Fingers hovering over the confirm flight button.. Passenger details entered. Credit card number in
‘If we click that means we are off to China in 7 weeks ye’. ..aaaaah!
Some more finger hovering, some almost clicking and after some time, in a joint effort we clicked the confirm flights and our plane from London to Beijing on the 10th of July 2011 was booked!
Shit shit shit shit..we are going to China in 7 weeks and nothing is planned!
I tried to keep it quite in work as I wanted to tell the boss before he heard from someone else..
meanwhile I was sneaking off getting travel injections every now and then..
However knew the jig was up when he called me Philleas Fogg and wanted a word..
‘Nigel I heard something there about you wanting to do a bit of travelling?
‘Eh.. yes maybe for a couple of months..ya know while im still young…’
‘Yes that’s great..in the near future?
‘Nah not really maybe in about…Eh.. 6 weeks..’
‘That is the near future ya bollox! Lol’
‘yes I suppose it is lol’
‘alright we’ll talk about it later’
And with that work was sorted. Only 6 weeks and I’ll be homeless in Beijing I thought..
Even the big daddy, the owner of our store,
came into work to say farewell
YOU..are you the one leaving? No im Eoin that’s Nigel over there
The next few weeks was spent looking at maps of the world. Plotting potential routes through countries and continents, by season, transport and by price(all this planning goes out the window when you are on the road)
I booked a tour leaving Lhasa for the 21 of Aug and that was the only thing solid at the moment. That and being homeless in Beijing the 11th July
The date approaching, we got our new backpacks, which would be our new homes away from home for the next few months or even years.
Slowly but surely more packages arrived to fill up or backpacks, sleeping bag liners, travel clothes, adaptors.
The last day of work came as did the last weekend of living with my friend Andrew.
We had lived together for almost two years, had two 37” hdtvs two PS3’s and surround sound in the sitting room all side by side to play games together.
Our neighbours would have hated us except they were travellers and made more noise than we did.
We had a going away party in the local pub and all the friends and gang from work came down. Either to see me off or to make sure I went! After a great night and large amounts of Jack Daniels I awoke in an awful condition with a loose grasp on gravity and a similar grasp on the contents of my guts. I began the arduous task of packing boxes, moving all my crap to my mams house and giving the apartment a clean!
I was to spend the next and final week in Ireland staying with my mam..back in my old room, playing with my dog and having the last home cooked meals for a long time to come!
We Landed in London, hopped on the tube and were met by Sinead’s Uncle Matt, where we would be spending the night.
Sineads camera was shite so we did a little looking around for a new one but didn’t get anything
had a BBQ and a beer and chilled out..
We Boarded our plane the new A380, big on the outside normal on the inside.
first stop Dubai for a couple hours, then Beijing.
About an hour from Beijing, as were nibbling away on our breakfast/lunch or whatever it was…
WWOOOOOOSSSHhhh…the plane dropped about 500m..Sineads can of sprite hit the overhead storage spilling everywhere, people falling and people getting sick..flight attendants trying to get people to stay seated as they strapped themselves in..the captain saying something about damage control….people still trying to walk around..i can only imagine what the toilet situation was like considering the height Sineads can of Sprite got to…
The worst turbulence ever!
After gathering our bags and converting our last Euros and Pounds to Yuan we set of to get a taxi to our Hostel. I knew the price should be roughly 250Y after checking with the hostel
We went to the taxi Q and asked the attendant how much roughly to the area we were going
We asked a taxi ourselves..’700’
We walked down from the main exit and found a taxi for the right price..
The closer we got to the city the darker it got, and as we arrived at our hostel it was night
Tucked away in a dark laneway off a main road behind some tiny local rundown shops..wondering ‘oh god is this the right place..i GPS’d myself continuously..and yes I was in the right area..
We pulled up beside our home for the next week, The Happy Dragon.
Shown to our bed room, quick look around for bed bugs, and a joke or two about the hole in the ground toilet we had a well deserved sleep!
A Free Range Cabbage originating in Ireland.