Day 0/1 – Return to South East Asia

23 Feb

Bags were packed … At the last minute. Goodbyes said. 3 hours of sleep later and Broon taxis arrived spot on time. I think that was 4:15am. Eyes too blurry to see.

A brief stop at Tesco for those last minute “essentials” almost caused a delay for two reasons. Firstly who knew that to get money off your shopping you had to spend more than the coupon value. That early in the morning and multi buy deals almost defeated me. Secondly, Sheila Walker was found dropping off her daughter to work (wearing an ASDA uniform) in the Tesco car park.

Broon taxis got me to the airport for 5:30am – bang on time. A very frisky security officer and and rescan of my kindle later and I managed an expensive bacon roll before boarding the first flight of the day.

Safely arrived in London and transferred swiftly to the next flight. Boarded the upper deck of an A380, but unfortunately there are 9 rows of economy seats at the back. Had to work through the business class section to reach them though. Nothing like rubbing your nose in it.

4 films a brief snooze and a couple of nice meals later (13 hours), I arrived in Kuala Lumpur or KL as everyone else calls it. Transferred quickly within the terminal and had time to pick up a few leaflets for the return journey.

Managed to sneak the wifi password from a coffee shop and hung about updating Facebook and the rugby scores. Tried a couple of the toilets, but they were of the crouching type. After my third attempt, I resorted to a quick stop in the disabled loo. Managed to freshen up very satisfactorily. I then headed to the gate, skipping the Harrods tea room (really?)

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At this point, some of the Explore group become apparent. At least 7 of us were standing waiting at the gate. Unfortunately there wasn’t a plane in sight. Eventually, they announced that it was delayed for at least an hour and some of us headed back to the comfy seats. There are no seats at all in KLIA. Met Jackie and Jackie and together we sat and watched a man’s chest be vibrated vigorously by the relaxation chairs. He had lots of spare fat which made this exceptionally humourous. Also had time to chat to John and Bridget.

Boarded the next flight to Hanoi which was to take 3.5 hours. Looking forward to seeing another couple of films. Two problems with that. Firstly the selection available was much reduced and secondly I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Woke up to a wet patch on the carpet. Hope I hadn’t spilt anything in my sleep.
Arrived in Hanoi and met with Vinh, our tour guide for the Vietnamese part of the trip. Also 13 others which included Agnes and Monica from Budapest. Less than an hour later we were in our hotel in the centre of Hanoi.

Following a group briefing, which saw our numbers grow to 17, I managed to dodge the bikes as we walked to an evening meal. Slippery floors and 4 flights of stairs meant that most people were careful with their alcohol consumption. Very decent meal, although I was served last. Can’t complain for a fiver.

An early night followed to catch up on much needed sleep.

More later …

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