I'll be on the plane pretty soon now. I'm a bit nervous to tell the truth. For the first time in a long time I'm actually going to miss people. Even back in 2003 when I shifted my whole life 12,000 miles, I wasn't particularly affected emotionally. With the notable exception of my grandmother who I saw maybe every other weekend, I simply didn't have anyone around me to miss.
I'll be flying out at 11:15 tonight on NZ39. It's a great time of day to leave because I'll feel like falling asleep then. Whether I actually do is another matter of course. I'll then touch down in Hong Kong (assuming my plane successfully negotiates the skyscrapers) and I'll be stuck there for bloody ages. Six hours. I'll be cursing the fact that none of the cafés and shops will be open when I arrive (they'll have opening times of 8am till 8pm or whatever, even though when you're flying there's no longer any sense of a.m. or p.m.). I then fly Lufthansa to London via Frankfurt; when I finally get to my gran's it'll be elevenish on Sunday night. I hope she won't mind.
I'll only have a couple of days in the UK before I take a Ryanair flight to Brescia. From there I'll catch a train to Venice, which will be an amazing experience I'm sure. Hopefully I'll be able to get accommodation there for two nights, at least, before exploring a bit more of northern Italy. I then plan to travel through France on the TGV, maybe catch some of Roland-Garros if I can somehow get hold of a ticket, then take the Eurostar to London on the 25th.
I'll spend as much of my remaining time in the UK with my gran as I can (I feel a bit bad that I'm not spending longer there) although I'll want to catch up with my brother as well as some old friends from university in Birmingham (with the exception of one bloke, I've almost fallen out of touch with them).
I leave London on June 9th and then head to Bangkok. Hopefully the political situation in Thailand will have improved by then, or else I'll have to cross the border into one of the neighbouring countries, meaning all kinds of fun and games getting visas. I get back to Auckland on the 24th when the big job search will really begin.
I did follow the British election yesterday, quite intently. I was shocked to learn that many people ended up in long queues at badly understaffed polling places and were unable to exercise their democratic rights. Heads will roll I'm sure. And some of the results from individual seats were frankly bizarre. It reminded me a bit of the 2000 US election when all those people in Florida accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan. I really do hope they get things sorted quickly.
The poker win. It's not like I hit six numbers on Lotto or anything, but I can't deny it's a significant financial boost to me. I hope I can enjoy it.