Exchange!!

Well, it’s been an eventful 12 hours. I’ve traveled halfway around the world and am set to travel even further still. Today is the start of a big juicy adventure, of the size and proportion I’ve only ever experienced through the pages of a book before.

A lot has led up to me sitting in this little café called Montreux in Abu Dhabi airport and I reckon a lot more will continue to happen to me as I go forward. My final destination is the English city of Lancaster or more specifically Lancaster University where I have been accepted for short month-long course in Literature, Language and Culture.

It’s the first time I’ve gone overseas on my own and possibly the only word to describe it all is thrilling.

Ah but I must run, I’ll try and get this posted but the WIFi here is a little fuzzy so this may have to wait till later.

It’s a little while after now, I’m on the plane from Abu Dhabi to Manchester, the closest airport to Lancaster. Right now we’re just going over the Black?/Caspian? Sea and I can just see the beginning of the Bosphorous as it winds it’s way towards Istanbul. It’s amazing how blue the ocean looks at 10,000 meters (34,000 ft). The greens and yellows of the world seem a little more muted but the blues, oh how they shine!

My little interactive display tells me the outside temperature is something like 44 degrees below zero, at the tempratures where celcius and farenheight blur together and become meaningless beyond the quite literal use of the word “freezing”.

Ah there we go, we’ve disappeared into some clouds now and the world has vanished into a misty horizon. It’s almost all-enveloping, sticking to us like fog as if it’s going to seep in through the cracks. It doesn’t of course. Instead we brust from the clouds and are asailed by the bright sunlight once more. It’s the bright side of afternoon as we glide over Turkey, the coast vanishing in obscurity. It could be the Byzantines, the Ottomans, The Holy Roman Empire or no one at all down there and we couldn’t tell from up here.

No, at 10,000 meters above it, the earth seems almost toy-like, as if it isn’t home to so many, many forms of life but rather discarded, waiting for some celestial baby to come back from dinner and giglingly manhandle it.

Ah but time for a break from such contemplative thoughts! I turn up Pearl Jam a bit as lunch comes out. I won’t get this published until I touch down – there’s no wifi in the sky, well not unless you’re willing to pay through the nose for “Wi-Fly”, which I’m not. So until then, time for lunch.

Right. In Manchester we are!

Or at least we were. Now I’m sitting on the train and tiny little british buildings are flashing past – as the same building again and again, same bricks, same pain, same design. Just copy paste, copy paste, copy paste. It’s amazing really, these trains are so quiet – if it didn’t rock back and forth, I would swear we were standing still.

But backtracking, the flight to Manchester was good, even if it did drag along a little. Imigration was mercifully quick but I made up for it at the luggage claim where my check in was perhaps the last one to be put on the conveyor belt! But once I got out of the airport, found the train station, figured out my ticket, train, station and money and finally collapsed into a chair with a sandwhich, a coffee and a bag of chips it was already 4:30. Thankfully I had a good hour till the train came.

Now it’s relatively peaceful. The carriage is full of people but unlike a Queensland Rail train there’s a faint bubble of conversation, no rowdy loud talking just soft voices in accents so strange it’s hardly English.

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