The time is roughly 6pm Malaysian time, 14th January 2011. I'm all packed and ready to go.
The route was Kch-Sin with SilkAir, then Sin-Lhr with Qantas. It was my first full-fare flights since ages, I'd flown low-cost carriers so often I've almost forgotten what it was like to not have to pay inflated prices for bottled water and instant noodles. So I was pretty excited about this trip.
I'm not an airline connossiuer the way my dad and older brother are (they're aviation fanatics, amongst other things) so I won't be able to give a narrative on which aircraft we're on and what routes which airline flies and who's bought over what company. Unnecessary disclaimer done.
We had free newspapers!!! Kch-Sin was just a short flight but it's still nice to have these little things. Most times I'm just left there with my thoughts and a grubby inflight magazine with the crossword all filled in.
And it just got better....
Food!!! That's not RM4 cup noodles/RM3 oreos!!! Must take a picture. My last fond memories of those aluminium tray covers was years ago, pre-low cost carrier boom. Ok not that long ago but I digress.
In the tray was a rather large chicken puff (I wouldn't call it a curry puff) that was actually quite delectable. Juice, water, coffee...man I'd missed all this.
And it came with metal cutlery! I thought they'd phased these out after 9/11, but there you go. I snuck the spoons into the UK. Would've liked to take the lot, but I didn't want to risk being held up at the pre-departure xray over possession of dangerous objects.
We landed in Changi alright, it was about 10pm when we arrived. Didn't have much time to comb through Changi's awesome capitalist terminals but I managed to explore Terminal 2 properly on my own.
It was time to board soon. The gate was filled with grumpy looking (probably jet-lagged) angmos headed for London. My parents and I were the only East/Oriental Asians there. There might've been an Indian family or two. Oh England, the great Indian motherland according to Russell Peters.
Now that's what I call a jumbo jet. I may not be able to tell you how many engines a 737 has or identify an A330 from an A320, but I do know the A380 is a big, big deal.
Now here comes the real fun part.....long-haul on full-fare! Yeah baby.
Inflight entertainment! Zomg. I was determined to stay up as much as I could (that helps the jetlag too) and chiong as many movies as I could. Didn't do as many as I'd like. -_-
The A380 has this really cool feature called skycam. There's a camera on the tip of the wing and you can see the view from there. It was really awesome, especially during takeoff.
And we're off!! It was such a pity my controller got jammed during the last 10 minutes of the flight, so I couldn't watch the landing from the skycam. My screen was stuck on Tetris instead.
It's a long journey..
And a long, long, looooong way from home.
But there's still more goodies to come!
And this time, it's foodddd!!!!!! :DD
It was already way past midnight, so I suppose it counts as supper. Airline food has always taken bad rep but I usually don't mind it, terrible or otherwise. Alas, no metal cutlery this time, curses! (mental note to self: fly SilkAir to Kuching (if going back) to swipe cutlery)
I had the fish and rice instead of the beef pasta. I think some part of me wanted to hold on to home a little longer. (I only adjusted the time on my watch a few days later haha.)
According to the menu, the stuff on my tray would be:
-tomato and chickpea salad (didn't see no tomatoes, but chickpeas were awesomesauce)
-seared fish in kung po sauce with fragrant rice and asian greens (lol?)
-banana custard pudding with coconut sauce
-(threw in a bun for good measure, haih these angmos and their breads)
Everything was great, except maybe the veggies which was a little wilted. I absolutely loved the banana pudding and had to tear my gaze away from my neighbours' uneaten puddings T_T I was sitting next to a couple of Brits who incidentally happened to be from Nottingham! We didn't talk much though, they were sleeping most of the time.
I got up and explored the plane for a bit. The A380 has two levels, the upper one belonging to first and business class. There were some steps leading up to it, we sakai all climbed it. They closed it later on though.
I was sitting quite close to the back of the plane, near the snack bar. Yes there is actually a bar where you can help yourself to free flow water, canned drinks, fruit, nuts and cookies. Awesome.
The packs of nuts reminded me of cigarette cartons for some reason.
But you don't really have to even get out of your seat to get a snack (for whatever reason, dinner was filling enough). Sometime after dinner we were given a snack pack and hot chocolate with a marshmallow on top.
And these are the contents of the pack - sweets and biscuits and fruit and water. Mmm.
Well lookie what we have here. A classic favourite. :) I watched
-Despicable Me (so-so, formulatic plot and relies too much on cute factor - bleh)
-an episode pf Big Bang Theory (Sheldon's C-men and too much alcohol lolol)
-The Kids Are Alright (to make an award-winning film, just include lesbians)
-Wild Target (only because Rupert Grint was in it, watched out of pure sadness that they weren't showing Deathly Hallows, stopped halfway because movie was too lame)
-an episode of Mr Bean (the new year/paint job one! Still kickass after all these years)
I should've watched Never Let Me Go instead. Didn't watch as many things as I'd liked for a 14-hour flight. I had about 3 hours of sleep altogether because I kept waking up from the thirst. It was incredibly dry up there, and I'm not usually sensitive to low-moisture conditions.
And we're halfway there! I swear the flight felt much shorter than 14 hours - must be the entertainment. I actually enjoy long-haul flights, provided they're full fare. Low cost carriers...a different thing.
A few hours before landing came my most favourite meal of the day! Brekkieeee. There was either an option of cereal or a hot breakfast. I don't know why anyone would choose the cold over hot breakfast, when 'cereal' was basically a small box of cornflakes and a tiny bottle of milk. Whereas the hot breakfast....
...was a scrumptious feast of sausage, omelette, hash and veggies. The sausage was so good. So was the fruit, yogurt and pastry (called pain au raisin - must be French to have to word 'pain' in it.) I finished every bit.
A few hours after brekkie was touch down. As mentioned earlier my screen was jammed so no skycam view for me. :(
Queuing up at the massive line at immigration for non-UK/EU passports. There were lots of American students in the line, talking in that 'merican drawl. My mum was so worried they'd find some reason to not let me in. We went through fine in the end.
Heathrow's terminal 3 (I think) was pretty small and old - I had been expecting something like JFK or Changi. There were loads of men in suits holding up signs, waiting for people. I presume they are taxi drivers.
Had a quick look at Marks and Spencers there, man I love how in the UK you get things that cost less than a pound. Their currency value is huge.
This is a keyboards from one of the internet terminals (which are not free. Changi 1, Heathrow 0 lol) Notice how the '@' and " keys are switched, and there's a £ instead of #. (click to enlarge) My computer doesn't have the £ sign and I can't remember the ASCII key for it, so it's going to be longhand poundpoundpoundGBP for now. Sigh.
Ben n Jerry's is a bit like the Baskin Robbins of the UK, as evidenced by my studying-in-UK friends who seem to always have endless supplies of it (apparently it goes for half price quite often).
Stepping out of Heathrow for the first time. It was about 10 degrees, quite warm for 6am in a London winter. (It's a high of 6 degrees here as I type -_-)
It was only daylight but my body clock was set to 2-3pm Malaysian time.
My parents' friend picked us up from the airport and drove us to their home, where we stayed at for a few days. I enjoyed London immensely. That'll be the next post. :)
Hello, Britain. At long last, I am finally here. :)