• Lulu Gibbons

Thailand Tour: Day 9


Breakfast was pretty tasty yet again and I took the opportunity to make a sneaky sandwich to bring with me to the airport as I wasn't sure of what the food situation would be. We got our stuff all together and made our way down to the lobby where we would have our final farewell. Thankfully, Chamani had booked minivans for us so that didn't have to face yet another Thai ferry for 2 hours!There were 5 minivans for the whole group, 4 going back to the starting hotel, which I was surprised that such a number, then the last one was going to the airport, with only 7 of us in. I didn't end up saying goodbye to that many people! But soon enough we got on our way with the promise that we would be taking a pit stop half way where all of the buses would meet for the last time before splitting in different directions. Therefore, I refused to say goodbye to Nina just yet as I saved it for at said pit stop. Big hugs were exchanged and promises to stay in touch then we hopped back into the vans and all went our separate ways.

When myself and a few others entered into the international airport I was pleasantly surprised at how new it was – opening only a month before! So for this reason I didn't mind the 6 hours I had ahead of me so much. I did have a momentary panic though at the fact that I couldn't see Malaysian Airways on the boards of the flight operators, but all was well as I went to the info desk and it just wouldn't be showing until I could check in – annoyingly only 2 hours before the flight rather than 3, meaning 4 hours waiting with nothing to do. I was joined by the lovely Dee to keep me company for the wait as she also had a late flight, but worse than mine at 8pm! I was happy to have her there, but then it has to be said, I was rather looking forward to being on my own – as it was the first time in 9 days! There's was feeling for a need for chatting when really I just wanted to people watch or look out the window. One benefit was that I didn't have to take my mamoth suitcase with me to the toilet! When the time came I went off to check in and I was away. Security was easy peasey and I now had another 2 hours or not really anything to do once again. I went into duty free and bought some coconut milk candies for Bill and Cathie and the kids to go with some dried banana I had also bought and just wandered around the terminal. When I decided I had had enough I went to my gate and sat and read.

When I got onto the flight I couldn't believe my luck! It was a small plane and I had a whole row of 6 to myself – I doubt even a third of the plane was occupied. This journey was so short that I didn't even get to finish a film!

Once of the plane I was relaxed as I knew I had another 3 hours before my next one left, so I wasn't rushing like I was the other connection. I took the monorail over to the international terminal and sat in 2 different cafes drinking hot water (Here in Kuala Lumpur I had no idea of what the currency was so I just went for the free option. Travel tips!). On board the next flight, I yet again couldn't believe my luck as in the configuration of 2 4 2 I somehow managed to bag myself a window 2 seat with no one next to me for the next 8 a and a half hours. As people were filling on to the plane I refused to look at the seat next to me as I didn't want to jinx my wish of an empty seat. Happy days! I finished watching the movie that I'd started, then attempted to sleep – with limited success.

Touch down in Sydney and I was frantically trying to connect to the airport wifi – which didn't work – so that I could get in contact with Cathie to say I'd arrived. I was expecting my whole bag to be searched going though customs as I had seen many a time on the TV when watching ‘boarder force’. Yet, Australia, with legends of the difficulty of getting in, was one of the easiest security process Ive ever been though. I just touched my passport through the electronic gates and it already knew that I was on a holiday working visa. With that and a whoosh of the gates I was through. Bag was waiting on the conveyor, I give in my landing card to a security officer and I was waved through to run wild in Oz. Simple as that!

Pete, Cathie’s brother was already there waiting for me so away we went. On the way home he uttered the magical words of ‘ Shall we pick up a coffee?’, to which I gleefully replied yes.

I walked into the Friend house and was taken aback by its beauty. Straight through the door you can see right out into the garden and surrounding crowd of thick luscious leaves coming from the great variety of trees that are everywhere. We sat down for a while whilst sipping our coffees before Pete made his departure and I took my bag downstairs to unpack and start to make myself at home.

Cathie then took me out to show me a bit of Avalon. First on the list was activating my bank account, which was already loaded with ‘sufficient’ funds as required for me to get into the country – not that anyone even checked! Then we had a bit of a wonder around and grabbed a juice to take with us an sit by the beach. After dinner I was exhausted and fell into the category of tired and emotional.

I rang my mum for a quick facetime and broke down into tears, not for feeling unhappy more so because I just couldn’t hold it in. Of course I knew that it wasn’t to last but at that moment all I was really wanting was a hug from old Mama G, which was exactly what I couldn’t have due to the fact that she was on the other side of the world – bit tricky. Having no idea what time my body clock was on, I then drifted off to sleep in the country that I would be in for the next 7 and a half months.


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