I’m here, in body, if not quite here in mental capacity yet (jet lag).
Friday was a funny day. I hadn’t slept well as I’d been in the sleeping bag, having decided to put as much (including the duvet) into storage the day before. I had a shower, then got the last few bits for the storage, my suitcase and bag ready in the garage. Just as I was doing that the roofing guy came to fix the lead flashing around the chimney. He didn’t need to come in, an so just got on with it. A quick vacuum and tidy round and I was ready to go. Stops for storage and petrol, and then on to Wisbech, two and a half down the road. I got there within 2 minutes of my ETA (3pm), although Dad was out until 4pm. Oh well, an hour to kill dozing in the car and watching some woman clean up horse crap in the field opposite. Oh the great outdoors.
Thursday morning started by packing up the remainder of the shipping, which was fortunate as the shipping guys arrived 5 hours early. As I’d already self-packed it into boxes, there were happy for their first job in the morning. The rest of Thursday was spent getting the final few jobs done, getting some bits from the shop for Katie, and getting the remaining stuff into storage. Overall, we did pretty well, and I’m sooo glad I didn’t have to do it all on my own!
Friday night we went out – firstly to a pub, then a restaurant, then another pub. In both pubs we met up with Terry and Tracey (nicknamed Munchkin due to being a short ass). Now I don’t believe in some coincidences, so there must have been some arrangement made to meet up for the second time, though I must have missed that particular conversation. We also took Nan and Charlie for the meal in the restaurant (it was at the Woolpack Inn, where I’d actually been a couple of years ago when Anna was visiting from Canada), and met Lucille, the friendly Aussie landlady. A very nice meal and evening, leading to a slight hangover in the morning.
Saturday was travel day; the day I left the UK. Starting with tea and toast to soothe the upset stomach and lack of sleep due to excitement/nervousness, we then headed down t Heathrow. I checked in, went through security, waited a bit, then walked to the gate. I got chatting to Natasha, who was going to Malaysia for a week to create a database for her company. Nothing odd there, except her company had given her Euros instead of Malaysian Ringgits as the currency of (poor) choice.
The bus ride from the gate took at least 10 minutes. I know Heathrow is big, but you would have thought someone might have remembered to park the plane somewhere near the terminal. Comments such as driving to Malaysia or flying from Gatwick were abound. On the bus I got chatting to someone (never found out her name) who, along with some other people who she’d never met, one of who was eventually going to be sitting next to me on the plane, had booked a holiday via explore.co.uk. They were flying to KL, then straight up to Bangkok, and then had a 2 week guided tour from Bangkok in Thailand down to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Sounds interesting, and something I might look into, especially as we’re over in this part of the world anyway.
The flight was largely uneventful – 4.5 films, 2 albums, 2 meals, some snacks and no sleep helped pass the 12.5 hours we were on the plane. For the taxi back from the airport I was met by Razali a nice guy, who’s life story I found out about during the 2 hours trip. He’s 41, got three daughters, 16, 15 and 10, and a son, was in he army when he was younger and did a tour in Bosnia-Herzegovina, bought his wife a 850cc car for RM8000 (£1142), lives in a small village, likes Manchester United and insists all his passengers wear a seat belt. He also thinks I’m “simple” and smart – but he likes me, so that was fine; we didn’t end up in the back of Malaysian beyond, though I did have slight concerns at one point.
The rest of Saturday was mostly spent dozing, though Katie insisted I didn’t sleep as otherwise I wouldn’t sleep in the night. We went to a restaurant down the road, commonly known as Cliff’s. It’s mainly a seafood place (I don’t eat most seafood as it doesn’t agree with me) but does do a nice Chicken Maryland in black bean sauce. We sat, ate, and watched the sun go down, before heading back to the apartment, watched a bit of TV then went to bed. Due to some strange environmental anomaly, there always seems to be lightning storms forming in the Selat Melaka (Straits of Melaka) between Indonesia and Malaysia, and last night was no exception. The sheet lightning forms up in the clouds, with few actual ground strikes (mainly because it’s over the sea). The weather is humid, with little wind, and until much later, it didn’t rain either. This makes it an impressive sight to see, which is why, not being able to sleep (she was right), I sat outside on the balcony watching it for over an hour from 3:45 this morning.
Katie has now gone to work, and I’ve got the day to decide what I want to do. We head off to Oz for two weeks tomorrow, so repacking the case and preparing for that are the main jobs. Otherwise, 8 months of considerably more nothingness starts today.