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Saturday, August 9, 2008

ALASKA Trip Ends on a SOUR Note

My wife and I are back in Vancouver after a fabulous trip to Alaska.

We took a 7-day cruise from Vancouver to Seward on ms VEENDAM where there was too much food to eat.
From Seeward we took a 6-hour scenic train ride to Anchorage. Alaska is called the "Last Frontier" and is heaven for those who like wild-life and the great outdoors.

We did some excursions but hardly any that would qualify as adventurous - the most we did was to get off the shuttle bus in Denali National Park and walk on our own along the gravel road for about 45 minutes. You can definitely find many quiet areas in Alaska and we saw many wild animals - Alaska is bear country.

It is a far cry from the sorry stories I still see being published in malaysiakini; especially how the police are still allowing protesters to disrupt meaningful discussions on religious issues as in this article:

"Syed Hamid: Event cut short to avoid tension"
In the USA, it is difficult to read anything about Malaysia and all the news is about the upcoming Presidential elections.

Returned to "civilisation" yesterday. When we went to collect our bags, I noticed that one bag had been taped and I thought that the latches were faulty and the bag had burst open. Then my wife said that the authorities may have forced the bag open as it looked suspicious. Sure enough there were tell-tale signs of a forced entry. The combination locks had been prised open with screwdrivers(?) and the edges were deformed.
So what was in the bag? There were 2 items that may have caused the alarm bells to go off. One was a box of 24 small cans of salmon and the other was a trolley frame with wheels but I think those salmon cans are the main suspect as it was a rectangular form.
My suitcase had been prised open and we should have made an official complaint to the airlines. Do you think I would have been compensated? After all they could have called us to open the bag. This is what happens when innocent people are subject to heavy-handed enforcement without defined channels for damages.

photo: Glacier meets the sea - taken about 2 miles away from ms Veendam in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

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