Departure Day Debacle

For every new challenge, it is never a bad thing to have a good start. When you think you have every corner covered, there is always Murphy's law to bring you down to earth. Unfortunately, today Murphy decided to tag along with us to the airport.

Our luggage was overweight by 31kg and we were expected pay for the excess weight or leave it behind. Qantas decided to be mean. "1kg SGD$48," the lady over the counter revealed. No negotiations allowed. A quick mental calculation works out to be SGD$1500 (the actual sum is SGD$1488), I was ready to walk away and was shocked that Jen decided to pay the sum.

"We need the luggage."

"No, not with $1500 out of my pocket," I thought. "That's 2 month's rental in Perth."

Jen looked at me exasperatedly when she saw my expression though I didn't mutter a word. The miser husband strikes again! Yes, I was not going to yield and she knew it.

Our friends, 5 of them with us, provided lots of advice and support. We tried various options available in the airport to savage the situation but none of them sound reasonable to us. We decided to try out external sources to deliver the excess baggage to Perth separately. That could take us a week or more but potentially save us a couple of hundreds easily. Thank god, Foo decided to help us to the dirty work of searching for a freight and the repackaging work. I owed my friends one, again.

We managed to check in the rest of our luggage though we are overweight by 1.5kg all thanks to a slip up by the Qantas staff who managed to screw up, perhaps by divine intervention to prevent further grief to us. By then it was already late and there was no time to treat my friends a good breakfast and do a last good chat that I really wanted to, badly. We had to go through the gate. I turned back to take a glimpse of them, don't think they saw me but it didn't matter. We made it to the boarding gate on time while other passengers were already boarding the plane.

I managed to make one last call to my mum. There were so much things I wanted to say but I couldn't as I was fighting to hold back tears. I spoke mundane stuff to her, things I would normally tell her when I was around by her side. In the end I hurriedly ended the call before my voice broke.

At that point, everyone left us but no, Murphy was decided to hang around for awhile more. The pilot mumbled strings of impressive sentences which sound English. I gathered that the taking off would be slightly delayed. It turned out to be a 1.5 hours delay. Thankfully Murphy remained in Singapore and we had a hard landing in Perth at 1530pm and took quite a while to clear the customs and reunited with our luggage, minus Big One of course. My landlord picked up us at the airport. Hmm, interesting person but more about her next time. We reached her home, more about that next time, at 1630pm.

The rest of the day was hazy in my mind as we were in settling mode, scrambling to unpack in the midst of realisation that was not pure madness but the reality of our decisions. We were in Perth and we were going to be here for a long time.

That night I couldn't sleep well. It was freezing and we were not prepared for it, mentally, physically and equipment-ally . Jen was struggling with her sinus as usual throughout our sleep but this time I was not in the best condition to take care of her. She did more of the care giving instead. I felt the guilt upon my second mistake - leaving out our winter clothing to my MIL, who would be joining us next year. Apparently spring is a transition between winter and summer. It could be as cold as winter on certain days. However even Jenny didn't remember it could be so windy, rainy and cold during this period. So didn't my landlady and other housemates. We found out the hard way. Both of us woke several times, perhaps 10 times between us that night, to cope with our nasal discomfort, the cold and the relative unease being in a totally new environment. What a day, and what a night. We survived.

I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all 5 of you who took the effort to come and send us off. You were a great help and it was great to have you guys around anytime but especially so this time.

Our luggage outside the house at 0600 hrs. Foo was already waiting at the car park.
Perth Airport. We landed at last.
 Took some time didn't we? My 2nd consecutive flight delay. The last time from Tiger during the HK trip with Tucky.
 The scene just outside airport, while waiting for Joanna.

Our room.  We set up the bed within minutes from arrival.  We used our own bedsheet, pillows and blanket. Not that we are scrimping scrampers but I thought that the 'smell' of the originals will help us cope with homesickness for a while.


  1. Hi! I chanced upon your blog today & am finding it a very interesting read because:

    1) I'm a Singaporean who lives in Australia;
    2) I used to live in Perth;
    3) I completely empathise with some of what you've gone through, like packing before leaving, the last day in Sg, and first day in Aus!

    Great blog, keep up the good work! And above all, enjoy your stay in Perth.

  2. @SydneyLibarian:

    Hi bro, thanks for reading. I'm surprised to hear from quite a number of Singaporean who lives here.

    What I went through probably wasn't new to you so Im surprised you still find it interesting. haha.

  3. Haha... I'm female! ;) But not to worry, several ppl have mistaken me for a guy before (why, ah?)

    What interests me about your blog is the fact that you're living in Perth, and I wanted to follow your journey as a new migrant in Aus (I love Perth & will always cherish my time spent there).

    All the best with your job hunt, and take care of yourself (and wife & soon-to-be baby, too) :)

  4. @SydneyLibrarian: Hi sister. So sorry about the mistake. I came from an online environment where we will automatically assume the poster is male unless otherwise stated. So it's not your problem :)

    Not many people likes Perth, let alone love it. We are a small minority who knew why this place is good.

    I'll take care. My hands are not too well due to work but i'll make sure the wife and baby are fine, at least.

    You can email and share with me your experience if you like it. I will be happy to read !

  5. Hey... no probs, I really don't mind that ppl mistake me for a guy; in fact I find that rather amusing :P

    Yes, Perth is good not only because of the environment, but because of the people too :) Very diff. from those in Sydney who rush here, rush there, barely enough time to smell the roses!

    I've dropped you an email, feel free to reply :)

  6. @SydneyLibrarian: Sydney sounds just like Singapore ;)
    Yep I replied. Thanks for writing to me