Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Crossing The Pond




A week flies by since the semester holidays and with the enthusiasm of a big sister having give her baby brother a diaper change, I resume school. The semester exam results are finally handed back, life actually could get much better. But hey, how can we appreciate the good times without having to live through the dull days?

So finally, after six days do I come across some free time, so anyway, this post is about my family and I, and what we did in the two weeks of the holidays.

***

Mark the dawn of the 23rd of May.
Having to catch a flight at 10 o'clock, we had to depart home in the wee hours of the morning. Stepping out the front door, light was scarce, but having stepped in and out of the threshold of our terrace doorway, muscle memory was sufficient to navigate our way around the porch to load all baggage into the car. After all loading was done, we left for one of Malaysia's proud buldings, KLIA.

Upon arrival, we checked in our luggage at the counter. Unfortunately, we hit a snag regarding overweight luggage. The problem was soon solved though, after some mixing and matching the stuff from two separate bags to equalize the weight. After checking in those, we were handed our boarding passes and headed to the terminal. By then, the sun was already a bright glaring orange ball in the sky. None of us had our breakfast yet. So we headed over to the airport's BK for some breakfast burgers. Well, Burger King doesn't have a breakfast menu.. so I got myself a double black pepper while my sis had a double mushroom swiss.. umm. Yummy! Everyone else didn't have much to eat in spite of air sickness which was inevitable in the flight that was soon to come.

We headed back down, and proceeded through our boarding gates.. no waiting was needed because, well, we were kinda late. So we just walked right through the security checks, got rubbed here and there abit because I got sounded off for wearing a metal belt, and boarded the MH0004 to... Err.. We were ABIT late.

It took about half an hour for the captain to get the plane ready, soon, we started to taxi on to the runway. Then, with an eager look, took flight! Bon Voyage! MAS has been upgraded a wee bit since the last time I flew with them, which is approximately a decade ago. There were actually private screens for entertaintment now, and they had a detachable remote control! But being me, I didn't really indulge myself in technology. Why watch a movie or play games when you can do them at home? I spent the hours gazing out the window down to earth which I found way more fascinating. Some hours passed by and soon the stewardesses of the "Best Aviation Service" rolled out with trolleys of food. With makeup that looked thick enough to keep them warm throughout winter, they began asking passenger to passenger on their preference of meal keeping a nice solid plastic smile on. I admit, I admire them for their effort to still manage to keep it on while dealing with some more.. difficult passengers. When I was asked to choose my meal, I was utterly disappointed to be told that apparently, one among the two choice of food were finished, and I had to either settle for "Not-my-mom-or-dad's-cooking" Fish Curry or Veggie Pasta. The latter it was. And then, the moment I dug in I was extremely disappointed. Airplane food used to be one of those things I looked forward to, and believe me, a decade ago it was so much better, even for economy. As for small consolation, the dessert was a mini-Magnum ice cream. After that, I had a game of checkers, battleship, stared off into the space through the window, and then dozed off. The flight took a whole twelve hours, which meant that at least one bathroom break was inevitable after chugging down about a dozen cups of orange juice. So what seemed like ages, we finally landed at Heathrow. The first thought that entered my head upon arrival was:
"God, I'm so proud of KLIA"



You'll know why when if you ever get the chance to go there. Let's just say I like the laptop better than the typewriter.

So after collecting our luggage from the conveyor belts, we went to the entrance to wait for my cousin who according to the plan was fetch us from the airport. The wait took longer than expected because of the traffic jam, so in the meantime, I had the chance to go site seeing around the airport, and Wow! Things sure were expensive over there! If you thought Baskin Robins was expensive here, check this out:



Well later, when my cousin finally arrived, the whole family went to the parking lot to find a rental van waiting for us.


So we loaded the boot, strapped ourselves in, and of we were to our pits stop for the night.

Along the way, I was just the perfect picture of an over enthusiastic tourist, snapping pictures of everything I saw, including this!


Poor Old One-Legged Spongebob


The distance to our motel was in relative, like from KL to Subang. When we finally got there, our jetlagged bodies just gave in and crashed on the nice comfy beds.




The Inn we stayed at

The somewhat pretty staircase

Sometime during the night, having travelled lightly, the bunch of us decide to head over to the local supermarket. TESCO! Using my cousin's van, the six of us got there in about under 10 minutes. It was kinda odd for once. they had no suck veggies like bok choy or khailan.. looking at the rows of chicken and beef felt VERY weird. Because you know they weren't halal, but back at home given the same setting, it felt more welcome. The other difference between here and home is well, bread. Theres a whole aisle just for bread! And they have all kinds of brands. I mean all we have at home are Gardenia and High5 plus the local supermarket made GiantBread, CarrefoureBread and TescoBread. Forgive me other bread brands if I missed you out. Maybe I'm ignorant, or maybe you just haven't reached that high in the market yet? So after collecting all needed supplies,of junk, I drifted off with the trolley to the cashier, where we met the cashier lady who was oh so sweet in the way she spoke. I don't know about you guys but I'm a fan of the the biritish accent. So I think what happeend there was something we bought was mistagged, so she said to the other lady "Nancy, could you help me?" in such a way where you would just smile listening to her.

The weird combination of Orange and banana we bought. And it was delicious!


Next day, we checked out and headed off to my cousins house, which would be where we would be staying for the next few days. Leaving Travelodge, the maroon van we rode drove out of the parking lot and into the european morning. Cold. Dry. Windy. And a bunch of these weird flowers flying everywhere and getting stuck in your hair. But hey, the outside weather didn't matter, because we were in a Van which, unfortunately only had HEATERS! I mean, we're Malaysians! We wanna cool down, not warmed up! Why do you think Asians go to Europe and Europeans fo to Asia? The whole journey was stifiling HOT. And we couldn't open the windows in fear that those flying "dandelions?" might fly in and cause my sister to get an asthma attack. And did I mention, somebody blew a gas bomb in the van. So from then on, the whole journey we were practically being marinated and cooked. But of course there were some consolations. The view!




So well we finally got there before dying. My cousin's house was in Guildford. Never heard of it? Guildford's in Surrey. Still never heard of it? Well here's a hint. Harry Potter's favourite aunt , uncle and cousin live in privet driv, SURREY. Anyway, Surrey is I think. somewhere to the southeast of London. It was somewhat suburb. I liked it. We went abit out of the way past some farms and horse ranches to reach here:


Nice name for a house doncha think?


Shoe Rack
We met my cousin's Father-in-law there too. He was there on vacation too.

That night, we ate, Malaysians staple food. Rice. I forgot what the extra's were. But I remember we drank alot of Tesco labeled Orange Juice. And well, the sofa was so comfortable, and with the central heating turned on, I snoozed off before everyone else.

***

Next day we just hung out in their little cottage. While the parentals were catching up with my cousin and his wife, I entertained myself with the telly. . My cousin and his wife had two kids, One girl, one boy. More soon to come? I don't know.
She's Aisha. He's Ali.

I met them once before, before they migrated to the UK. But that was when Ali was just a baby and when Aisha still had very little memory? So they were practically strangers to me as much as I was a stranger to them. And! Did I tell you I'm really good with kids? It's like this special talent I have. They just come on to me. Literally!



Bottom line: David vs Goliath, the latter lost.

After a whole day of getting bullied, and running for cover upstairs and hiding under the bed, the little menaces finally gave up the hunt. And the lousy part was, I slept.. all through DINNER! And do you wanna know what we had for dinner that night?


These, have got to be the most delicious, most succulent kebabs I've ever had the pleasure to put in in my mouth, to chew and savour slowly, and to swallow. It's lamb by the way. And it's halal! well, duhh. If not I couldn't eat it. The meat was supplied by a halal butcher from pakistan i think. Yeah every country in the world is becoming multi-racial this millenium. I ate mine cold. But it still tasted good.



The next day we went to London.how we got there: We took the train from Guildford station.



And we bought this day pass which costed 14 POUNDS per head. 14(5) x 6.5 = RM 455.


Okay, that's not it. That costed only 2 bucks.

This is the ticket:


So there we were, amazed at the train station. Well maybe it's just me. Eventhough there was that ktm station back at home right behind Carrefoure, I never rode on it. Ever. So being a fan ever since I was a kid after watching endless episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, I was a big fan of trains. unfortunately steam trains are practically extinct, I guess this is still fun to watch. So we arrived at Waterloo Station in about, I guess the time it takes to get to KL from Subang Jaya. And with only having the knowledge of the famous places in London from the board game
Monopoly, we HAD to get ourselves a map. So we did. Then well, I from here on out, let the pictures do the talking.


First up, we roamed the streets of London.

Then it was off to the undergound.

Then to Tower Bridge


Strand Station

McDonald's was abit extravagant. More like a cafe than a fast food parlour.



Let's not forget those famous london phonebooths!


He accidently fumbled and dropped one when after I took the picture.
Pay close attention, this double decker actually has a Malaysian number plate!

Trafalgar Square


That's faeces on the path.

And this is the culprit:
Buckingham Palace


Hey, the of the oddest things were, see those guards? We're not the only ones from Malaysia. Their wearing Baju Melayu. And he's guarding Buckingham Palace!

Saw some British Skaters

Tried to get into Platform 9 3/4
There was a Jamaican man jamming away in the underground
The Big Ben


Believe me or not, that Big Ben photo was taken sometime about 7 pm. And it was still that bright. Summer can do wonders I guess. It only get's dark at about 10pm there.

So anyway, after a whole day out, and still hungry, after only feeding on chips and buns, we headed back home, which is my cousin's place.


And that night I ate this thing, which you can't get back in Malaysia.

***

That's London over, still to come:

France
Scotland

5 comments:

fionamak said...

how can they do that to spongebob! =( nice pictures btw ;)

. aD . said...

kesian spongebob !
and oh the food looks great hows the taste ?
lol anyways do relink me dude .
www.wakeupsmelltheroses.blogspot.com

thanks , ainaa delaila :D

Shu Ying said...

Azhar !! waiting you to upload band's pics..!! xD

Cherie said...

I am a stranger. (that makes me sound highly scary so maybe I shouldn't have said that)

But anyway, as the web goes, I have clicked through links and am here and the thing that made me leave a comment now is London!

Europe is so fun. I love those mini Magnum's they serve! They used to serve Haagen-Dazs though :( Probably too expensive now.

I should revisit London again someday. Cheers!

Hanah Z said...

what the heck. how the serious shit could they do that to SPONGEBOB?! seriously, british people HATES spongebob. okay, im going to stop being racist. the british people I KNOW hates spongebob. anywayyy, um. oh. yeah. those kids are sticking to you like glue or smthing!

heh, funny blog. and poor juggling man. nd the kebab monster looks SO NICe.