Wednesday, July 7, 2010

leaving on a jet plane

Well, off to London I go!

Goodbyes are always sad, and so it was with a tinge of sadness that I penned the farewell post it note to my family.

Though we are wearing smiles on the outside, we were hurting deeply inside.

As I waved goodbye to my friends on the escalator going down to customs, I began to contemplate the possibility that this was a bad idea, possibly one of my worst ones, and that I just went through it to spite the 99% of people who didn’t think I’d go through with it. But then I thought back to the wise words of my gypsy doctor who earlier the previous morning between casting a spell on me and rubbing pixie dust into my lobes, told me to think of it as an adventure. So accordingly I took my ‘anxious’ cap on and replaced it with my ‘adventure’ cap, and felt a lot better.

Not having flown much before, I found the flight to Hong Kong quite shite. Perhaps a pub crawl to the airport and after a 3 ½ day bender wasn’t a best idea after all. Ah, hindsight is a beautiful thing. And when I walked aboard and saw how small the seats were I was so shocked. So you could imagine my surprise when I walked through to economy class and the seats were smaller still. Having 0 leg room and being next to a man who insisted on producing every possible bodily release quite regularly didn’t help either. BUT with my perseverance I got to Hong Kong, and it’s a city of the future, no really, and look at it too:

Though it was difficult not speaking Chinese, I found myself aboard the next twelve hour flight. The weird thing was that I had the longest 4th of July ever: I had two breakfasts (one English and one Continental, the Continental being far superior), brunch, lunch, and two dinners. A good day for my stomach. And we flew over cool places likeMoscow, Amsterdam, and Ust Kamengorsk, which is really the heart and soul of Russia. I also found it a credit to the QANTAS service that one flight attendant took it upon herself to ‘educate the youth’ (her words, I obviously prefer the term ‘young adult’) by informing me of a little-known Russian Revolution which occurred in Russia, sporned by a esoteric and equally unheard of concept called ‘communism’. I’m glad that where the Queensland education system overlooks world history, tactful QANTAS staff pick up the loose ends. Thanks, providence!

Eventually I got to the hostel alright, it’s pretty good there are about 500 tourists staying at the moment. However I am slightly disappointed that I cannot enjoy the toilets flushing counter clockwise as much as I anticipated, as the toilets here don’t actually flush properly at all. But apart from that, and the fire alarm which woke me up from jet-lagged slumber, it’s pretty cool.

Unexpected evacuations provide a great way to meet new people in a new city.

Then I went for a casual stroll around the city, taking me wherever my legs would go. I passed Regent street, Trafalgar square, the Thames, Piccadilly Circus, and some other less than impressive places. And I don't think I have the words in my vocabulary to even begin to try and describe my amazement at what I saw. So here are a few photos - as really, a picture says a thousand words.

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