September 2008


Well it had to happen someday.  On disembarkation the helpful people at Delhi airportdirected me and 3 others to the arrivals area (rather than transit which we were supposed to go to) at which point they told us to sit down and “someone will come to sort you out”.  No-one did.  Security wouldn’t let us back upstairs, until 20mins before due to leave we talked ourselves past security and found a nice man to sort things out.  That worked out fine for the other 3 (although I’m not entirelly sure they got the plane in the end) but I found out because the oh so helpful people at Virgin hadn’t alerted my connecting flight to my presence they had given my seat away.

Cue grumpy Andy.

After much waiting around they finally realised I hadn’t cocked up and got me on the next flight (without charge which they initially threatened).  It’s at 6am tomorrow.  I got into Delhi about 1pm.  I’m not supposed to leave the Transit lounge (which is a corridor about 50m in length with a coffee stand and a snack stall) until tomorrow morning when someone from the other flight team will “find me” at “some point” and sort out my bags (which they have – though I have actually seen them so know they do exist in my current location) .  I am officially Tom Hanks in the Terminal.

I lasted about 40 mins before getting bored, cold and uncomfortable so got up and wandered off.  In the international no-mans land that exists between the departure gates and the security clearance I found the Business Lounge.  I have been here ever since.  I have a sofa, a table, a free hot snack service, drink and (most importantly) a free bar.  Also internet, a massage chair (which I’m keeping a careful eye out for once the Chinese people who’ve been in it for the last 2hrs vacate) and the nice man who sorted me out is going to get all my flights and everything sorted in the morning.

Seeing as I didn’t really sleep on the flight I was pretty exhausted but have now eaten, had a decent coffee and had a nap.  I am using this time to learn some expedition medical skills.  And I’m stalking the massage chair.  I plan to get drunk too.

I have a sneaky suspicion that the flight tomorrow is magically going to be full without me leaving me the responsibility of no-one.  At which point I may well start to live here.  Just like the real Terminal man.  He went crazy I seem to recall.

Great start.  Still, at least it does take care of my not having found a place to stay in Kathmandu today!

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An 11th hour reprise meant I had to run up to London (well, run to the car to get the train) so I could pick up seemingly the only available public copy of the Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness and Medicine.  Which should make my life easier in the next few weeks.  It’s very helpful.

As such I’m still not packe and I’m leaving tomorrow.  I did manage to check my weight allowance and I thinnk I can squeeze my barrel under 20kg so all should be fine.  I will need to use a second bag for a few things though as physically I can’t get them all to fit.  Still I think I have most of the day because I don’t think I’m leaving ’til 22.00.  We shall see.

Tired.  Time to sleep.

Gaargh.  Wrote a post earlier this week only for the computer to die at the posting stage.  Alas.

I leave the country for potentially a long time in 2 days.  I should really go and sort out all my stuff.  I am still alive though and quietly excited by the coming month and a bit.  Then I’m going to be increasingly excited at seeing K again.  This expedition has almost crippled me financially but it’s going to be an experience.  I should probably try and learn some altitude medicine before I go too.  Rather nervous about being the medical officer for my group.  Oh well.  Optimism is a great healer.

So I won’t blog at all while I’m out there but we should have the expedition blog running and updated as we go (if all the satelite communications work).  I did buy a new camera the other day too so I’ll bombard the net with all my photos (oh look – another mountain) when I get back.

I’ve also introduced my Mum and Dad to my blog so they can keep up to date with my life while I’m living on the other side of the world.  Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop swearing though.  Ha.  And yes you are able to leave me comments on posts (Mum).

And hello and goodbye to P&K again – just when you move over here closer to the grand ole UK I up sticks and move to NZ.  Sorry I didn’t get a chance to come over and say hi.  I’ll catch you up personally once I’m back.

Later

Howdy

Been a while.  Suffering from no home internet (story of the year).  Anyway, my 5 week Urology locum has come to an end.  Not my prefered job but the team were nice, it wasn’t too busy and it did the business (i.e. I got paid a lot).  Now I’ve moved back home and have slightly less than a week before I leave for Kathmandu.

I’ve spent the last week living alone in an empty house in Brighton living each day under the threat of having to move out when the landlord got new tenents (he’s been great actually – nice guy and he let me squat there for the last week after our tenecy ran out).  The week before we solved the problem of getting rid of all our furniture at last minute by opening our front door, sticking some of it out on the street to entice people and putting up a sign “Help yourself”.  Considering we live on a side street it only took an hour to clear out the entire house.  An hour!  Within 15 mins a little old lady from opposite wandered over and by 30 mins 2 guys had turned up with a van.  Sofas, charis, tables, beds, curtains, lamps, crockery and cutlery, food from our cupboards, random junk lying around.  All gone.  Plus we meet all our neighbours and it turns out they’re nice people.  Shame then that we’ve left.

Living alone for that week did drive me somewhat crazy but it went quick and my last night was spent with some good friends of mine.  Strange to think I won’t see then again for a few years (and by that point they might have moved back to Australia).  Got quickly drunk on one Saki cocktail (to be fair I hadn’t eaten anything by that point), then more drunk on a bottle of wine.  Then decided running the 2 miles home from Hove to Brighton alonwould be a good idea.  And it almost was – if I weren’t aching quite so much.