Trying to get home

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Sunday, July 20, 2008

This was going to be a very short entry with a tag-line like 'Leeds to Melbourne in 1year, Melbourne to Leeds in 1day.' However, for some reason, we regretted it almost instantly, we had pieced together the budget airlines and our 4pronged route home went via the Gold Coast, Kuala Lumpur, Macao and Hong Kong. After some nightmare journeys in the past 12months, we felt hardened as travelers, and were confident of the 3days travel passing relatively quickly.

The first 3legs went smoothly. Overnight stays in a free gold coast campsite and a noisy guest house in Kuala Lumpur, which we vacated at 2.30am to catch a flight to Macao, were painless. Most of the time in the air we had spent laughing at the bright red outfits Air Asia staff were failing to squeeze into: the occasional breast popping out and hitting passengers in the ear. With a day to kill before a boat to Hong Kong and final flight we spent the day exploring Macao, a country with the most diverse architecture we had ever seen. Gigantic, shiny mega casinos, like the MGM grand, stand amongst hundreds of dilapidated concrete tower blocks, home to locals considerably less affluent than the gambling tourists. 15th century cathedrals and Church's, remnants from its time as a Portuguese colony, stand next to a newly built Roman amphitheater, and a block of the English Tudor houses. Walk past the modern Chinese temples and a clone of the Potala Palace in Tibet built upon a fake volcano, then you reach a labyrinth of narrow streets housing shops which sell all imaginable kinds of Chinese crap. Greek Gods, Egyptian Faro's, Roman Soldiers, Chinese hawkers all compete for your money. It looked like it had been designed by Jade Goody and Jordan after a heavy night taking magic mushrooms. We were enjoying this trip home.

At 11pm we arrived at Hong Kong airport but our flight wasn't displayed on the departures board so we went for help. Strange things have happened in the past year but nothing could prepare us for 'Oasis, the airline you are flying with went bankrupt 3months ago.' You bastards. Thanks for the email to let us know. Bankrupt! The airline started to lose money so one day they just took what was left and ran. Still, you wouldn't expect anything less from a society that spawned capitalism - a way of life fundamentally grounded in climbing over everyone else to reach the top. I bet the owners are sitting in their luxury mansions asking their servants to order another Ferrari while we're stuck in Hong Kong airport. Scum. I might be being stupid but wouldn't informing the passengers be one of the first things to do if you had decided to cancel all your flights. 

We booked new flights with British Airways (reasons why England's great #5 - an airline that doesn't go bankrupt and provides free food and drink on its flights) for the following night. So, after 24hours bumming around Hong Kong airport, a 13hour flight and a national express coach I made it to my parents house in Preston 105hours after leaving Melbourne. Perhaps it was Karma's way of bringing us back down to Earth.

And finally, Reasons why England's great #6 - Its where my bed is.
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