2016 was busy and rough. Too many changes. Somewhere along the line with me running so many projects and the Hubs tying up all his loose ends before he retires from full time employment, we both got busy and overlooked a few details about our holiday bookings with each of us always depending on the other to get things done.
From Hong Kong to Kota Bharu to Tanjong Jara, the day to Japan finally arrived. We left home at 6pm taking an Uber BMW for RM200+ who actually originated from Kota Bharu and lived down the road from the Hubs in Kelantan too! Score! He drove his Beemer like a Ferrari, it had been lowered to replicate a Sports Car and we were whizzed to the airport in super time. Having never taken Business Class with Japan Airlines before, we were saying how difficult was it to email or text us the check-in counter details instead of us trying to find it. Right? You are paying Business prices, you should have a certain level of convenience. At Check-In (we didn’t have to queue), the lady at counter said that the bags did not go straight to Sapporo and we would have to remove them at Osaka to check-in again. Oh. How inconvenient. Never mind. We set off to Departures for a free dinner at the Golden Lounge and waited for our flight.
When we got on board, we suddenly realised that the 4 of use were seated SEPARATELY on Business!!! WTF!!! From the moment we checked in till then, the Hubs had not even bothered to look at the Boarding Passes and only on the plane were we greeted with this huge shock. I was SO STRESSED. The Hubs said he had pre-booked our seats but apparently not! He only pre-booked the fly-home seats though in his head he pre-booked all seats. Duh!!! He obviously never checked when he did it all!!! I was so mad!!! Why the heck would a family pay over RM25,000 for Business when we couldn’t even sit together and what about my little T2??? Was a stranger supposed to help her with her needs??? The air crew told us that they would try to get others to switch seats but it would depend on the other passengers because this was Business and they had all pre-booked seats. Could you just see the smoke spewing out of my ears? It wasn’t their fault but we were going on a 6 hour flight, the least the Hubs could do was to check! *pengsan*
As luck would have it, Nana saved the day and we managed to get 3 separate kind passengers to move their own seats so this MMPK family could be together. Thank GOD!!! I would have been so pissed had I had to be seated beside a stranger. Even on Business. You know how they all remove their shoes on Business? I don’t want to see nor smell a stranger’s feet, thank you.
The flight was smooth apart from the fact that we only had 2 hours of sleep because they would serve a light meal an hour after departure (we departed at midnight eventually, delayed), and then you would stay on for another hour after food to watch a video and just when you had fallen asleep, they wake you up 2 hours later for breakfast at bloody 4am. 4AM!!! I think most people just said fuck breakfast and went back to bed. But breakfast at 4am was to facilitate a 6am arrival all zombied out. At least we had a straight bed to sleep on……even if for 2 hours.
Bright and early we arrived at Osaka Kansai Airport to catch our connecting flight to Chitose, Sapporo and oh My LORD. Guess what the next fuck up was? We discovered that we actually do not depart from Kansai airport but ANOTHER airport in Osaka called ITAMI. Like really? REALLY? Are you SURE!!!!????? Yes, M’am. How far away is this OTHER airport and can we make it on time? 64km and 1.5 hours drive. We were not going to make it unless we took a helicopter there so the flight guys started calling up ALL of Kansai Airport to check if we could board another flight to Chitose instead to catch our connecting transport from Chitose to Niseko. Fuck me running, do you know what stressful is? THIS is stressful. Waiting for the flight guys to come back to us was stressful. So they finally did and said good! We have a connecting flight for you in half an hour BUT you need to pay an extra RM1,000. Would that be OK? OK, whatever. Let’s go. And we ran…….to catch that flight to Chitose before the next flight as that would have been too late.
On the plane, I took the opportunity to teach T1 exactly why money was important. It wasn’t the be all and end all and it wasn’t the most important thing in the world BUT it gave you amazing freedom such as this instance. Someone with not enough money would have to think twice about paying an extra RM1,000 for a fuck up, for example. Or even if it was RM10,000, if you had a lot of money, you could pay it easily without having to count your pennies. And she got it. Money does buy a certain amount of freedom. It is a choice after all. If you prefer working and queueing, then it’s OK not to have money.
Yes! There is more! T1 had her period all of a sudden and whilst the Hubs was busy arranging for the coach tickets to Niseko, I walked about a kilometre with T1 to the convenience store to get her some pads and after scratching our heads deciding which pads as she is very particular about not wearing pampers and everything was in Japanese, we queued up to pay and then I realised, shit. I have no Yen. The Hubs had changed all the 300,000 Yen but failed to pass me any! Oh my Lord. They weren’t going to accept the credit card for less than 10 bucks surely so I made T1 run back to the Hubs to get some cash. By the time T1 finished her washroom business and we got back to the Hubs, T2 said she was hungry because she had not woken up for the 4am aeroplane breakfast. Being such a bad Mom who didn’t plan for any of this, we had no snacks on us so off we walked another kilometre to the convenience store to grab her a sandwich before running back again to catch the coach to Niseko. Next round – our own car hire. Oh yeah.
We took for granted that we had done Niseko before and had everything covered but actually, we were so busy this month that we missed a lot of things LOL. Our accommodation for one, we had booked the Penthouse of Youtei Tracks but when we received the confirmation email saying we were upgraded, I thought nothing of it. To be honest, I hardly ever read my emails if they do not come from the office and even then I pass them on to my Manager. So a week before we came, the accommodation people sent us another confirmation email to prepare for our grand arrival which is when we realised that shit, we were not booked in for the penthouse at Youtei Tracks!!! How could this be??? I was stressed beyond belief and spent a couple of hours talking and waiting and talking and arguing and if you knew me, I would and will get my way when I am right. And so I did but not without pain. Please be careful when you make your bookings and read all the fine print because Agoda told me that there are hackers in the business who would send you hoax emails intercepting your bookings to push you to competitive accommodations. That is so freaky. What is this world coming to?
It actually took us 24 hours door to door which is a very tiring journey for a little 7 year old and we learnt never to take a night flight again with her because she is super cranky when tired. We thought Business would take care of a good sleep but the flight was only 6 hours and 16 hours out of all that was walking and waiting and other things. Very tiring. And we did not have snacks. All that was offered at the shops were also rubbish and not stuff I would feed a kid so yeah, that was big fail on my part as a Mom. For our next trip to Australia, no matter how short or long the journey, I am going to make sure I have some healthy cucumber sticks and sandwiches for my little one. No snacks on journey is really a big fail.
Well. We arrived all in one piece and that is a huge blessing!!!
Exhausted at night by the time the 24 hour journey came to an end, we ordered our golden pizza in which coat RM250 for 2 pizzas. In KL, 2 large pizzas from Dominoes cost RM50. SO yes, Niseko is expensive.
The next morning, we went to get our skis sorted and rented them from the most expensive place because we got conned. The lady who checked us in told us that Rhythm offers a valet service that would drive you to the slopes and back and so we thought cool. It would help so much to be driven to the slopes daily so we wouldn’t have to cart those heavy skis up and down the hill. After paying RM4,500 for rentals for the 4 of us and a further RM2,500 for ski goggles, we were told actually, they would only drive you from the Rhythm store with your new rental skis straight to the slopes or back to your accommodation. What???? I was so pissed. Then they offered to drive us to the slopes daily if we came to Rhythm daily (which was 200 meters away) but could not drive us back down because they would not know what time we finished etc. Fair enough. We found another solution to leave our ski equipment at the lockers at the foothill of the slopes and took the small minivan to the gondola every day which is what everyone else does. Or walk. There is just no way we would have made it by carrying our skis daily to the slopes!
This year, T2 had a private lesson for just over RM1,000 for 3 hours and it was well worth it. She learnt how to turn and today, we are having a family private lesson so that should be really fun. We are all at different levels but we have the entire afternoon to learn and practice with our instructor.
Up next – #BlessingsAndBeyondNumberOne – check back soon!