China Study Tour: The Way Home

I’ve just now (In November) realised that I don’t have a log for the journey home so I’m basing all of this on a bit of memory so I may miss a couple of minor things.

We were up and moving early, we had to be on the road in time to make it to the airport for our flight back to Hong Kong, even though it was late in the afternoon. As we left we thanked the staff in the dorms for their generous hospitality (and leniency on the curfew with us). Before loading up into the bus for the ride back to the airport we took a group photo (or three) using my camera and the timer, I remember slipping on a tile for one of the photos and nearly breaking my leg.

While on the way there I took yet more photos of pointless things and Echo handed out some small gifts to us all. Mine was a small key chain, some green cow looking thing. I’m not entirely sure what it is but it travels with me on my bag now. It used to light up but the battery has long ago drained and I’m too afraid to try and take it apart to replace it.

We got to the airport early in the end so we had a bit of time to hang about and say our farewells to Echo. We’d only been in her company for ten days but it really felt like we were losing a member of the group. When it was time for us to head through the security and say our final goodbyes Echo cried, Bing cried… In fact to be completely honest I’m pretty sure we all felt a bit emotional at that point. We made our way to the departure gate. Steph, Suban, and myself all stood in the queue almost as soon as it started forming, leaving the rest of the group stuck at the back of the line and among the last to board the flight.

The flight to Hong Kong was fine as far as I recall, nothing of significance or excitement occurred. The food on the plane was either fish or pasta. Most of us went for the fish, Suban especially after his adventures with the Lasagne.

We landed in Hong Kong in darkness. And our onward journey to Melbourne would be departing at midnight. Since we had a number of hours to kill and as yet no gate in which we were departing we agreed to meet on the main concourse after an hour and spread out to do our own thing. I ended up with a group that went to Burger King. Once we learned which gate we were departing from groups split up again and headed out to do some shopping. I tried to get back to the Disney shop but it was at the other end of the main concourse so I didn’t think I’d have time. I ended up finding a satellite store on one of the arms of the concourse, but didn’t end up buying anything from it as it was a smaller store. I ran into Michael along the way who was looking for another set of headphones as his broke.

We took off under the cover of darkness at about 1AM with an 11AM expected arrival time. As we took off Luke, Michael and I thought we were going to frustrate the flight attendants as we all asked for water separately of one-another within about 10 minutes. Michael was on the isle, I was on the window, given it was night and I wouldn’t be able to see anything though I had the blind down after takeoff. I thought the window seat might make it easier for me sleep. Nope. I didn’t sleep at all, again. I may have dozed for all of about 10 minutes. We were watching Hacksaw Ridge over some other guys shoulder though, that was funny when we had the realisation we were all watching it with no sound over this other guys shoulder.

At about 7AM someone on the far side of the plane opened their blind and filled the plane with glaring sunlight. If I wasn’t asleep at that point I sure as hell wasn’t sleeping after seeing that. At about 8 the fight attendants brought breakfast around. For the life of me I cannot remember with absolute certainty what I had. I have a feeling it was something with fruit and yogurt though. Anyway, at that point I was awake and blinds were open so I opened mine to check out the view. What a view it was too, looking out over the Australian outback at various locations and landscapes. The only bit of excitement, if you could call it that, was some random guy who seemed to have some form of episode and started rubbing Andreana’s head from the row behind her while she was sleeping.

We landed back in Melbourne at around 11:30AM, collected our luggage and parted ways to make our way through customs. And with that, we were home again and our adventure had come to an end.

Once I got home I tried as hard as possible to stay awake but the replay of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was a slow burner so I fell asleep during the early safety car at about 4:30PM. And Mum took a photo…