Posted by: danguard | June 7, 2009

Lost Mp3s, Aussies, and Spillage – the Journey

Well, I’ve touched down in Singapore, and am writing this in the hostel after God knows how many hours without sleep. It was very disconcerting sitting in Dubai airport at 2am only half-way into the journey. Strangely, considering it feels likeI’ve been awake for 2 days, I don’t feel too bad regarding the jetlag right now. But then the test of that will be whether this post makes any sense I guess!

The journey started off on the worst possible footing when after getting through check-in at Manchester airport, I discovered I had gone and bloody forgotten my mp3 player, despite my dad asking whether I had it when we got in the car! With a head full of beer and wine last night (or is that 2 nights ago now??), I forgot I’d taken it out of my bag in order to drift off to sleep to the soothing sounds of Vaughan Williams’ ‘Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis’ (from the film Master and Commander, so there’s your naval reference!). Despite this setback I was consoled by the fact I had my laptop with me with music on, and I could pick up a cheap 2gb mp3 player for around £20 to tie me over for the trip. God bless new consumerism!

'...he drinks a whisky drink, he drinks a lager drink...'

'...he drinks a vodka drink, he drinks a lager drink...'

No more calamities ensued for the first half of the journey, apart from a mislaid bottle of water, and I enjoyed watching ‘Frost/Nixon’ and ‘Revolutionary Road’ on the plane. Compelling performances all round. After changing at Dubai I was planning my next film choices, when a drunken Aussie bloke and his ‘Sheila’ sat down next to me and uninvitedly engaged me in conversation. Normally talk of my PhD would turn people off instantly, but sadly it seemed to just spur this guy on, professing that tired and cliched old assertion, ‘oh, I like history too!’. Realising I couldn’t shake him, I decided the only option left open to me was to join him aboard the ‘booze-plane’, and we proceded to order a deluge of complementary drinks that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Chumbawumba song. Suprisingly, the first 3 hours were rather enjoyable as I gradually caught up with ‘Karl’s inebriation, with a discussion of, amongst other things, Australian rugby league, town planning in the credit crunch, Asian philosophies towards education, and the origins of American multi-nationals. In the process of trying to order more drinks via the handset, however, my beer (or was that G&T?) got spilled over my linen trousers. At least I was thankful I’d decided not to wear my jeans.

Eventually the aforementioned Sheila (her name was actually Annie) got rather annoyed at our loutishness, as were the cabin crew it seemed, and I tried to grab a kip as he tried to smooth things over with her. The last 3 hours of the journey were not pleasent, drifting in and out of boozy consciousness, tired and dehydrated, with only the sight of Isla Fisher in the next row (on the screen, not in person) to get me through it. Anyway, eventually we landed, bid our farewells and went our seperate ways – me to the hostel, Karl to the airport bar! I had no problems finding the place, and though it looked a little run-down from the outside, inside the place seems clean, comfortable, and most importantly, air-conditioned! Grabbed a brief kip, spoke to a Taiwanese lad and an older English couple who seem sound, and wrote this, which brings you up to speed.

One interesting observation to end on – on the MRT (tube) I noticed a poster advertising the 111th Phillipine independence day festival. Seemingly their national history discounts the 40+ years the Phillipines were part of America’s informal empire after the Spanish were evicted!

Righto, I’m off to find a hawker stall now for some dinner…



  1. Good to hear you got there alright.

    I hope the hawker stall is fun, don’t forget your packet of tissues to ‘chope’ your table and have some char kuay teow for me!

  2. Hi Dan,

    I am hoping I have got the hang of this comment business!!!! Love your blog – you are a born writer. Lots of love, Bonnie

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