Today, the journey begins.
As I sit beside Aunt J in her white Ra4, I look at the sky above. The clouds paint the afternoon sky white like cottons, occasionally allowing streaks of sunlight pass through them. I spot a heart-shaped opening among the clouds, a sign I take that the journey ahead will be smooth sailing. Ironically, I reach the airport significantly later than my friends, of which one of them is issued a parking ticket of RM300. I meet Teo, who sends his brother off to KL as well. Grandma is on the verge of tears as we enter the departure hall. I’ve never seen her like that before, but there is a first for everything. My best friend hands me a hand made card and a video, which would make me miss her even more did you know there’s even a DVD? 😀
It is my first time traveling overseas, hence my first time on a Boeing 777-300 . To say the plane is huge is an understatement. Of all the questions to ask, the only one that pop out of my brain is “How big does a plane has to be to have ten emergency exits?”
The plane is divided into several zones, the further your zones are, the further you are from the pilot. There are ten seats in each row, separated by two aisles, three seats on each side of the plane, leaving four seats in the middle. We couldn’t get four seats in a row but mum and i are able to sit together, in the middle of the middle column. There is a small television in front of each seats, controlled either by touching the screen or buttons in a portable remote control. Earphones are provided. It’s packed properly, so at least I know it’s clean. or at least I hope it is.
For the information part, to my delight, includes two cameras (forward and downward) so I can see the sky. There are also informations on Emirates airlines and Dubai airport, but i never read it, much less click on it. The communication part includes communicating by seats and payable calls to those on land. Must have cost a fortune. Entertainment part; my favourite! There are movies, tv shows, songs and games. In fact, there’s so much that it is literally impossible to just scan through all of them during the flight. Or maybe I’m not that bored. By two in the morning, the plane takes off from KL. Meals are provided twice. In that seven hours flight, I go to the toilet at least four times, having to wake the (very patient) guy sitting next to me. I sleep for 45 minutes, around five thirty in the morning, waking up right before breakfast is served, around two hours before touchdown.
We transit at the Dubai international airport for three hours, including a half hour at the security checkpoint. i doze off in a very uncomfortable chair, and wake up feeling sore 😦 at the next security checkpoint, we meet two people who would will be studying in MU too ; both doing engineering
The next flight to Manchester is at eight in the morning (GMT+4). Adrenaline wears out eventually, and i sleep like a log for three hours straight, in a very awkward position, missing a meal in between. It doesn’t really matter because food is always second to rest 🙂
At one thirty in the afternoon (GMT+1), we reach Manchester airport. A bus take us to the terminal. There is a separate queue for students, which took twice as long to complete. After showing documents at the counter, we are asked to wait to be taken in to another room for the medical reports. I must have turned white when I am asked to wait, because the guy ask me not to worry. Or maybe he says that to everyone.
There are few Chinese nationals in the same room as I am. Instead of a medical examination form, they have a Health booklet each. I know beforehand that the Chinese we Malaysians speak will be completely different, even then, the first time we speak, we stare blankly at each other. Eventually we compromise, speaking as slowly as possible in the shortest sentence possible. I learn that one will be doing business and the other law. Sarah and I part at the airport.
I love the city already.
The weather’s undeniable cool, with occasional wind that sends chills into your bones. The people are too friendly, certainly something I would love getting used to. There’s so much to look forward to, so many places to explore, and new memories to paint.
And it all begins now.