Monday, June 22, 2009

Part 4: Last Day

I woke up to another great morning (June 20) but I was feeling down in the dumps because I knew that I would be leaving the UK the same day. But return I must, so no point in dwelling over something that was definite. I had wanted to re-live the Malaysia Hall ‘culinary’ experience that I now faintly remembered from years ago, and so I decided to try out their Malaysian breakfast. I had typical Malaysian fare costing £4.70; nothing fancy and the food was just palatable – which was to say it fell short of my own expectations.

Being the stickler for punctuality, I decided to travel early to Stansted (about 25 miles from London) – I had to make sure I caught the flight to Kuala Lumpur in good time, since I was expecting to reach there on Sunday, and I would be starting work on Monday. Again, I enquired the best route to take to go to Stansted, and this helpful soul manning the ticket counter at Bayswater tube station gave me really sound advice.

I faithfully followed his instructions by proceeding to Queensway station, and travelling on the Central line to finally disembark at Liverpool Street.

Thereafter, I got on the Stansted Express to take the 45-minute train journey to Stansted Airport; making just two stops – at Tottenham Hale and Bishop Stortford.

Perhaps it was the weather, or maybe it was the train ride, but when I arrived at Stansted, I was ready to eat a horse. So for lunch, I had simple pub grub at O’Neill’s:

An £11.03 meal at Stansted

Stansted Airport – London’s third airport – offers flights to more than 30 countries, and many leading low-cost airlines have made Stansted their base (e.g. Ryanair, EasyJet, Air Berlin, Pegasus Airlines, Air Malta, and not forgetting, AirAsia X). All our Malaysian airports, save KLIA pale in comparison even to Stansted.

I must mention about the return flight to KL for the simple reason that the AirAsia crew this time around, were very good at looking pretty (not that they were pretty, mind you!) but beyond their “serving” duties, they did little else. AirAsia X is certainly not going to win awards for cabin service any time soon. And they didn’t like to smile. When they did try to give a half-smile even, they looked really constipated. This crew on the London-Kuala Lumpur flight D72007 were really sad-looking. Oh yes, food wasn’t any better too.

I arrived Kuala Lumpur on June 21 and immediately wished I could spend the whole summer in the UK instead.

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