Goodbyes can be so sad, and I have had over a month of them
I think thats enough photos, Ive said so many goodbyes, not all captured on camera. Anyway….. Here I am, yet again, with my life in boxes ready to move across the world.
So it is, that I set off from Heathrow airport, saying goodbye to my gorgeous daughter and son (thanks for driving and taking the photo Will!)
My oh my was that difficult! I sobbed and sobbed as I passed through security, trying to look like a relaxed seasoned traveller, I was breaking up inside,
Last time I “emigrated” to Oz, not content with a move across the world, I decided to have a little adventure first by sailing around the coast of Britain, circumnavigating its coastline from London clockwise then back again (if you have a spare day or three you might like to scroll down and read all about it!). This time I have decided to stop off in Bali, Indonesia for 2-3 months and train as a scuba dive instructor……..more about this later.
I boarded the plane for Singapore, thinking of the line I said to my son minutes before “lets hope Im not sitting next to a small child” Oops – along comes Thomas, a cute little 5 year old, with not so cute sharp elbows which relentlessly poked into me as did his feet whilst he slept right across the seats.
I became a “mommy” to yet another child, responding to his needs as his father seemed a little out of practice in this art. A smooth twelve and a half hour flight from Heathrow to London, made sadder by watching 12 years a slave, ended as we touched down a little late in Singapore.
Everyone prepared to exit, whereupon cute little Thomas said he felt sick. Daddy reassured him – “don’t worry, I have a bag for you”. Thomas turned green, dad didn’t respond, and there was no sign of the aforementioned bag.
Being ever resourceful, I reached into my seat pocket, grabbed mine, not noticing that you had to tear along the perforations on the top to open. Being a little cutie and seeing a bag, Thomas immediately turned towards me as I struggled to open the bag in time, he emptied the contents of his stomach right over me in true Mr Creosote style – I was soaked through to my underwear.
Daddy fussed around Thomas, offered me a small tissue then turned heal and walked off the plane leaving me to clean up! I had prepared to disembark the plane, with my belongings on the seat – kindle, travel cushion, flight socks etc ready to put into my hand luggage, all in the firing line of Thomas – well, you have enough detail!
I ran off the plane which was already late, looked for my connecting flight, had little time to connect, but found a toilet where I stripped off. Being a seasoned traveller, I had a change of clothes, but didnt think of also bringing a fresh bra too – will always take one in future!
I boarded the flight to Bali and took my seat near the back of the plane. Oh joy – another flight to take, sweaty, knackered and smelling of vomit. All was not lost, as I was surrounded by a group of 40 people from Chengdu, right in the heart of China who were taking a holiday to Bali. They were the Chinese equivalent of “Spice UK”
The guy next to me spoke to me in English using his entire repertoire “How are you today” “How may I help you” and finishing with “Do you speak Chinese?” He made this last for the 2+ hour flight, I kid you not. I taught him to say “Cheers” which he continued to do at alternate mouthfuls of his 3 cans of lager – and many of the others joined in too….
I am now part of numerous Chinese photo albums as I posed with numerous members of the group. They asked where I was from by showing me a map from the airline magazine, I pointed and they responded “Ah, Canada”! Just as many Brits would if China was pointed out to them no doubt! One member of the group had completed all their landing cards – my new friend showed me his – all beautifully completed with occupation being stated as “holiday” I made a guess from his English repertoire that he was in sales and altered his card accordingly! I felt for the poor air stewardess who was the only Mandarin speaker who they constantly called over to translate! My new friend could now say “Vely nice to meet you” and they all copied……..
At last – in Bali, such a relief! Just got to get through immigration and customs. Immigration, no problem, I didnt have to queue through the “visa on arrival” as I had already arranged mine through the Indonesian embassy in London as I was staying longer than 30 days – this was a breeze.
The guy from the dive school Im training with had asked me to buy some Jack Daniels. At duty free in Heathrow, I was tempted by the 2 litres of Gordons gin for £22 so I decided to go for it – I never get checked at customs after all, and all 3 bottles fitted nicely in my hand luggage. With this in mind, and having ticked the box on the customs form “Nothing to Declare” I headed towards customs with my head held high feeling confident. This crashed when I saw the X-Ray Units where all bags were screened. I quickly altered my form with the honest version and very sheepishly entered through the “Red Zone”. with images of a scene from Bridget Jones in my head!
I was taken into a customs office, along with others who had been found out in the “Green Zone” (At least I was honest – ahem, ahem!). He gave me a lecture then demanded $45US from me. I had absolutely no currency on me and prepared to hand him my 2 litres of delicious Gordons as if it did not matter, then remembered the sneaky little $20 Aussie dollars I had in my cosmetic bag left over from my last trip there. I dug it out – handed it to him and quickly left – it seemed to do the trick as I wasnt followed.
I walked into arrivals with a sea of placards being held as I searched for my name – finally – I was here, and they nearly got my name right!
Ive finally arrived in Bali – another adventure begins!