We left the room at the last possible minute, pushing the check out time to the max. We had a few hours to kill and while we would have had better wifi and air con down in reception, we preferred the peace and quiet. But, uncomfortable wooden chairs and noisy guests soon greeted us as we plonked ourselves down for a few hours. We both had work to do: job applications, emails and convincing people we were off somewhere exotic (still very deceitful in preparation for surprising friends). We broke up the late morning, early afternoon with a trip to 7 Eleven to cash in the coupons… I was hoping for a unique lunch box to store my ticket stubs in from the travels. Alas, they needed to be pre-ordered. But, the tokens/coupons act as currency and we traded them for Milo Hot Chocolate powder, notepads and sweets. Score!!
Our lunch plans were sadly ruined as we hadn’t accounted for them not being open that early during the day. The shop fronts were they set up their tables and chairs were still trading fruit, veg and other wares and we while we waved to them (chopping and prepping for the evening), we had to find somewhere different for our last meal. We wandered up the road, further than we had done since our first visit 4years ago when this was the road we took towards the river. The street had drastically changed and the atmosphere was lessened and more commercial. Alas, all good things must come to an end. But, one more pad Thai noodles would hopefully make it a bit better.Arriving at the airport with ease, we were checked in all the way to London Heathrow and soon jetting off to Kuala Lumpur for Christmas our transfer. The airport was very well organised and sign-posted, but with the previous flight slightly delayed, there was a small panic of transferring terminals in time to catch the adjoining flight. We needn’t have worried as clearly half the flight was already on the one we had just come on. Typical.
We had done well to book seats at the rear of the plane. Nobody was sitting behind us and thus we felt comfortable in reclining the seas without upsetting people behind or being woken up from airplane monkeys swinging off the seat to go to the loo. The down side, something that we never anticipated, was that by being so comfortable and relaxed, we didn’t shuffle in our seats or walk around as much as we probably normally would have. Thus, I may have developed a bit of a trapped nerve in my right thigh for the position I slept in. Ouch!!
Thursday 27th October 2016
Today’s the day!!! We’re picking up Jayne from the airport!!! Almost worth getting up at 5.30am… Almost! Lols. Tracked her flight details to see she was about thirty minutes behind schedule so had a coffee at home before jumping in the car to begin the 200km journey down to the airport. Slightly eerie driving down the country road dual carriageways in the semi-darkness, well aware that this is the time of day when kangaroos often get hit by cars. Tracey, obviously, did a sterling job and we breezed down the route. Stopped for a toilet and coffee stop mid way, purchasing a couple of Australian favourites – golden rough and mint patty. The golden rough was almost like a fancy flat disk of Toblerone, whilst the mint patty was similar to a large after dinner chocolate mint. Tracey was bitterly disappointed by how they tasted – not like they did when she was a kid! Gave us both an energy boost as we pulled into the airport car park, looking up and down the aisles for the green lights to show there was a space (although, there was a few green lights but no spaces!!). My chin started wobbling as we walked towards the terminal building and stood in the middle of the concourse watching the TV screens to see her come out. Absolutely loads of schools picking up exchange students from Asian countries and a huge group of students congregating by the University of Melbourne sign. After about 40 minutes of waiting, she came through the door and Tracey held up her huge ‘sexypants’ sign as I gave her a huge kiss and hug!! Took her to the car and went to a nearby McDonalds for breakfast as we were all hungry. All full of burgers, hash browns and milkshakes, Jayne gave us too much chocolate from England and a pot of Branston pickle for Tracey (we will make her like it!!!). Got back in the car, driving back and catching up while Jayne became more and more exhausted during the journey. Saw kangaroos everywhere en route and a quick drive by the antique store to see if the huge ones I had seen where still hanging around (they weren’t) and we were back at the house. Even before we had got inside, Jayne spotted a huntsman spider. There was no way that either Tracey or I were going to kill it so Jayne rose to the challenge. A lighter and some bug spray meant that Jayne napalmed the big bastard whilst the two ‘ninjas’ hid behind the screen door just in case it started moving. Fully crispy, Tracey told Jayne she couldn’t put it in the bin and made her throw it in the drain down the street!! After her heroic spider massacre, Jayne had a bath and got into her new fleecy pyjamas that were in her welcome pack and, whilst Tracey popped out to do some errands, we sat on the sofa to watch a film. Five minutes later, Jayne was asleep and I watched the rest of the film on my own. Tracey came home and I put Jayne to bed so we could chat and watch TV without having to be too quiet. Tried waking Jayne up for dinner but she wasn’t having any of it! So left her to sleep whilst Tracey and I had spaghetti bolognaise whilst watching episodes of ‘Modern Family’. Jayne woke up around 8pm so had dinner before opening our present from Tracey – she has made our blog so far into a set of four bound books… They are beautiful.Thursday 7th July 2016
The alarms went off. They went on snooze. They persisted. We finally relented. Snuggled in to a single bed we were loath to separate as today we would be flying in opposite directions. Katherine heading to Australia to plan the next leg of the UNESCO hunt, while I returned for meetings, blood tests and prescriptions.
Katherine was unable to check in early and come through to the departure lounge, thus, it was a subdued (yet tasty) breakfast. The escalator to security did most of the hard work, tearing me away where my feet didn’t want me to walk. But, it was when going through passport control when the waterworks started – for Kat was visible through the glass of the ground floor and I was a mess trying to look presentable for the emmigration photo. The Whatsapp texting and frantic waving probably didn’t help.
I have never really drifted with a phone in my hand; watching where I’m going and paying attention to things. Yet, there’s a first for everything and I seemed to be past all the shops, with a big Toblerone in a bag that was purchased in a haze, and at the walkway to the Boarding Gate. Noticeably there were guys on a cherry picker above the plane at my gate and that should have spoken volumes. The plane had been struck by lightning en route to Bangkok and now 4hrs after I was supposed to depart I sit and write the blog up to this point. I’m at a new boarding gate, having been relocated after a free meal voucher (the first I’ve ever received in my whole life of travelling). The kind Thai lady offered me a banana as well as a spare seat at her table in the dining hall at the terminal. The free wifi has run out and boredom is setting in with nobody to chat to online and saving the iPad battery life for the plane and suspected overnight in Cologne airport. I guess it’s now a waiting game for flight EW 107!
Well, this has proved all kinds of painful. It is 00:30 on the morning of the Wednesday the 15th. If, and I emphasis this point, if I was still on Bangkok time. I am somewhere cruising over the Caspian Sea at 785km/hr despite the head wind. I have another 5hrs to go and the time in Cologne will be 00:39. Thus, I have invented time travel. No wait, I’m killing time. Wait, wrong again, time is literally killing me. I had to wander around some more after lunch. When I got back it was just as they were announcing a gate change. Everybody was now a bit antsy, and I was at the counter listening to conversations rather than annoy the staff, and ascertained that the flight was now scheduled for 17:45, plus another food voucher. Leaving the poor ground staff in peace (they should have finished at 12:00), I took said coupon and made my way to the other end of the terminal – a short 10min walk, but much quieter and laid back. The restaurant manager hadn’t seen a voucher before (maybe it was just today) but was quite happy for me to get two sandwiches and use the 475baht to the max. Banana, water and charge the phone a bit and I was back down the ramp and on the bus to the plane. I enjoyed half of both my warm Chicken Pesto and Chicken, Bacon, Tomato & Mozzarella sandwiches and watched ‘The Intern’. Brilliant film. Highly recommend it. And during ‘Pan’ (rubbish twist on a classic film), I chatted a bit to my neighbour. Seeing how she was writing a blog on an offline version of WordPress, I recognised the screen and it was a topic starter. Wicked conversation ensued… she’s thinking of becoming a navay diver. Fingers crossed it goes well for her. Feel free to check out her blog btw: ‘thescenicroute2016’ by Jessica Laing of Wolviston. Watched ‘Sherlock Holmes – Game of Shadows’ and then cracked on with the blog of a very tiring day.
Tuesday 14th June 2016
Having abandoned Jayne to head up to the departure lounge and waving at her through the slightly frosted window at immigration, I headed up to the observation deck. Slightly disconcerting to watch the crew on cherry pickers hover over her plane, especially as I kept getting whatsapp messages detailing delays… Because lightening had stuck (and broken) a plane window. As the more nervous flyer out of the two of us, there was a weird relief that it wasn’t my plane but a horrible sinking feeling that it was Jayne’s… Spent my time between 9.00 and 18.00 when I was finally allowed to check in by reading books, watching films and drinking Starbucks. Secretly hoping that Jayne’s flight might be delayed long enough for another quick kiss and cuddle, I was disappointed to see that it had taken off whilst I was making my way through immigration. As promised, I picked up my own Toblerone bar before getting some dinner and waiting at the gate.A slightly frustrating moment where I had to empty my life straw water bottle of water to go through to the departure gate only to be able to refill it immediately after they had checked my bag…
Got on the plane for an on time departure, sat next to a very loud and obnoxious Australian girl who, thankfully, took some drugs to put her to sleep so that ‘people around her wouldn’t have to hear her moaning about her ear ache for 8 hours’… Watched ‘The Danish Girl’ on my iPad before trying to get some sleep – not sure how I feel about the film. Some parts of it were incredibly accurate but it seemed, to me, to be missing some of the keys issues in the transgender relationship.
Tuesday 14th June 2016