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Mon. Oct. 14 - London to Toronto flight: HOME SWEET (& SOUR) HOME


On this day as the cliché goes, all good things must come to an end. I felt the effects of not being at home for a prolonged period of time like 2 work weeks and 3 full weekends consecutively. I anticipated the joy of sharing my experiences in Europe but I dreaded the grind and stress of my hometown.

I had the dubious task of lugging a heavy luggage of souvenirs and a ballooned knapsack on the Tube to Paddington Station. How painful it was to climb a series of tube station stairs with both heavy items. I checked in for my Air Canada flight at Paddington Station, because I took the Heathrow Express train. There was less stress to check in at Paddington. Finally, the luggage was off my back until I arrived in Toronto, but I carried that ballooned knapsack.

It was a fast ride to Heathrow Airport. Since I can squeeze one more item into an already ballooned knapsack, I bought a soccer ball bearing the English F.A. Premier (Soccer) League logo for Charek and his clan. It was an English cultural icon that I should bring home.

My Air Canada flight to Toronto took off at 1:00 pm. On the plane, I got my solid lunch and snack box. The food tasted good but there was one problem: since it was Thanksgiving in Canada, Air Canada did not serve turkey on the flight. Not even free wine can make up for that letdown; they're a bunch of cheapskates.

I arrived at Toronto at 3:30 pm and it seemed like time stood still during the entire flight, because I left in the afternoon and I arrived in the afternoon. Do you believe that? Finally, I arrived at my house absorbing all the comforts and stresses of home.

Another double letdown: no turkey dinner at home or elsewhere in Toronto for Thanksgiving. You see, Aunt Lee served her irresistible turkey dinner on Sunday night. What a bummer.

I got back to work the next day and they rolled out quite a welcome mat: more things to post on the website. While my manager served turkey to my co-workers the week before, I just realized that I won a whole turkey while I was in London Pub. My co-workers vacuumed up the Swiss chocolates before the end of the day like a pack of piranhas. They also had some Belgian chocolates too. You can tell that I come from a society of sweet tooth.

At home, I felt the effects of jetlag during the week. I woke up really early for work. That was the okay part. What was not okay was slumping to bed right after supper at 7ish pm and then wake up 1 hour later and sleep again later. You see London and Europe are 5-6 hours ahead of my hometown. Even though, I partied hard to 1 a.m. in Europe, I slumped to bed right at 7pm Toronto time.

I thank God for giving me the opportunity to go to Europe. I thank my travel agent Winnie for arranging the Contiki tour and flights. I thank many of my Toronto friends who prayed for my safety and health and living vicariously in Europe through me. I especially thank Kyle, Reuben, and all my Contiki friends for your fun-loving companionship while in Europe. I admit that I had the vacation of my entire life. I learned a lot too.

So what do you think will be my next major vacation? In 2003, I am aiming to go to Australia. So far, the overwhelming favourite tour is with Contiki.

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