After my passport drama, I prayed that immigration officers won’t be harsh on me especially that I’m a first-time traveler. Here’s how I survived my first trip abroad on board on Malaysia Airlines. 🙂
1). I did a lot of research even way back before my ticket was booked. I asked my friends who have traveled abroad regarding the immigration process and read blogs. I rehearsed in my mind the answers to the possible questions. Glad that the immigration officer that was assigned to me didn’t ask lots of questions. However, I overheard the conversation of my friend and immigration officer which she was asked tricky questions like if there’s no direct flight from Cebu to Kaula Lumpur and etc.
Tip: Pay attention to the question and don’t panic. Answer the officer honestly with confidence. Actually, another tip that I’ve learned from watching crossing border documentaries (hehe), you need to look confident especially when you’re under the scrutiny of the immigration officers.
2). Be observant. When we were on board the plane, we were given with blankets and other essentials. Since it was my first time to fly other than Cebu Pacific airlines, I observed my fellow travelers and learned from what they are doing.
On our trip back to Manila, I have seated away from my friends. When the steward asked me what I want for dinner, I told her that I have what my seatmate is having. Anyway, they were only two options and I can’t clearly hear what she’s saying. If you’re not confident on what you’re seatmate is having, better familiarize yourself with the common airplane meal or ask the attendant.
3). It’s okay to look like a stupid tourist — sometimes. Lol
When we were at the Batu Caves, there are locals who offered henna tattoos. We really like the artwork on her hands so we decided to have one. I noticed that she’s wearing a Bindi. A small dot in color black. She told me that if a Hindu woman wears black Bindi means she’s single. If she’s wearing a red Bindi, it means that she’s already married. I asked her if I can have a black Bindi, and she said “yes” and she put a Bindi on my forehead. I was wearing it the whole time I was in Batu Caves and until I rode a train going to KL Sentral.
Hindu men are looking at me. Not looking me, but they’re staring at me the whole train ride. I find it weird, but I dismiss the idea. I wore it until I was roaming around KLCC Mall, but I removed it on our way back to our hotel because I can’t take the way they look at me. Probably, I look stupid and obviously a “fake” Hindu woman because of a. my attire b. I don’t look like one but quite close. Hahahaha
If it’s your first time to travel abroad, relax. Look at your surroundings, observe and learn from your fellow travelers.