Oh no it's all over
22.09.2013 - 22.09.2013
The alarm sounds, I roll over and think 'Oh no, time to get up, I cant believe that this time has come so quickly'. Actually it's not an alarm, but a countdown timer. I'd removed my SIM to avoid bill shock, and as a result the phone remained on Australian time, I just knew that we only had 5h45m before we had to get up. Everything was packed, the long trousers were out along with the rugby shirt, just the toothbrush to go. Soon we were dragging our hand luggage out on to the street. The Taxi driver was waiting.
It was a quiet and somber trip to the airport, our time in Thailand was over. We milled around at the airport dealing with all the different security requirements. Why there can not be a global standard I don't know, even within the airport there seem to be different restrictions. We tried smuggling various containers of different liquids through each section, but each time one or other of us were discovered with some contraband. Matthew did manage to get a 200ml bottle of water onto the plane so the system can be beaten!!! Camilla did notice a number of people taking empty bottles through, we guess to fill them up with water on the other side - something to bear in mind for the next trip.
We knew what to expect and were prepared, a short flight from Phuket to KL, a 3h wait in KL then the final 8h long haul to Melbourne. Some breakfast and coffee kept up going, Malaysian ringet were handed to James and Matthew. Millie and Matthew headed off to the perfume counter to purchase some duty free. A few delays followed and finally we were loaded. The pilot managed to make up for lost time and we landed at Melbourne 15m early. A quick stop at the toilets for me to put in my contacts, a whiz through immigration for James and myself, Matthew whilst having a ePassport stayed with Millie who still has an old style passport. Then on to customs, declaring the dried fruit and nuts we had for the journey, James declaring the wooden bowl holding some soap, and we were through. SIM's into phones and a 30m wait for the bus to the long term car park.
It was a quiet journey home, tired from sitting all day, each of us turning through the pages of the memories of the last 11 days. We arrived home.We had planned on picking up a kebab on the way but the usual shop was closed, so having arrived home I headed straight off to get one for James and myself from a 24h place nearby.
When I got back I found a very excited Millie, who lead me to the laundry room (previously Charlie's bedroom). 'Look who is here' she said as she opened the door. 'Whats Alex doing sleeping downstairs' I was thinking, then it dawned on me 'That's not Alex - it's Charlie'.
Charlie had managed to arrange a weeks leave from the Army, and had come down as a suprise. I guess having the 6 of us all together again made coming home all worthwhile.