On Wednesday morning I went to the airport with my Mum, Sister and Father. We were so early that we had to stand in line at the check-in desk for half an hour; but I was first in the queue. That meant that we had the full three hours to wait before I was to fly off into the sky.
Brisbane airport is undergoing construction that we were unaware of, so I went down early enough to go shopping and get a book or magazines etc. This didn't happen because there were only three shops open down the bottom. I got my money back on the TRS for my iPod. Good old getting GST back – makes everything 10% cheaper.
When we arrived, the person at the check-in told us that we weren't stopping in Cairns anymore. I didn't know that we were supposed to stop there, so that was ok with me. It saved 2.5 hours off the flying time, but the best bit was that we didn't pick up extra passengers, and we didn't have anybody on the flight to Cairns getting off. This meant on the A330 plane (2, 5, 2) we had at most 30-35 people. We all had a row to ourself and we could stretch out etc.
In Hong Kong, I was upset because the only food that I could see was starbucks, and I really didn't want to just have muffins or coffee in my 6 hour stopover. I said that to someone and she said, "Go upstairs" So I did. Holy man! Noodles, Burger King, McDonalds, Noodles, Steakhouse (where I ate) and Noodles. I got the money that I had in my wallet (thank you to who gave it to me) transferred over to Hong Kong Dollars. $100AUS turned into $609HKD. My dinner was pasta and garlic bread. A serving of garlic bread had 6 slices of Turkish bread with garlic butter. I have never seen a dinner that was as nicely presented as this garlic bread. It had dried lavash bread as well, and sheep's (I think) cheese in a ball on the side.
Then came the 10.5 hour flight to London. I was in 69C – the last seat on the plane. I was right next to the toilet and the area in which everyone stood and talked for hours on end. I was unable to sleep, however I did manage to watch Indiana Jones, Just Married, Sex and the City and some other movie that I have never heard of, and lots of other things like Ugly Betty, Simpsons etc. I read a little and was able to get up and down a lot, because I was on the end and I was able to lift up the armrest and just get up and down without interrupting anyone. I don't know that I'll have a window seat ever again – being able to get up and down without having to disturb other people.
I arrived in London, but I didn't stay there. I was too tired and just wanted to go to bed. I got a train to Wellingborough. £32.60 for a trip one-way and the woman said, "Are you coming back any time soon" Ah no, "Well, if you wanted to come back within 30 days it would be a £1 increase on the cost." Oh, ok, then. Well then I'll buy the return ticket.
When I got out of the train at Wellingborough, I freaked out. The accents of the people on the track were completely indecipherable. I was scared about what I had taken on. Just went, oh, well, I learn to understand it. They don't know what I'm saying when I say ATM (they call it the cash dispenser) and a couple of things like that. After I left the train station though, the accents became really normal. The woman at the hotel that I was in didn't pick me as Australian, she said, "and what region is that accent from?" She looked shocked when I said Australian. "How long have you been here?" Three hours. "Wow, you've got a very faint accent." Ok, thanks.
I stayed at the Hind Hotel last night. £62.50 pound for the night in a room as small as my room at Mum's and no wireless connection! I got up from bed at about 4.30pm and asked the receptionist for the nearest internet café – ah, there's none in town! WHAT!?!?! I was so not happy – wanted to check in with Mum and there was an email I was looking for in relation to the place I wanted to live in. The only public place for internet is at the library, but it was closed.
This morning I bought a mobile – a Sagem – for £30. Get in touch via email if you want the number.
Also, when I watch the Bill and they talk about pay as you go number being untraceable, I always go, pfff – each time I've bought a SIM in Australia they've taken some form of identification and in Germany, they've taken my information. Here, I walked into Vodafone and they took a SIM from the wall, said, £5 and took the cash. I understand now why they would be untraceable.