Thursday, 18 October 2012 last!

Thankfully this blog entry is a lot more cheerful than the last because I have safely landed in Sydney, Australia. It is absolutely awesome here but what a journey-it took over 24 hours and not a wink of sleep.  Leaving the UK at 10pm on Monday evening, I finally found my seat on the plane next to two young London lasses. They were on their way to Sydney, then Asia, to work and travel.  They'd only saved a grand between them and I was a little skeptical about their chances but, after watching their blagging skills in action on the plane, I could see they'd be just fine. I've never seen anyone consume so many packets of complimentary nuts in one sitting!  After 12 hours, 3 films, 2 curries, and an unidentified baked object we arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport.  We had a '5 hour' wait for our connecting flight to Australia so I wandered around the fancy boutiques and happened upon the 'rest and go' area. There were massage chairs aplenty here and I wondered why 'rest and go' areas weren't mandatory at all airports.  The resting was excellent but the going was not so good--if only the plane seats could massage as well.

view from Jen's apartment
On the flight to Sydney I was sat next to an old Nepalese couple.  They had flown from their mountainous homeland to see their "22 year old son" who had migrated to Sydney from Nepal a few years ago.  We introduced ourselves to each other but I won't pretend I had any idea how to say their names let alone spell them.  My name brought the usual confusion:
"Tomorrow? Your name tomorrow?"
"Ta-ma-ra. Ta-ma-ra"
The wife's English was very limited and so her husband acted as translator (I use that term very loosely here).  Every now and then the wife would tap me on the arm and ask me "how long left?".  I would hold up my fingers and thumb to show her how many hours were remaining until we were due to land.  Once we got down to 3 hours it became apparent that she had been excluding my thumb in her counting and so she was probably a little disappointed when she realised it equated to an extra hour.  Perhaps the thumb is inferior in Nepalese culture?  She was rather sad for me when she realised I was not married and would occasionally lurch across her husband to reach out and stroke my cheek or hand murmuring "beautiful".  This was a little unnerving to say the least but I smiled and took the compliment.  They were very charming really, and if I ever visit Nepal I'll be sure to look them up (as they insisted I do so for most of the journey).

9am Wednesday, Aussie time.  Finally I had landed in Sydney, but that wasn't quite the end of it yet.  There was still passport control and customs to get through.  As we queued a Korean chap tried to sneak his group under the barrier.  He was quickly reprimanded by security who hollered "No, mate. NO!". They sent him and his group to the back of the queue as a warning to us all. "Good," I thought. "A country that knows about queuing." I filled out a bunch of forms declaring that I was indeed carrying my body weight's worth in Toblerone, and having my bags thoroughly sniffed by a pooch, I was out.  My friend Jen was there to greet me and I've never been so happy to see my old chum.  After dropping me off at her apartment I committed the cardinal sin and slept for 7 hours waking just in time for Jen and Jo to take me out to a dinner of sushi. There was only one thing for it: consume all the beers and hope that when bed time came I'd just pass out.

Let the journey begin!

Films watched on plane:
Prometheus: Disappointing
Waitress: Don't bother
Rock of Ages: Seriously losing the will to live

Music listened to:
Post to Wire by Richmond Fontaine
Post by Bjork
In Your Honour by Foo Fighters

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