24 - 27 December 2013.
Hello society! Time flies so fast that we have like a couple of days left before the end of year 2013. It's now two-week midterm break for us, so we took this chance to travel to.. London! The last time I went to London was in April 2009 with my family. So basically I was like visited the same places, but this time, with friends. A very. interesting. experience.
I first thought that I definitely chose the wrong date to visit London. Indeed, I am. When we booked the flight ticket, the first thing we had in mind was Boxing Day, of course. But we never thought that London would be a dead city on Christmas day! Arghh stress. I mean like, come on London. Can you imagine a day without tube service? Thank god there were still taxis and Hop On Hop Off tour bus services (note: only Golden Tour company) available on that day.
We arrived around 9 a.m. at Heathrow Airport, took tube service to Kensal Green, where our Hostel 639 is located. I seriously not gonna talk much about that hostel. The only thing I can say is that, it was horrible, the worst ever. I definitely not gonna tell my family about the condition of that place, when they were happily rented an apartment, spent a week holiday in Singapore. Nanges2 Aunty Yan tengok Alif dengan Alya berenang-renang dalam kolam bohooo! Anyway Hostel 639 is totally not recommended, take note that.
We put our things and went to Buckingham Palace to see Guard Change ceremony (check the schedule for Changing the Guard here). When it was over, we were told that Malaysia Hall Canteen is closed for renovation, so this one akak suggested us to go to Bayswater, also near to Malaysia Hall, and they have most of the halal restaurants nearby. And she was right, halal restaurants are everywhere. Malaysians bersepah, dah macam perkampungan Malaysia kat situ. Balik-balik jumpa, balik-balik jumpa, dah tak hairan dah.
So we chose to eat Subway since that is the fastest and easiest to have. After lunch, we went separate on our own way, Fatin, Farah and I decided to go to Madame Tussauds (check the opening dates and times here) meanwhile the others went back to the hostel. We stopped by at Malaysian Hall (located at Queensborough Terrace, about two blocks behind) to perform prayers. Then we took the tube, stopped at Baker Street and headed to Madame Tussauds. It was very unfortunate that they closed early that day. Damn.
So we continued with our plan to go to see night view of Christmas Eve. We stopped at Picadilly Circus area and walk along the road, enjoyed the lights and street musics played. Later we went to Hard Rock Cafe (not so) near to Hyde Park Corner station. And again, they closed early. So we decided to go back to hostel.
Christmas day, no tube, no buses, only taxis are available. After quite a miserable morning we had, Farah was not feeling well, we had Nasi Lemak (after months!) at Malaysia Hall Canteen. After lunch and performed prayers, we walked to Marble Arch to take a bus, the only bus services available on that day. We bought the ticket for 30 pounds each and it was pretty late, so the driver announced that we were still able to use it again on the next day, yahoooo!
The day that we've been waiting for, Boxing Day, to Oxford Street yeayy! It was madness, I must say. People were queuing to enter their favourite shops. No wonder why I don't really like to buy anything during sale season. Too many people, penuh, pening. So ended up I didn't do shopping as much as I've imagined.
Plus, ada orang buat hal. In that crowded place, orang ni boleh menghilang sebab dia stop beli makanan sebab lapar, without telling us anything! Bayangkan kitorang puas cari from west to east to west again, risaukan dia yang bateri telefon pun mati, dengan jalan and nama hostel tu pun tak tahu. Dari Oxford Street kitorang cari ke Malaysia Hall, balik hostel check dia tak ada, dah gelap pergi balik Oxford Street cari balik. Then dapat call cakap dia dah balik. Dia siap dah balik solat skejap that evening and keluar balik since we weren't there yet. Wehhhh why couldn't you charge your phone for a few minutes and give us a call at least?! Like seriously, kenapa perlu ada orang begini wujud dekat dunia ni. Burn tiket bus 30 pounds macam tu je gara-gara duk sibuk cari dia. Tak mintak maaf pulak tuh!
Only one word to describe, SELFISH.
Day four, last day.
Our flight to Stuttgart was at 9 a.m. We checked out at 6.30 a.m., and the tube took more than an hour and half to reach the airport, more than what we estimated. After security-check, we were so late, on the board stated 'gate closing' that we had to run fast to the end, Gate 21! But Alhamdulillah, we still can get on the plane at the very last minute. Fyuhh what a drama!
The luggage cabins were full and we couldn't get to put our luggages on top. We tried to move the other passengers' luggages to one side since their jackets took too much space. Our height is so limited that we couldn't move theirs that much, thank you Germanwings cabincrews for watching us without helping at all. Thank you to British what-so-called-gentlemen for not lending us a hand nor move a little bit from your seat to give us some space to re-organize YOUR belongings. Gentlemen, pfft.
At that moment I could summarize everything in my head how different British people and Germans are, and I feel lucky enough to come to Germany instead of UK.
And during that difficult situation, I could also see there are actually some people around me who are the real gentlemen, calmly helped us handle this situation, while some people at this time, when they are in need, they only think about themselves without helping their own friends. Too bad.
And this thing ruined my mood for the entire day. Thank you.
P.s. Lesson learnt.
P.s.p.s. Photos belong to Fawwaz, Farah and me.
P.s.p.s. Photos belong to Fawwaz, Farah and me.