April 10, 2008

Once upon a time...

And so the story finally begins...

After waving goodbye to our parents at Sydney airport, Craig and I officially began our journey. My planned title for this post was 'The flight from hell', but it turned out luck was on our side. With the plane half empty, we managed to get two seats each for the first leg, making our economy flight seem oh-so business. After lying back watching movies like Juno, Atonement and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (um, for the record, that was Craig), and eating some sort of chicken meal that wasn't half bad, we landed in Hong Kong for our 90-minute stopover.

For the 13-hour leg to London, we were back in our pre-assigned cattle-class seats. Surprisingly, we slept for the majority of this leg, and before we knew it, our 24-hour journey was over. Now it was time for the next journey 'from hell', through English Immigration...

'Allow at least two hours to get through' read all the forums, while Craig reminisced of the three-hour line-up he endured when he was in the UK for a cricket tour back in 2001. We had psyched ourselves up, we were mentally prepared for both the line-up and grilling we would receive from the Immigration officer (we had documents galore), and there may have even been Eye of the Tiger playing in the background. This is how it all went down:

No line, walked straight up to the desk and the conversation went exactly like this...
'What are you here for?'
'A working holiday.'
'How long do you intend to stay for?'
'Two years.'
'Do you know how long you are allowed to work for?'
'Twelve months.'
'Where are you staying?'
'With a friend.'

And that was it! Our passports were stamped and away we went, no questions about our travel plans or proof of funds... I'd like to take this opportunity to say to the butch bitch at the Flight Centre at the Edgecliff Centre, the one who rudely told me there is no way I could get in without a return ticket so I'd just have to buy a return and forfeit it (despite everything I had read to the contrary), 'SUCK ON THAT!'

Our bags eventually made there way around the carousel, and we lugged our two backpacks and a suitcase onto the London Tube.

To be continued...