Maarten, Desmond and Esmee having fun at the pool. Maarten has learned jumping from the side so he really likes to do that many times. Desmond is just relaxed floating around at one time he even fell asleep, relaxed in his chair
ed: my previous attempts to write a bigger blogposting with pics failed due to connectivity, so lets try to upload smaller parts.
Our vacation to Bali part 1
Before we left
Somehow either OAD or Malaysian Airlines had great trouble booking Desmond in their systems. There were some problems before we left because their computer systems somehow could not get it right. We got confirmation that they finally had it right but… when I tried to check-in via the web (48 hours in front) I managed to check in the first part (to KL) but the second part (to Den Passar) gave an error. When we then arrived in Schiphol at the check-counter the woman at the counter could not print the boarding passes, so there was a lot of calling but she could not get it out of the system. She said Desmond was booked both with me and with my wife, and some other confusion.
Luckily there were not that many people behind us in line otherwise I would have felt not really comfortable. It took a long time and finally… did not work. The advise was to try in Kuala Lumpur again. By that time we had to run to the gate, the usual stuff, taking my belt off my shoes etc… The guards there were really nice because we had a little biological diksap (=drink) for Desmond with us in a bottle and they allowed us to have this as exception. This was later on during the flight a real lifesaver (beneath) so I am thankful for that. Thank you guards from Schiphol!
It was a bit of a shame that we did not have time to eat something or buy some magazines.
Again we could enter the plane first with the buggy and this time we explicitly said that we wanted it in KL (since last time they transported the buggy straight to Den Passar). Now….
First part of the flight: Amsterdam – Kuala Lumpur (12 hours)
Some time ago I blogged that traveling with children is possibly harder than climbing the mount Everest. I think that this time this was an understatement.
Malaysia Airlines did only offer the possibility for Maarten and Esmee and Desmond “to sit in the middle” and me on the left side (so with the path between us). This is because the front row of the middle part is for hanging the child beds and only 2 people are allowed in the middle on each side. (so 4 people sit in the middle row, with Esmee and Maarten on the left two places).
This is really really really not handy for a family especially when the children are asking attention. next to Esmee a younger couple took place and I think they must have had a flight from hell with Desmond shouting for many hours (with intermediate silences) and kicking around him when the seatbelt had to be put on while they made an attempt to sleep. (he really does not like it when he has to be tight to the seatbelts on the belly of Esmee during the hours of “turbulence warning” (think of the Hulk struggling and crying HARD for hours and hours).
Let me say that normally Desmond is really quiet. But I think he had some pain from the two tooths that were coming through and maybe together with being in the air gave him an uncomfortable feeling.
I tried to change chairs 48 hours before during online check-in but basically all seats where already reserved.
Once in a while we tried to put him in his bed but apart from a short period in the beginning he basically fiercefully tried to get up and get out of the thing, shouting and struggling. Despite that we left him there for some time because Esmee was really exhausted struggling with Desmond and she saw no other solution.
Actually before we went I expected Desmond to sleep for the most part especially because we gave him some fenistil during take off (my previous tip). Uhm… that stuff did not work at all. Really nada.
I also find it weird that they placed a young couple on the two places next to Esmee, it would have saved us an enormous amount of stress if I could have sat next to Maarten and so that we could divide our attention between the two and I think the couple would have had a relaxter flight let alone passengers around us. Very weird but it was not possible.
Maarten basically played some games, watched some movies and with some small exceptions was quite silent during the flight. Once in a while I had to bent over the hallway to operate his remote control to put on some game or some movie or pull out the movie screen or buckle him up. Also a bit annoying especially because the seats are not placed evenly next to each other.
At one time a guy came walking by who gave us a VERY dirty look. I think he was extremely annoyed. But the 2 people next to me were very nice.
It is like I told before: when you travel with children … when you find angels who are nice to you or just once in a while be nice to the children it really helps to relieve a little but of stress. Before us also a nice couple was sitting. He was a few times playing with Desmond and talking with Maarten. I really really love people like that.
I forgot to tell that the plane had a delay and we sat in the plane with the kids for an hour before we left…
We were VERY glad when we began to land after that 12 hours. And now we had to look for the check in counter to see if we could get our boarding passes. So we went to this place (KL airport is really nice by the way lots of shops and even a smoking area). And this again took some time. So much time that we left and came back after some while to find that the woman who handled this for us disappeared….
So we asked someone else in that place and they found the boarding passes and my passport under the counter…. We went upstairs because I really really needed a smoke. I bought 1 slof tax free and did a quick smoke, when I came back Maarten was lying on the couch because he had very much pain in the belly. But we had to hurry to board so we have him some water and hurried for the gate.
Once again I would liked to have somewhat more time to drink a coffee ….
Kuala Lumpur – Den Pasar
Also from Kuala Lumpur to Den Pasar we were allowed to have Desmonds drink in a bottle. Really nice and a real lifesaver. The second part was nicer. We had more room at the front. (Maarten and Esmee sat on the left rows and I sat in the middle row with Desmond).
In the beginning he struggled somewhat together with the shouting but when he could stroll and play in front of us (lots for room before the front seats) he was more or less happy.
The three hours went by pretty quick and more people in the plane came to look at Desmond and played with him which was nice.
We exited the plane as the last people and grab our stuff and put Desmond in the buggy waiting at the end. By this time I was really glad. We made it! Walking through the first part of Den Pasar is nice. You see the warm weather, the sea, the Balinese statues and you feel that holiday has begun.
We bought our visas and then went to the baggage. So I grabbed two suitcases and waited for mine…. until everyone had left and some guy came up to me that this was all…. he advised us to go to the lost luggage department
We described my suitcase there (luckily we knew the brand) and then left for the exit.
Our driver, Putu, was still waiting. We were glad because we had had some delay due to the suitcase.
Now vacation could really start. Putu drove us to the North of Bali and this trip is always a nice trip through the villages, the mountains, the rice fields, the lakes and so on. The last time all of us fell asleep only to wake up at our villa. This time I forced myself to stay awake and to enjoy the view. A feeling of utter relaxedness came over me. This is such a beautiful Island.
When we arrived at our villa the staff was waiting with some flowers to put around our neck and with some surprise drinks. Really nice. I was a little but sleepy after 24hrs no sleep but this moment, like the last time, is really nice. They welcomed the children and Maarten is now 100% at home, footballing with the staff. Feels like home.
They showed us around and we have an amazing villa. A grand view of the ocean. A gigantic swimming pool (we spend all day in it with the four of us). A nice Jakuzzi and a utterly BIG villa. Heaven. I will blog about this in the next post. Actually it is possible to get lost on the second floor with room after room. We only live downstairs since we only are with the four of us.
I was only a bit sad that my suitcase was not there since in it was really everything, all my clothes, next time I should spread this over multiple suitcases.
We were so tired that we went to sleep early. After a nice surprise dinner I dropped on my bed and was out. Esmee stayed somewhat longer but also went to bed early.
The next day I learned that they brought my suitcase at 1:00 in the night. Real nice. Apparantly a lot of people had to call a lot during the night to get to the correct place, so I am thankful for the extremely nice care of the huismeesters from the Villa (they also arranged another bed for Desmond because the one that we found there was not high enough for him, they also brought that the next day).
I will blog some more pics and stories about the villa and surroundings later. (see google: villa buddha)
It seems a lot of online companies get nervous when you suddenly log in from a vacation location I had great trouble getting online at all.
It works like in any other hotspot location: you open your browser click to buy some hours and then you get access. Unfortunately paypal timed out so I did not get my “ pin “ code at the end of the transaction. All follow-up tries to access paypal (they probably made an exception for paypal te be accessible too) took 30 minutes at least. When I finally came through I i saw a message that my account was “ restricted” . Any try to click on why and what I had to do took me 30 minutes to get to any screen and the just a time-out. So… after 2 days I called the helpdesk of the hotspot. The send out 2 boys and after some discussion they handed me a pin code. Now… the connection speed was faster so I could see that I had to validate the numbers that were written to my visa transaction…… because paypal auto-suspected a fraud and locked my account because I paid 22 euro for internet access from a beach location……
It is IMPOSSSIBLE to do that when you only get access to the hotspot main site and paypal since my visa site (which i can theoretically access) is of course not reachable without a pin. That deadlock could drive you crazy when you absolutely would need internet access especially without a paypal phone number to call. Somewhere between this my phone went also dead on me. So when I asked to send me the pin code via SMS… it was impossible since the phone I use and which works for years is somehow in some kind of dv locked state *unbelievable but true murphy experience. So that was yet another problem in the challenge of getting any access to the Internet.
Sites like Facebook also think you are frauding since they begin asking security question before they give access your account.
On one side: great security. On the other side in real life: especially on vacation…… people are on 1Kbit/second connections and having to wait 1 hour longer to through some kind of wizard or even making it impossible to access an account can make you very mad.
Maybe PayPal and Facebook should have some kind of option to indicate that you are going on vacation and follow-up payments could be from vacation addresses.
As you can see from the connection speed…. I don’t think I will spend much time online. Sometime the connection drops out and posting this blog also took me some tries. Then again, lying at the pool, watching over the ocean with a laptop on wifi… is nice
2 freeware tips:
One of my laptops had not really much space left.
So… I surfed to the best freeware diskspace analyzers and found again my all-time favorite "scanner" but also SpaceSniffer. (really handy to have one of these utilities nearby in your dropbox folder).
I ran SpaceSniffer (I don’t know which one of the two i like most) and saw … that 30 GB on my harddisk was 1 directory….
This directory (in the root) was of the type "endless". You can click through it in and for some reason it has endless copies in itself and therefore can not be deleted. Some time ago I think I blogged how to remove these kind of things but I could not find my blog entry any more.
The best solution is to download robocopy (free) as part of the free win 2003 resource kit (which includes lots more handy tools). I tried to install it but noticed it was already installed…
So the trick you now have to do is to copy-mirror 1 directory to the "infinite" directory. Robocopy will make the target directory exactly the same as the source directory and therefore it deletes all those directories in there.
so e.g. robocopy c:\temp c:\dirtodelete /MIR (or use /purge)
For me… it took more than an hour (!) with thousands or tens of thousands of lines flashing by before it finished!
Ik vrees dat Ray gelijk heeft, opeens viel het me op dat we bij allerlei bedrijven zitten met de letter "o"…
voor energie en gas bij Eneco, voor tv bij de Ziggo, zorgverzekering bij de Ohra, hypotheek bij Woonfonds, 2 telefoons bij T-Mobile, bankzaken bij de Rabo,
Bij deze dus Eneceau, Ziggeau, Eauhra, Weaunfonds, T-Meaubile en de Rabeaubank. (ik speel ook mee in de staatsleauterij en de lotteau) (!)
p.s. ik kan iedere familie family en friends aanraden om zijn huishouden "mee te doen" (importeren van financieen, bijhouden van adressen inclusief het huishouden, fotos, verjaardagskalender enz..) (ik ben er al heel wat jaren lid van maar het komt er maar niet van om er een blogstukje over te schrijven).