A third acid attack on Hong Kong shoppers, a 48 hour strike on the London tube, windy weather. What's the connection and why do I care?
Today I fly out for London via Singapore and back via Hong Kong. This isn't some long planned trip, but a sudden opportunity to attend a Plone workshop in the British capital.
I'm approaching this trip with very mixed feelings. On the one hand there is the excitement of travel and my first opportunity to fly on Qantas' Airbus A380. There is the eagerness to learn more about what has proven to be a complex system. But there is also the heartache of leaving my wonderful wife and baby for a week. I treasure every moment with them and I know that the time apart is going to hurt.
Part of the preparations for this trip have involved setting up internet video and voice and text communications. It's really the first time I have cared about communicating with home using anything other than email. I recorded a video of me reading a story to baby Alex and he seemed to respond to it.
So, what will I do other than attend the three day workshop somewhere in the centre of London?
The trip is scheduled entirely on Qantas. Friday evening sees me fly out on their new Airbus A380, every other flight should be a 747. It's the wrong way around really, as I would rather have the superior entertainment system (and hopefully greater comfort) on the overnight flights.
I land in Singapore late tonight and have booked to stay in a hotel away from the main tourist centres, but hopefully convenient for food. Eating is my main objective for Singapore, but I will probably look for some cheap computer parts as well. Maybe even cruise around on the MRT rail system if I have the time.
Flying out the next evening I will cross the dreaded turbulence of the Bay of Bengal. I remember an awful flight with British Airways on this route in 2005. Arriving early in the morning I will probably be extremely tired, but I hope to visit some of the free museums and galleries of London.
Another day to sightsee, then the workshop begins. Hopefully the days finish with enough time to catch some more of the late opening sights.
The flight to Hong Kong leaves in the middle of Friday, so there won't be any tourist time after the end of the workshop. An overnight flight to Hong Kong, then a full day there before another night flight back to Sydney. It will be a punishing day in Honkers as I rarely sleep on flights and B has an extensive shopping list for me. The transit rest options are quite expensive too and unlike everyone else (or so it seems) I don't have airline club membership.
As the hour of my departure approaches so too is my sadness at leaving my family behind. Every moment with them is precious. Last night I was forced to stay late at work and I was brought to tears by the thought that Alex may fall asleep before I returned. I would miss out on feeding him dinner, bathing him one last time before I go.
Fortunately, I made it back in time. And now it is time to leave again.
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