Throughout my sleep, occasionally my eyes warily narrowed at digital clock on the blue screen of Flight Information Display System. The plane to Kuala Terengganu would be flown on 07:25 am which made my sleep not perfect.
Two hours before dawn, in order to stop the anxiety, I decided to get up. While tidying my tired face, I had decided to go to gate A5. “Time to go to the destination point”, I muttered to myself.
Half unsteadily I descended an escalator leaving the International Concourse in 4th floor, then followed all signs to reach the gate. Because the previous night I got off an international flight, that morning I had to get through the immigration counter and hunted an arrival stamp in my passport to be able to go to Kuala Terengganu.
Not finding any other passengers, I now had to face an immigration officer at Kuala Lumpur International Airport alone. The immigration counter in front was guarded by a female staff who with a cold face stared at my presence.
“Good morning”, as usual I ventured to say hello. But as I predicted, my greeting went unanswered.
I slided my passport and ticket in front of her and she started to examine it carefully while frowning.
“Why do you go to Terengganu?”, was the first question from her in a low and heavy voice.
“Tourism”, a moment of silence…….“Travel”, I reiterated.
“How many days?”, the second question from her followed.
“Three days, Mam”, I confidently answered.
“Where will you spend your nights?”
“Oh, wait a minute, I don’t remember its name, Mam,” I was a little nervous looking for files on my smartphone. After a while of searching I finally found it, “The Space Inn”.
Smoothly completing the process of taking fingerprints and facial photo, made me step happily towards the gate in front of me.
Now I was in gate A5, exactly 2 hours before boarding time. Silence still engulfed that cold waiting room, there was no one in sight… Therefore, I decided to go in and continue sleeping. Maybe I could do Fajr Pray in the plane.
Some time later,
The sounds of passengers’ trolley bags woke me up, who actually could sleep better than sleeping in upstairs last night. Now I was awake, waiting for boarding time which would arrive in less than half an hour.
The boarding call finally sounded. The small number of passengers made me very fast to verify passport data and boarding passes before being allowed to enter plane’s cabin via aerobridge.
I sat in a window seat number 24F and no one else sat in the two columns closest to me, making me feel more relieved and comfortable. I immediately went for tayammum and performed the Fajr prayer while cabin crew were busy preparing for the flight.
A few moments later everything was ready. The weather was very sunny and cloudy when the plane departed its main hub, i.e Kuala Lumpur International Airport at seven in the morning.
Malaysian Airlines MH 1326 itself is a flight with an air distance of 333 km with a travel time of 57 minutes from the capital Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu in the north. This flight is taken using a Boeing 737-800 twin jet with an average speed of 363 km per hour and in the middle of the flight it can reach a maximum speed of 764 km per hour.
I was ready to explore to an altitude of 25,000 feet or about 7,620 meters.
A flight that was actually ordinary but felt very special, considering it was a flight to a new place, a place I had never been to, a place which for the past three years had only inhabited my dream….But now a dream had come true, MH 1326 was taking me there. Thank you, God……
The special visit which was delivered by the 49-year-old flag carrier, the pride of my neighboring country, made the moment still linger to this day.
Although this time I took a premium flight, but because of its short distance, the airline didn’t provide in-flight meal. But that was okay, I still had a piece of burger form Mr. Younes which gave to me last night. I also relaxed to eat it during the flight because I was very impressed by the view of morning sky which was really enchanting. Every now and then the inflight magazine “Going Places” managed to interrupt my eyes which were engrossed in that special sight.
Yup, I didn’t feel it, I’d been in the air for almost an hour…..
Now the plane was starting to lower its altitude, cabin crew swiftly checked the readiness of passengers to landing, slowly, the appearance of Kuala Terengganu city was visible from a height….Wouuuwww, my heart was immediately pounding wanting to track it. “Patience Donny, in a moment you will be there”, I soothingly thought.
Now, the plane had lowered the flap to hold it in place and then smoothly landed in the runway of Sultan Mahmud Airport, a tiny airport which is the gateway to Kuala Terengganu tourism.
Welcome to Kuala Terengganu.