Saturday, June 17, 2006

An interesting welcome to Malaysia

So I arrived in Kuala Lumpur earlier tonight (my first visit to Malaysia) and was quite amused by the attention I received. Off the plane, and as I was heading towards the train that connects the 2 buildings that make up KLIA (KL International Airport), I see someone waving a GAID sign up and down so I figured I should go up to him. He seemed to know who I was and escorted me on to the train. He told me that at the other end of the short trip another person would be waiting, and so there was. He greeted me and took me towards Immigration where and enroute I got introduced to another 2 gentlemen who all guided me in the right direction. Just before Immigration, yet another gentleman asked me if I had filled in the arrival form, I said yes, and then was told to head towards the VIP Immigration counter. I was told another person would be waiting on the other side of the Immigration counter, and as promised there was. He took me to the baggage claim hall where I collected my baggage and then got waved through Customs. Outside I was told there would be someone to meet me, and indeed there were actually four of them - all looking quite relieved after seeing me was the impression I had. I was then led to a vehicle which would transport me at breakneck speed to the hotel in Putrajaya, location of GAID 2006.

I found out at the end that I was the last person to arrive that night, and it would appear there were some 11 or 12 people (all from the Government of Malaysia) waiting to escort me through from arrival to hotel. I found all the fuss quite amusing but I suppose that's protocol for you! I must add that all the dozen or so people I encountered in the process were very welcoming and handled everything in an efficient and professional manner. Indeed an interesting welcome to Malaysia (and the airport in the forest and forest
in the airport ain't too bad either).

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