Aaaaand we’re off! First stop LEEDS! And a visit to the parentals.
In true Tiny fashion, this morning was an absolute mad panic. I actually almost, almost, did not make my train. But I did – phew!
Why is it when you are panicking that you get the slowest taxi driver on earth? That you have no money? And that she thinks you want to hear stories of her friends’ child who possibly does or doesn’t have a speech impedent – I don’t care right now!
I tried to drop a few subtle hints – how long does this journey take? Roughly how much is it going to cost? Ok you know what, I don’t want to stress you out or anything but do you mind if we don’t talk? I’m having an inner melt down thanks.
That actually weirdly worked. She then played the traffic light game and everything (you know the one where you’re willing the red to be green and accelerate a bit as you approach the amber – not that I ever do that of course).
So I’m here, 27F, on a direct train to Leeds where a man flu’d father has asked me to get a taxi.
This is a new home for them, after almost 30 years in Northern Ireland so it’s a big change. This is the first time I’m seeing their new house. Their new pad. It’s nice actually, it’s been a long time coming.
I’m so going to have to do a repack in Leeds before heading off to Manchester on Friday. I have absolutely no idea where anything is or even what made the final cull as I discarded ‘excess’ clothes onto my sofa to free up some space. More importantly- where on earth is my lip balm?! Ugh.
My flight on Saturday is at 6am so I’ve opted to stay in an airport hotel the night before to prevent making my way to the airport in the middle of the night. I love these random hotel days. Clean sheets in a luxurious bed. Hot showers, free toiletries, free wifi, free cups of tea. It’s the little things.
I have my standard big blue rucksack and small purple rucksack. My taxi driver lady asked me, ‘Where are you walking?’ I had to be honest and say I’m not really doing much walking (but hopefully a little!) but I just find them great bags to travel with. If anything I look like a traveller right?
She then asked, ‘So are you off to do some volunteering then?’ What age did this lady think I was?! Did I feel guilty answering that with a wry smile and a no? No, I’m going on a bloody holiday and it’s going to be epic, thank you very much.
Then the usual, are you going with a group or tour or something? Translation- why the hell are you on your own?
Answer- I’m meeting a friend out there. She lives in Mongolia (yes, that’s how I roll kids, I have pals in Mongolia!). All being well we will meet in Guangzhou airport. What an adventure!
I’m having a random craving for Idly and Sambar, a South Indian breakfast. I don’t normally even like it that much.
Man am I hungry.
I didn’t even get my morning tea.
My only twinge of regret is not quite finishing my Peru write up. Sadly my Peru journal didn’t make the cull or I could have written something now. I also bought a new book which should be arriving at my parents’ house any second now- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I love some of the quotations I’ve read by her and also love the Alicia Keys song. An impulse buy well bought I would say.
So that’s me for now. Lip balm-less, siting on a train waiting for 3G to come back so I can post this and share my journey with you.
To my friends reading this – thank you.
To my family – I am safe.
Signing out for now.
Ps- Enjoy a little Alicia Keys:
‘That’s why I say that,
I know why the caged bird sings
Only joy comes from song
She’s so rare and beautiful, to others
Why don’t I just set her free?
So she can fly, fly, fly.
Spreading her wings and her song
Let her fly, fly, fly.
For the whole world to see.’