What are you looking for?
13 May 2012

time travel

when i first moved to the uk, i documented most of my travels for my friends and family back home who were interested in hearing about what i was getting up to, and getting myself in to. i did this through the 'notes' function on facebook. ever since facebook reinvented itself and destroyed parts of it that i loved, i have been considering moving some of my 'travel diary' entries over here - for safe keeping. there are a number of them, so i thought mayber i could use them as a regular feature on the blawg (so as to not bore you dumb with stories that are no longer relevant). i think in writing the diary i really noticed that what i was writing was getting a reaction from people (not just my mum), and that i really enjoyed expressing myself in that sort of way.. i will edit them as necessary, but for the most part, leave them as i wrote them to keep the authenticity.. and to show (perhaps) how my writing has... matured?

i hope you enjoy!




As loads of you have been asking, here is an update :)

As I was checking in at Melbourne I was fairly early having seen Andrew and the girls off at domestic first (off to visit the family in Queensland), so as soon as my flight opened I checked in so I could dump my bags. I got talking to the woman at the counter about my dual-passport situ, my thoughts on flying on Christmas Day with a non-Christian airline (Malaysian), how I hoped I wouldn't die etc, and, I may or may not have commented on her eyes (amazingly green)(nothing suss) too. Flattery worked obviously, as she let my overweight baggage pass. I counted that as a win. 

I spent the next couple of hours in the airport trying to (but failing to find) buy last minute duty free for the English crew, stocking up on mags, lollies, etc and finding a power point to charge the iPhone. About half hour before boarding, I hear my name being called over the PA. I almost died.. Something horrible has happened! I'd booked the wrong flight! This one goes to Botswana! I haven't booked luggage! thankfully, no.. nothing like that. The counter lady comes up to me and says "Miss Vonderwall, give me your boarding pass. You've been bumped.. To business class."


"we've overbooked the flight, so at check in we're supposed to keep an eye out for people eligible to be bumped up. Enjoy your flight! *BIG SMILE*"

*winks* "no YOU enjoy you're fli--ugh Christmas...thanks!"

Sidenote: Malaysian Airlines have those sleeping pods in business class. And someone who brings you loads of alcohol without having to ask. And china crockery. And REAL food (Christmas turkey with roast potatoes and gravy). And CUTLERY. and hot towels after touching ANYTHING. it were... Amasian (pun intended). 7 hours of pure luxury.

Followed promptly by 3 hours of hell in KL airport. So, by the time we'd arrived it was 9ish in Malaysia and midnight in Melbourne and I was tired from being crap at goodbyes, keeping myself awake although I had an amasian bed/pod to sleep if I wanted (all part of the grand plan to beat jet lag) and the general weirdness of being in Asia was overwhelming. So I went to burger king. They let you use foreign currency in the airport but will only give you change in whatever their currency is. My meal was $5 Aussie and I got about 25 whatever back. ? Ok. The massage chairs in departures were 15 whatevers for half an hour. 10 for 20 mins. SORTED. :D

The second plane was a double decker airbus. Pretty cool. I was row 54F. o_O sat in my seat by the window. Tiny, little, economy sized seat, preparing (and wondering HOW) to sleep for some of the next 13 hours. Sat. Waiting. People boarding around me. No one sitting next to me. People changing seats. No one sitting next to me. Cabin crew be seated for take off. No one sitting next to me. ....... . SCORE! the nice lady at checkin not only scored me an upgrade at melbourne, but secured me a WHOLE ROW OF SEATS TO MYSELF AT KL! ah bless. All three arm rests up and seats back plus sleeping tablets thanks to lozzah meant a semi un-broken 9/13 hours of sleep to the UK! that left me time to watch a movie or two (don't remember) and eat my cardboard meals (not sure what they were). Pretty much woke up at 3ish UK time (about 2pm Melbourne time) and had a standard economy class coffee and I was ready to beat jet lag! I had hoped to sleep a bit longer, but at least I had made myself fall asleep during THEIR night time so that's half the battle I'm told.

Picked my luggage up at Heathrow ("waited an hour or so at the carousel, had a ciggarette to pass the time cos the traffics hell" I was singing to myself!) and they'd DAMAMGED MY NEW KATE HILL LUGGAGE!! went thru to customs........ Nobody there? Sidenote: if you want to smuggle drugs into this country, do it before 7am - there is nobody working at customs during this time. Like, literally NOBODY WAS WORKING IN CUSTOMS. I went straight from collecting my bags to arrivals.

Where I found Erin and her dad John waiting for me, without a sign. Lucky for me I remember what she looks like, and she knew to look for a short person with pink bags. We mighta missed each other otherwise ;) John drove me through london and pointed out all the typical touristy stuff and has a lot of knowledge (a typical Dad) so was quite the tour guide! The sun was just coming up, giving that soft sort of light on a dewy morning.. I tell ya, turn on any English Telly program and that's what I felt like I was looking at. It was really... Bizarre. 

Erin's place is about an hour drive from London so busting for the loo haha, needing another coffee and some food, we three (Erin, brother Paul and I ) rug up and head to the shopping centre where Erin works. Remember: boxing day.

GREAT SCOTT. there are MILLIONS of people. All of them English. And I don't speak foreign. Trying to sort out a new sim for my phone was harder than expected cos they're BACKWARDS here and don't understand what I mean when I say EFTPOS or," I have to sign for that", they ONLY have chip'n'pin and my thing doesn't have a chip.. BAH!! 


Day one was spent shopping. Wellllllllllll.... Hardly cos the lines were LONG. like, long. And theses stores are BIG. one I was in had 8 registers. In a regular shop. And the lines were still out the door. So, minimal buying buy maximum looking. Topshop, H&M, Zara.. All on sale. *dies*.... And starbucks *nom*

That night we went round to their parents for boxing day dinner. YUM. polished of a duck/turkey/chicken combo and a couple bottles of wine (I was in a happy but not tired place). What would have made it better would have been snow. Of which, there has been none. Google says there may be some next week, but we doubt it. Erin's parents were most hospitable feeding and drinking me, and letting me be loud and drunk in their home :D it's how I roll. Got a cab back to Erin and Paul's and then continued to drink. I think we started to play Jenga, but I failed. About 4am we went to bed. SO MUCH FOR BEATING JET LAG.

Day 2: hungover. Back to the shops. Not the brightest idea. Bought some stuff this time. Couple of jackets, warm boots (yes, Uggs, siiiiiigh), don't really remember. Spending money is easy cos pounds seem cheap. THEYRE NOT WHEN YOU CONVERT THEM ERICA. English fish and chips for dinner (bleugh) and fell asleep on the couch in front of the football (soccer) (not unsusal for me, so hard to know if that was tiredness or boredom). 

Day 3 was giant sleep in, hangin round the house then hitting up Tescos for party supplies for the New years party we're hosting on Friday. Which took an hour. And over £100. For one night. (sidenote: they do not sell chicken in the butcher, any kind of good chips, or lemon squash of any kind. On a positive, you can buy booze - propper grog in the supermarket.) Then back round to the parentals for dinner and wine, met the rest of Erin's family (brother Neil from Ireland and sister Kate and boyf Neil (another, not the same. Yes, I did say Ireland, it's not like Tasmania)). Dinner was amazing, fell asleep after 4 beers infront of the cricket (good try Australia). Not sure what did it, beers, lag or cricket. Probably a combo.

Yesterday met up with another new friend Frank/Morris/Moz and we hit up the "many" op-shops Grays has to offer to look for costumes for our party on Friday (70's theme). Found nothing. Got to see Grays (Russell Brand lived here when he was a boy. His Mum still does. Hoping to run into her next week.). Scared of Grays. Hahah! I made dinner for Erin (romantic, no?) and we watched an incredible Criminal Minds marathon. Zero sport. And I was awake til 1am. Says something, no?

Today, I need to do some washing. Hah!

so, that's week one in the uk. what do you think?

that's all for now!

erica x