Travel

Waking from a coma

The mother of all lines at HKIA

The mother of all lines at HKIA

Wow. It’s been a really long time since I last posted properly. 9 weeks and counting in actual fact. The simple answer, ‘university’. The last 9 weeks or so saw Michaelmas Term 2012 flash by in a second and left me to awake from my work-induced coma just recently. There’s a million and one things that happened. Here’s the stuff that I can remember.

The flight back to the grand ole United Kingdom was enjoyable enough. despite of the massive Emirates queue that I managed to skip thanks to a little thing called online check-in, I quite enjoyed Emirates with large and spacious seats, an entertainment system that was operational even before we took-off and just about every amenity that one could imagine needing on a flight. I managed to watch Men in Black 3, The Avengers and even 4 episodes of Veep. I’d been dying to watch Veep for a while, especially after having dabbled in the West Wing and the Thick of It. Love the A380 we were on between Dubai and London, and Safe, Prometheus, Brave and Game Changer helped make time pass faster.

CIMG3558I had thankfully arranged to arrive in Oxford a few days earlier than most freshers were supposed to arrive. It meant that most of the accommodation and the college itself was empty and devoid of people. Thankfully, I was able to do quite a bit of shopping in the meantime, unpack my backs and sort myself out before everyone arrived. That’s when Fresher’s week started. I didn’t exactly go clubbing that often, but between the movies, musical shows, murder mysteries, Pizzas and work (3 tutorials on consecutive days!), it was all fun and good. I also managed to avoid Fresher’s flu, most likely the result of not having trade too many germs with others in the warm, sweaty environment of clubs.
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Twists and Turns of International Travel

I’m back! After a sometimes normal and sometimes odd journey, I’m safely back in the UK, assuming nothing else happens that is. The last few days in Hong Kong were quite, mostly working, packing, chewing and sleeping my way through the days. Then of course, things started going wrong. While waiting to change from one bus to another in Central, Hong Kong, my 3 minute McDonald’s toilet trip made me miss my E11 bus, forcing me to take A11. That being said, the A11 bus was far more direct and took us on the newly opened (it was my first time at least) Stonecutters Bridge. Airport buses would usually speed-up my journey by about 15 minutes as opposed to the more winding route of Express buses. But taking an Airport bus combined with the Stonecutters Bridge route probably made the trip a further 15 minutes shorter, bringing me to Hong Kong International Airport just 35 minutes after I left Central.

Waiting... at HKIA

Getting to the airport might have been a walk in the park, getting onto the plane and off the ground certainly wasn’t. All the passengers of the massive Boeing 747-400 were set at gate 17 only to find out 15 minutes before boarding was set to start that we had been switched to gate 32, in another part of the airport near the very end of that section. So, we all had to trek over. Unsurprisingly, neither the plane nor the crew were ready at all. In fact, as I ranted on twitter, the crew calmly sat opposite me in the waiting area, chatting amongst themselves – pilot included. I didn’t board until 11:49 but we had been scheduled to take-off at 11:45. We were late on take-off, but thankfully the pilot put in some extra fuel and got us to our destination largely on time.
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UWC Adriatic MUN 2011: Part 2

We were woken up at 4 and advised to go through security before the masses arrived. We duly did and managed to find seats past security that were good enough to sleep on. I finished a morning paper at 5:30 and slept till 7. I woke up from a really odd dream, we then packed-up and went to Pret a Manger where we sat to eat and research until 11:00 when we moved to our gate.

Here’s the dream.

I was sleeping like I was, only in a partitioned section almost as if next to a security post. When I woke-up, I looked up at one of those airport boards telling you which gate is at what time and their respective status only it appeared really really fuzzy. I knew I wasn’t wearing glasses but I just couldn’t figure out why it was so fuzzy. I eventually say 11:50 when our RyanAir flight is scheduled for 11:35. Deciding we had missed our flight, I sort-of crashed onto the bench again, waking up to find Merone also having woken up and also staring at the time board. I proceeded to ask her the status of the flight, all the time being pretty-much fully conscious that we had missed our flight. She informed me that the flight was gate-closed but hadn’t left yet to which I replied we should ask a airport staff who would be able to help sort us out.
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UWC Adriatic MUN 2011: Part 1

Just as the Welsh weather began to improve, I took the opportunity to jet off to somewhere even warmer and a whole lusher ~ UWC Adriatic MUN 2011, but first, I had to get to Duino.

After a few last minute changes, me and Merone (from BC, Canada) began our 22 hours of traveling at the bus-stop just outside UWC AC to catch a bus to Llantwit. From the get-go, there were problems. Neither the public bus (darn Welsh public transport), nor our taxi (which had been our back-up plan) turned-up. Thankfully, one of our administrative staff members was kind enough to give us a ride to the train station.
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