The journey back by Cathay Pacific was quite uneventful. We asked for Muslim food and what we got was excellent-certainly streaks ahead of MAS. For over 10 years we travelled by MAS but the service got more and more shoddy. We tolerated that and the awful food but when they started upping their price we gave up on them and opted for Emirates and Cathay Pacific despite the transit at Dubai and Hong Kong respectively. There is after all a threshhold to loyalty.
I've said this once and I'll say it again. Arriving at Heathrow is like entering a skip (a builder's large metal container for carrying away construction work rubble). It's a long, long walk to Immigration. It might do you good after sitting for 13 hours but not when you're also carrying your hand luggage. I do feel sorry for the elderly and those travelling with children. As for the trolleys, I reckon they belong to the dinosaur period, from the era before Thatcher. You have to be agile on your feet to maneuver these tyrannosaurus-trolleys. And you need eyes at the back of your head in case these trolley-creatures go amok and snap at your legs from the rear.
As I now carry a Malaysian passport I had to sort out my SWS (Settled With Spouse) visa to return to my second home, my spouse's home. At the KL British High Commission we were informed that Heathrow Immigration will stamp my Visa when I get there. So I showed the Officer the Visa on the old Passport- there was no trouble at all. And when I asked if he could stamp that visa on my new Passport he said he could do that a few years ago but not now unless-thanks to Gordon Brown (his words)- I'm willing to part with £300. He (the Immigration Officer, not GB) was a nice friendly bloke and said this fee, like hot air (my words) will keep on going up and advised me I should just travel with 2 passports in tow.
We then proceeded to pick up our luggage and on to the Central Bus Station to catch the National Express for Leicester. Well, the payment machine was not in working order, the Lounge was like a wind tunnel and when we moved to the bus bay it was like standing in an open field in winter with the cold wind blowing on your neck and somehow managing to find its way up your trousers as well. I could kill myself for not wearing longjohns. At least I had fat on me to ward off some of the cold but it was terrible for my skinny kacang panjang spouse. And oh yes, the clock registered 12.30 on one side and the correct time (7.30) on the opposite side. PUDURAYA - you a have a rival here!
We got into the coach which was as warm as toast and settled down to a snooze for the next 3-hour journey. It was raining hard and it was obvious the driver did not like this kind of driving. We found out later that he had been on the road since 11pm the night before. It was morning peak hour on the the M25 which was often described as the biggest parking lot in Britain because of the constant traffic jam. We got to the M1 and half an hour later the driver had to make an unscheduled stop at Toddington Services because of a technical problem with the coach. That episode deserves a different posting.
So goodnight to all back home in Malaysia and Singapore.