Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy Holidays Day 1

I'm going to do this in sections because I don't want to compress 11 days of fun into 5 paragraphs.

30th August 2015

My journey started early. Slept late to finish packing (as usual) and check in online. I should have done it earlier but forgot amid all the running around for Mandarin class and getting stuff etc. Got a middle seat so a bit difficult to get in or out.

Received a message saying that flight would be delayed to 10.30 a.m. so SMSed Cik Din asking him to come a little later than agreed, which was at 6.45 a.m.

7.20 a.m. - Cik Din arrived and I asked his help to bring down my heavy bags. Uneventful journey to KLIA, arrived just before 8.30 a.m. and plasticized my purple Kipling which had no locks. Didn't want anyone slipping in illegal stuff and getting me into trouble, right? Checked in my luggage in less than ten minutes. MAS has improved here, that's really nice. It helped that I came early, i guess.

Next - enjoy my usual pre-flight treat - expensive nasi lemak and local coffee at the airport cafe. Lepak2 for a while and then proceeded to the immigration counter and gate. Didn't wait very long before we boarded.

On the flight, sat next to a Chinese girl and Mat Salleh guy, both pleasant. The girl even offered me her collection of NewsWeek to read since I looked bored. Yeah, 12 hours in a plane can get pretty boring... I had done crosswords, Sudoku, read the inflight magazine etc at this point. Then i started watching movies. For the first time, it was quiet enough for me to hear the audio properly. It was either my location, which was ahead of the thrusters, or the A380 itself. In any case, it was nice. I started off with Rio 2. Then watched a French movie, Eva and Leon. After a while I started watching Le Familie Beliere, another French movie. And last I watched Away from the Madding Crowd. Enjoyed all the movies immensely.

Touched down in London at around 5.30 p.m. and got a bit concerned because I didn't have Graham's address to put on the disembarkation card. Texted him even before getting off the plane because I knew they were rather strict. Managed to get the details in time because the queue was SO LONG for immigrations. Unlike in most Asian countries, the questions were a lot more detailed. Did you come alone? Who is your friend here? How did you meet him? How long have you known him? What is this friend's name? What are you going to do for 10 days in the UK? WHO PAID FOR YOUR TICKET? Like, really??? But I guess I passed because the guy stamped my passport with a 6 months entry permit to UK.

Finally got out, retrieved my luggage and went out to the Arrival hall where Graham was already waiting. We got to his nice new car, a VW Passat estate car (station wagon lah) and proceeded to head to his house in Burnham. Technically it's his brother Malcolm's house, because he's renting out his own property and renting a room at his brother's. The other person in the house is Grae, a family friend from New Zealand. She's a very cool and sprightly girl at 67 years!

We drove around looking for a chippie and finally found one that was open. Bought a large cod and chips to share and got to the house at about 10ish. Everyone else was already asleep, so we ate in the living room. It was much oilier than the ones here, I thought, but the chips were nice and big, not stringy thin like the ones in McD. Other than that, it wasn't much to shout about. The cod was rather blah too. You know what they say about British food la kan? Haha.

I settled into Graham's room and soon fell asleep. He slept downstairs in the conservatory for the duration of my stay.

End of Day 1.