Thursday, March 30, 2017

2 kids. 30 hours. 11,000 kilometers. A million memories.

This trip was nothing but boring. But then again, with us it's always about lots of surprises.

The day we traveled to Indonesia (about the trip here) was the day the new Zagreb airport was opened for the first time for public. We expected chaos, confused staff, bad organization and surprises.

Our flight was at 6:30pm and my husband had to work until 3:30pm, then he took a cab from work to home, picked us all home and we went with the same cab to the airport. That also means that I, being with the kids, had to pack everything by myself and get the three of us ready for the cab. We were the first customers our cab driver drove to the new airport.

Testing the brand new Zagreb airport

It was already almost 5pm when we finally got to the airport, we unloaded all of the suitcases, husband got us a trolley and arranged everything, I got the kids. We paid the cab and the cab left. We strolled toward the departure area, looking for our check-in desk and finally approached the desk. I had the newborn on my chest in a ring sling, and pulled the toddler on a ride-on suitcase. I was reaching to my purse to take the passports for checking-in, when I realized, my purse was not on my shoulder. I looked onto the trolley my husband was pushing, scanning for my purse in between the suitcases, it's not there. My heart stopped beating. My wallet is there, and most importantly, six passports are there (the kids each has two because of their double citizenship). I tried to breathe, while telling my husband "I left my purse in the cab. The passports are there". My husband turned pale a little. It was half to six. In thirty minutes we should be boarding. He kept his cool and said "it's going to be okay", calling the cab guy. He happened to have his personal cell number because the cab driver called him when picking him up at work (thank universe for that!). The kids, the luggage and I waited at the desk and he went outside. It was probably ten minutes, but it felt like forty to me, when he finally ran toward us with my purse on his shoulder. I swear god the guy at the check-in desk (Qatar airways staff) was even more relieved than I was! For the cab driver who happened to be still around and didn't mind coming back so quickly, I can't thank him enough. Shortly, we were heading to the boarding lounge.

The first leg of the flight was five-hour-long. It went extraordinary. The toddler enjoyed it a lot. She watched Moana (which she already watched in the movies with us) while having her in-flight dinner. The newborn breastfed while the aircraft was taking off and she slept well in the bassinet. The plane was quite empty so after dinner my husband and the toddler moved to another empty row so she could sleep stretched like on a bed. We arrived on-time in Doha around midnight, barely had time for anything before boarding for our connecting flight at 1:30am. The kids were wide awake again because of course they served dinner right after take-off (meaning at 2am), so the toddler watched Trolls on her personal entertainment center. After service the light went off so we went to sleep, this time around the flight was full so the toddler slept crumpled on her own seat. It was just five minute after I put the newborn to her bassinet when the turbulence started. Turbulence means seat-belt sign is on, means you have to be seated and buckled, also means you can't put infants in their bassinets, and you have to hold them with you buckled. It was one turbulent flight. Like, five hours of turbulence out of 8-hour-flight. So the newborn slept on my lap, which was not too comfortable for the both of us. But we made it to Jakarta on time, around 3pm local time, after they served breakfast before landing.

The bassinet for the newborn in front of our seats
As soon as we arrived in the airport in Jakarta, we went to A&W because my husband was craving for their burger (it's like I have three kids, uh). At 5pm we went to check-in to our local flight to Surabaya with Sriwijaya air, when the newborn was rejected to check-in. Yup, you heard me. So apparently their policy for infants younger than three-month-old is they can't fly without an official fit-to-fly letter from the doctor. Our newborn is not yet three-month-old and of course we don't have the doctor's letter. I explained to the girl at the check-in desk that the baby just flew for fourteen hours and she's been fine, but she called her boss. The boss still didn't let us go and she called their bigger boss. I talked a little and we reached a friendly agreement, she liked us and she let us go, telling me that in case a boarding staff asked her how old she is, I say three and a half month, and I should not show her passport :) size wise, she can pass as a four-month-old.

The flight was delayed for two hours but we were in a good mood so the toddler was playing at all times, coloring, reading and running around with her dad and the newborn sleeping in the sling. The flight went well and finally we landed in Surabaya at around 10pm local time. I peeked through the glass door at the baggage claim, and saw my parents out there, they waved and I sent a text to my mom that we're still waiting for our luggage. One suitcase came, then another, and then another. One missing. We're waiting. And waiting. We're waiting until we were the last persons in the hall and the conveyor belt stopped. Problem number three. I looked for the airline's ground crew and reported that we're missing one suitcase. The guy conveniently said "oh yeah, for some reason there has been one suitcase there in our office". We went to the office, our suitcase was there. No explanation, no reason, no cross-checking. We rushed out to the waiting hall where my parents were, and went home happily. 30 hours since our cab story, we were finally home, away from home.

A little note: despite the fact that the toddler only sees my parents once a year, we're pleasantly surprise that she became like best friends almost immediately with them. As for the entire trip, it was beyond fun! And I'm not even lying, we all enjoyed it! :)

We woke up the next morning fresh, like new :)