Day 1: The First Day Of The Rest Of Our Lives…

So, here it was, the morning of  “the big day”, as ever, I had that feeling of do I have everything, money belt, check, passport, check, belly full of uncertainty, check! The time was twelve pm and in an hour and a half, my chauffeur would be arriving (the chauffeur being my dear old mother). As the clock crept round, to said time, the butterflies inside of my stomach felt as though they were caught in a whirlwind.
Knock, knock, knock, went the front door, and as it opened, in stepped Janet Howe to aid me with last minute panic packing. With the bag packed it was then time to say goodbye to my loyal and trusted hound (the characteristic and full of life Jack Russell named Rocky…. don’t laugh). After the paw shake fair well, it was off In the car we headed to Sarah’s, where, she appeared cool and calm about her packed bag and the journey ahead. I grabbed a couple more t-shirts, that Sarah kindly purchased for me, from Primarni, and headed back on the road with my mum. Next stop was my step father’s place of work, where we would swap vehicles, from my mothers silver Peugeot, to Nigel’s S.U.V. Finally, off to London we headed, in a rat race against Sarah and her parents, the destination, Windsor.
Surprisingly, both vehicles arrived in good time to London, and, after finding a good car park to stop in, we all went to have our last meal as two families. After much debate, as to which restaurant was the best one in our location, the decision fell to me…. my choice wasn’t acceptable, and so, we ended up in zizi’s. After we all selected our food (of which I chose a spicy dish, that I later painfully paid for) and took some photos, it was back to the car park, where we would say our goodbyes to my mum and step dad, then, into Sarah’s parents car I climbed to venture on to our final resting place of England, the luxurious easyhotel!
It was at this location that Sarah’s loving parents, Ann and Simon Duxbury, offered us the final chance to be relieved of any excess baggage (chauvinistic joke about guy handing over girl entered here) and now, looking back, I wish I handed them half of my clothes, as they are nothing but excess weight to me now.
After the second goodbyes of the evening, and the promises to stay in touch, Sarah and I were left to our own devices, in a room no bigger than three feet by five feet, literally, somehow, the designers of these pod sized rooms managed to incorporate a bathroom/toilet/wash basin (it’s the only place, that i am aware of, that you can wash, relieve yourself and clean your teeth, all at the same time). After getting ourselves sorted for bed it was sleepy time, however, remember the spicy dish I ordered earlier, well, uh oh, it came back to attack me, in the form of a sore throat, and what felt like the early signs of a cold!
Brrr, brrr, brrrrrr, rang the alarm clock, at a friendly time of five thirty a.m., and after a restless nights sleep, I awoke, only to find that my suspicions were confirmed, I had all of the above, a sore throat, and a head full of angst, due to the unwelcome arrival of a cold! Next, we got up, packed our bags, and headed out of the door to our taxi, which then took us to Heathrow airport for the next leg of our journey. It was there, at the check in desk, that the kind lady informed us, that because we had no other flight booked than our one way to Bangkok, we stood a forty percent chance of being deported upon landing. This was bad news, especially for Sarah, as this was out of Sarah’s control, and without control, Sarah tends to get a bit angry, and, carefree with her choice of the English language.
So next stop was for us to get a flight booked, drats, the internet was too slow to do anything within the airport, drats, we couldn’t use WiFi, next stop, we went old school and found a payphone. So who did we call? That’s right, our lord and saviour, Simon Duxbury (in situations like this, he is kind of like what Oracle is to Batman), who went online and researched ticket prices for us, as we went away to force down breakfast on top of our delicious worry warts. Bing, went the tannoy, and it informed us that our flight was boarding, to our stop over destination of Mumbai. Ring, ring, Sarah’s phone beckoned as we queued, it was Oracle, sorry, Simon, who informed us of a flight he had found to Kuala Lumpur, Sarah informed him to book it, as a preventative measure, and that was the last we heard until we landed.
On the plane now, where we had a plethora of movies to choose from, one of which, was a film named Hatchiko: a dogs tale. Now for those of you who don’t know, Hatchiko tells the story of a dog who is found by a professor, played by Richard Gere (Sarah warned me that this film was sad, but I thought, “pah, what do you know! You cry at television adverts”). Now at the beginning of this film, the professor goes around trying to find the owner of Hatchiko, to no avail. Next we see him fall in love with the dog, then goes on to bond with him and train him. Then the film starts tugging at your heart strings, as the professor and Hatchiko begin walking to the train station every morning, where, the professor has to catch a train to college, because, it is there that he educates students about music. At the end of each day, the professor catches the same train home, where to his surprise, he is greeted by his loyal friend, Hatchiko, and they head home together. Now this same act is continued several times, until one day, Hatchiko is begging (the best way a dog can) the professor, not to go to work, the professor ignores this, and goes anyway (the swine), ultimately, this is the professor’s downfall, as it is after his train journey, when he is at college, that he has a fatal heart attack, and, needless to say, doesn’t return to the train station. However, poor Hatchiko is none the wiser to the passing of his master, and, waits for him, when he doesn’t return after several hours, Hatchiko gets rifled with worry and returns everyday for the rest of his life.
Now, this doesn’t sound that bad when you read it, but take into consideration the fact that I recently left a caring little Jack Russell at home, and, that all the way through this movie, there was constant piano music playing to every sad scene… I’ll just come out and say it, it made me well up. So to distract myself from the sadness, I played a little game of “watch the map, to see where we are in the world”, Paris, Spain, Germany, I’ll be honest, the game fell on it’s arse after a while, as it got to the point where I was watching the map more than the movie. THAT DARN DOG, WHY DID HE HAVE TO KEEP RETURNING TO THE STATION!!!
After a few more films, and, in flight dinners, we landed in Mumbai, where, we had to catch our connecting flight to Bangkok. It was on this second flight, that I lost the comfort of an exit seat (that the nice check in lady sorted for me at Heathrow) in exchange for a squished up aisle seat, of which my space was further reduced, because of a rude woman in front, who took it upon herself to recline her chair. I had sweet revenge though, as, when the food was served, I asked the steward if he could get her to move her seat forward, she did, I won!!
Touch down, we made it to Bangkok airport at six thirty a.m., first things first, Sarah checked her phone to find a message from Simon, the message explained of two flights he booked for us, it was the Kuala Lumpur ones, and, with a sigh of relief, we went through customs and acquired our visa stamps for thirty days (turns out we probably could have made it without the extra flights, sods law though I guess). With all that now in check, I guess you could call that the end of day one, as, the next item on the agenda, to claim our prize of slumber, the next stop, transport to the hostel……

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