moves in the kitchen.




By 10pm the kids were ready to hit the sack. Farah and Faris in one room and Nissa bunked in with us in the other room. There was a comfy rollaway bed for her, hence we wouldn’t be getting her flying kicks for the next few days or so…thank god, coz I really needed all the good night sleep I could get during this trip.

As usual I was the last to hit the sack that night, looked through my planned itinerary again and all confident that we were ready to explore Perth and beyond starting tomorrow.

15 comments:

Naz said...

Kay,
I have emailed the Australian authority your picture. next visit gerenti kena tahan...hehe!
Geliga awak ya!!

Ezza Aziz said...

cepat tulis bahagian seterus nya...best la...krna belajar cara you nak pi holiday ...berapa bulan punya perancangan ni?

wanshana said...

Have been planning to go to Pearth for quite a while tapi asyik lah tak jadi :(

Re : customs thingy. Also happened to me but at Heathrow when they started becoming strict with foodstuff, etc. Sebelum tu, semua lepas. I had to surrender 3 kilos of ikan bilis to them which dengan sedihnya dibuang into a yellow bag with "BIOHAZARDS" written across it. Cheh!

Anyway, looks like it's the beginning of a funfilled holiday for the family. Waiting for the sequel :)

(Oh ya...you've been tagged! Ampuuuunnnn!!! But, please drop by my blog. Thanks :))

kay_leeda said...

Naz,

Heh..heh it felt so, so good having to achieve my mission. Still, for the life of me, I just couldn't understand that bit on the MILO. My kids siap buat sandwiches MILO since the adam days, tak de pun apa-apa jadi to them.

kay_leeda said...

Kak Ezza,

Perancangan tak lama, but hari-hari dok fikirkan macamana nak kasi lepas makanan tu semua. Kalu kita buat lurus Mr Bean, hai...sah-sah ler buat penat membawak je. Tak merasa bila sampai sana nanti.

Sambungan citer, tungguuuuu yah...Ni cuti lama sampai next week ni, boleh bersembang lebih sikit :)

kay_leeda said...

Shana,

Try harder, Perth is a MUST visit place. It's a lot more aman damai and tenteram than here. Life is so relaxed. I loved the eight days we were there.

I know how you feel about the food. So sakittt juga itu hati kan!! Oh...Heathrow is strict now?? Darn..next time kalu nak pi, tak leh lah nak bawak serunding bagai for Kak Teh..heh..heh. Perhaps I should try what I did in Perth too (but the kecut perut Tuhan saja yag tau!!!)

Tungguuu the updates on Perth trip.

Ohh...daku di tag?? Ahhh...tidakkkk. Will be making my way to yours. I saw MrsN has written hers. Sungguh lah efficient wanita itu :)

Anonymous said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Dog tu, kastam ke, kata Pak Malim sambil makan nangka. Cute, kata Pak Malim sambil menekan butang 'mute'. Kenapa kucing tak boleh jadi kastam? kata Pak Malim yg kena hentam.

kay_leeda said...

Pak Malim kucing ray yang alim,

Ha ah dog tu part of the Customs team, yang hari-hari minum susu full cream. Kucing jadi kastam kalu, tak leh, coz selalu malu-malu. Kenapa Pak malim kena hentam? It's Xmas eve sir, go out lah and enjoy baked ketam.

Queen Of The House said...

Paranoid betul diorang dengan foodstuff, kan? Tapi, back in 2002, I went to Melbourne temankan my niece yang nak register for her first semester. We had boxes of foodstuff, yes, MILO too. Lepas pulak. Tapi kan, kat sana pun ada Milo kan?

kay_leeda said...

Queen,

Oh yes it's paranoia of the highest order. You must have been very lucky able to bring those foodstuffs in. I wonder what would happen if I asked my kids to ratah the MILO depan-depan they all. It's in the tummy, now what would they do eh?? Iyerr kat sana memang got MILO. My kids saw 'em berlambak at the grocery store that afternoon. How do you explain that?? Maleh nak fikir...

tireless mom said...

Kay

I sure tak buat cos I am a law abiding citizen. Hehehehe. Takut kena masuk penjara sebenarnya cos muka I selalu tak boleh nak menyorokkan segala penipuan

kay_leeda said...

TM,

Of course you won't buat. The notty DNA is more prominent in me mahh. Many a times have come very up close and personal with the Customs, Police or other law related authorities. Heh..heh...lepassssss beb!!

mamasita said...

Hai Kay,love all your Perth photos!Anjing kat customs bukan main cute.Memang bergaya betul!hehehe

What a very beautiful loving family you guys are!Very nice..

kay_leeda said...

Dear Mamasita,

Will be sharing more of those photos from the Perth trip. Photos nyer ada banyak , but the accompanying story is not quite complete yet :)

The family means a whole world to us kan. But bila pot pet pot pet at the kids, it just feels like nak tercabut nyawa kan.

Ummi365 said...

my serunding ikan lepas kat brisbane.. alhamdulillah.. tapi i dont like the dogs yang sniff-sniff all the way.. bikin takut je..