Kate and Bron's Diary for 2002-07-12

Stayed the night in London

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From: "Kate McMullin" <kate@brong.net>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 19:56:32 +1000 (EST)
The flights were long and boring, as usual! We watched movies and ate
and slept and sat there... But we're in London now!

When we got off the plane in Osaka, there was a guy holding a sign
"Katie Princess of the Universe", which was kinda tempting, but I
couldn't deal with being called Katie for very long.

Later we saw a local bus, which had its web-site on the rear window:
kate.co.jp Haven't looked at it yet...

The hotel in Osaka was really nice, with great air-con. Osaka was
really warm and humid, so we had the temperature in our room down to
18 degrees.

On the flight over there was this really annoying Australian guy (23)
who kept drinking and talking so loudly. We heard everything about his
private life (and public life) - more info than you could've wanted! It
was his first time out of Australia and we was very excited. We got
talking to the poor girl sitting next to him (who got very little
sleep), and it turned out that she manages a backpackers hostel in
Pimlico, so we went there with her. It was a nice place, and quite
convenient to everywhere.

From: brong@zebkrahn.brong.net (Bron Gondwana)
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 09:05:17 +1000
Got up relaxedly late, and strolled over to check in a good couple of
hours early. Imagine my annoyance to discover that I couldn't get an
exit row (we had one on the way out of Aus). We did manage to get a row
with no seats in front though, slightly more space. Well, I did anyway
- Kate had to be in the aisle behind me.

Wandered back to breakfast and a lazy half an hour reading in the hotel
room. Would have been nice to see Osaka, but it's too risky going off
into an unknown city when your flight is about to leave! The view out
the window was good though, some barges dredging and building land. Lots
of boats around.

We went back to the shops, and were waylaid by a bunch of young
(probably 8 or so years old) Japanese children on a school trip to test
their english skills on real native speakers! It was very cute - they
asked us a few questions, and asked us to point out where we came from
on a world map. Or course, by the time we'd finished all this, it was
getting a little late, so we ran off to our plane.

On the way, we ran into a lady we'd met in the passport queue coming off
the plane on the way in (there was quite a group of people going right
through - by that stage we were waving to each other and chatting
whenever we saw another Aussie-flight person). She promised to show us
around when we arrived in London (being a native and all that). This is
Juliet who will be mentioned again later.

On the flight, the guy who was going to be next to me swapped with Kate,
then she and I swapped because the seat next to me was about the
narrowest available, and she just didn't fit. This was a new plane, and
they try to cram both the tray tables and the little TV remote control
into the armrests, without making it any wider. Doesn't leave much
space. Kate's already mentioned that they guy who swapped then got very
drunk and was a real pain for everyone in the area. Grr. They shouldn't
keep serving alcohol to people like that.

Hilights of the flight were catching little bits of lots of movies
because I kept channel hopping with my little personal TV, instead of
just seeing the movie - whenver annoyingboy went away for a bit -
bullshitting with Juliet about Australia (she's a journalist, and has
written bits for Lonely Planet - she pointed out photos or hers in the
London book) - seeing lots of Russia and Germany through the outside
video cameras (or just leaning over and looking out the window!)

But I'm writing too much detail.. I'm sure you're all bored by now. Um,
Kate waltzed through with her British passport, while I spent half an
hour in the queue. Grr. We missed Juliet through various sillyness, but
it worked out in the end, because Amy who was sitting behind us, and
getting the brunt of Mr Drunk Guy, kindly found us accomodation where
she worked, and even waited for us while we worked out the getting money
and train tickets stuff, while still dealing with big packs. It's really
_REALLY_ handy to have one person who can mind the packs while the other
goes and joins all the queues.

Got to the hostel, walked up 5 floors of narrow stairs with all our
packs (ouch), and just collapsed!

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