At last I finally posted the final journal of my recent trip to Canada and the US.
I started packing up as early as possible to find out how much weight my bags could accommodate. This is not my first trip from abroad where I could carry back personal stuffs from my shopping spree and somewhat brings anxiety for paying the extra loads at the airport. Anyway, without using a weighing scale I am now experienced to assess my bag for not exceeding 25 kg. Surprisingly, as expected it is exceeded, but Im still optimistic that I could fit them all and pay nothing.
Basing from my past travels, I know that every passenger is allowed up to 50 pounds or up to 25 kg especially travelling from Asia to elsewhere. To have a peace of mind, I decided to call the Continental customer service and to verify the charges for excess. Amazingly, I found out that I am allowed two bags and 50 pounds each!
It was an emotional moment to say goodbye to my cousin's family particularly her two kids. I left the house 2 hours before my scheduled departure time from Pearson Airport and catch my connecting flight at Newark (Liberty airport). The day was cold dry and traces of snow are still visible along the roads. My cousin stayed for a while until I successfully checked-in my bags. It was a relief while carrying my hand carries and successfully passed the US immigration.
My flight arrive on-time at Newark and waited for less than two hours for my next flight for Belfast. To make my stay meaningful at the airport, I roamed around and took some photos of the airport and continued reading my Xmas bookcrossing exchange gift – Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters.
Quickly, I boarded the plane with the rest of Irish passengers which majority of them were come from their Florida's holiday. The flight was shaky and bumpy which brought my heart to beat faster! Thank God, the plane finally touched down at the International Airport of Belfast few minutes early as expected. While queuing in the immigration section, I was anxious to go home and sleep! But as soon as I handed my passport to the immigration officer, she searched all my visa stamps and I was surprised to hear from her "if I have encountered problems with the immigration". Well, I remember that I had one when I and my Indonesian friends went to Dublin last Sept 2006 and the bus that we were riding was stopped and unfortunately, we don’t have the Irish visa, we were not allowed to cross the border. I don’t want to explain what happened that day but, it was recorded in the system that I did something wrong which will be a problem every time I will travel in Europe. Anyway, I told her what happened and she finally handed my passport and let me to go!
Before meeting my friend outside the arrival area, I went to the Exchange money counter and asked to exchanged my Canadian dollars to English notes with the same rate when I left the airport three weeks ago which was good because the rate that day is lower than that of my departure. So, it was a good deal!
I met my friend outside the airport with smiling - recharged to face again my university work with new hope and enthusiasm to finish my PhD on time this year.
Oooh, it was a wonderful vacation I had in Canada and the US. I already miss my relatives and friends there! Visiting North Carolina, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal is something I will treasure while I am alive and kicking!