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Sunday, May 25, 2003
MY EASTER TRIP
Long time no hear from me, yah? Well, I've been really busy with school. Just had my exams about 2 weeks ago. Before that, I was busy preparing for my firms and trying to squash in studying for exams as well. All I can say is that it was one of the few guessing games I've done for exams for a long time. It's as if 'du2 shu1 deng3 yu2 mei2 you3 du2 shu1 yi1 yang4'. =( Haiz...
Anyway, my exams were on 22 and 23 April. After that, I spent 24 April (Thursday) in school, teaching the year 2s, and earning a bit of pocket money in the process. =p Friday was spent clearing my room of lots of junk. Saturday was spent going out with K, my housemate to buy food, i think, and watching lots of tv. Sunday was lazing around, and reading the new book by John Grisham (The King of Torts), and packing for my trip. Spoke a bit to SF as well.
Now on to the interesting part, as some might say. =p For the first time since Dec 2001, I went on a trip with a friend, SF, who is incidentally a guy, and someone I have taken a liking to. Don't know how it started. Think i mentioned that i might go for a short trip after my exams, and it seemed that SF saw an offer and asked if I wanted to go, so I okayed it lor. Up to now, I still can't believe that it actually happened. Me and another guy, going on a holiday alone. Thought I would only do that with my bf. Guess that's not the case anymore.
When I first mentioned to my parents that I'm going for a short trip with a friend, they were ok with it. Then they asked who, told them, then they started asking lots of qns abt him. Oh well, guess they are protective, and wondering how come i would be going on a trip alone with a guy. =p
Anyway, the day finally came. Lots of people, mainly my hcn com pple, were asking if i was excited on going for the trip. Was i? Not really, i guess. i just couldn't believe that it was actually going to materialize. Ok… better write this down before I really forget about the trip.
Day 1, 28 April 2003 - London/Mallorca
I left my house at 7.45am, met SF at 8.30am at his tube station, South Kensington, and travelled to Heathrow with him. On the way, we talked a bit, but we didn’t really know each other much yet, so the things we just touched on were pretty superficial. Then at the airport, we had our first adventure. I totally forgot that my keychain for my housekeys was a swiss army knife, therefore it isn’t allowed onto the airplane as a handcarry. By then, we had already checked our luggage in, so SF suggested sending it back to myself, unless I want to risk losing it at the customs, and not getting it back, which I did.
Then we took a 2 hr flight to Palma, Mallorca, which is part of Spain. Earlier on, SF had changed Euros for us both, even before I asked. =) That showed initiative. Hehe… Reached the airport, and took a cab to our hotel, then headed down to the beach for some suntanning! As a friendly gesture, he offered to put sunblock on my back, even though I didn’t ask. We had both taken off our tops in order to suntan. I accepted his offer. And it was quite strange, coz I’ve never had a guy put his hands on me, apart from massages. Even then, it was through clothing! =P There, he asked me a couple of more personal questions. Some to the tune of what I thought of him, what are my views on BGR, what was the story of my lovelife starting from JC, etc., and I asked him the same questions back. The answers I got were a bit revealing about him. =P Then we went to play frisbee! Had quite a fun time, esp since I’ve not played it before. A pity we didn’t have beach volleyball. =p
When the sun had set halfway, we put back on tops, and walked along the shops, seeing what was there, and trying to decide on what to eat. Think we were both indecisive there, coz we took about 1 hr plus to finally settle down somewhere and eat! Nevertheless, it was an affordable restaurant with nice English music and good food. =) then headed back, showered and slept. Yes, we were sharing a room, but not the same bed! The beds were just side by side. One of the reasons was the cost of a double room is cheaper than 2 single rooms. Moreover, I didn’t mind it, coz I knew he wouldn’t try anything funny = trustworthy. =) Think my parents and some of my friends will freak though, coz they are a bit conservative, and think that this is unacceptable (lose my integrity, dignity, yaddah yaddah), esp since we are not married. Moreover, he is not my boyfriend. However, as long as my conscience is clear, I can’t be bothered.
Day 2, 29 April 2003 – Palma City, Mallorca
We woke up around 8 plus, had breakfast, and headed down to rent a bicycle, and cycled from our place at Arenal, via Can Pastilla, to the city of Palma. That was about 12 km one-way. My second ‘adventure’ of the trip was the thrill of cycling on the narrow one-lane roads, and on one of the busy streets of the city, I fell down while trying to pull my bicycle up the pavement, and ended up spraining my right ankle. I didn’t think much of it at first, thinking it was just a twist and it would go away pretty soon, but that was not to be. So embarrassing…. Haiz….
We headed to the tourist office first, then went to a tour agency to buy ferry tickets on the fourth day to Ibiza. There are 2 kinds of ferries: fast (2 hrs, 40E = 25 pds) or slow (5 hrs, 30E = 12 pds). We wanted to take the fast one, but that was sold out, so we booked for the slow one, which was good coz we could wake up later that morning, and it was also cheaper! Then we parked our bikes at Placa Cort, the plaza square, and went to see some of the sights. First, we went to one of the royal palaces (Palau de l’Almudaina), then walked around. Basically, both of us didn’t want to see lots of museums, or anything remotely historical, so we ended up walking the streets, went for a bit of shopping, trying on sunglasses, and what not. It was here where I found out about the Spanish siesta (2-5pm), and how much they value it. =)
Then we headed back, going by a more scenic route, along the sea, accompanied by the good view and fresh sea breeze. This route was also less hazardous, as there was no harrowing traffic. We returned our bikes, and headed down to the beach again for some more suntanning. However, that was for a short period of time, and we went for dinner at a different place, and we tried Sangria! It’s basically a red wine, mixed with slices of oranges, lemon, and apples perhaps? But it tasted good. Just sat there, and talked. Found out more about each other and our views. =) It was good, but think I was a bit chatty (according to him the next day), which apparently was becoz of the Sangria. Played a bit of cards at night before we slept.
Day 3, 30 April 2003 – Cuevas del Drach, Porto Cristo
Woke early for breakfast, then we took a safer approach to the city – bus No. 10. =P Stopped at the city centre, and walked to the bus station. SF was a bit anxious that we were not walking in the correct direction, so he stopped a couple of people and asked, while I kept on walking. Guess that’s where we differed there. Anyway, we made our way up the correct bus to see the Dragon Caves. The single trip costs us about E6.50, but we had a good time, seeing the magnificent structure. The amazing thing is that, unlike other caves, the stalagmites and stalactites are not formed from limestone, but some other substance which I can’t remember now. Think SF was a bit overwhelmed by me during that part, coz I was so awed by it that I just kept on asking questions about its formation and the shapes it’s supposed to represent. Paiseh lah…. It’s just so fascinating. =P
We had planned to stop in Manacor, as that is where the famous Mallorcan pearls (fake) are made, as well as Inca, the textile manufacturing area. But we decided not to, as it meant spending more on the bus journey. So we stopped at Porto Cristo (the port) instead, and had lunch there. SF bought a couple of postcards, while I bought a pair of Mallorcan pearl earrings. Really nice colour. Pretty affordable, and pretty in itself. Finally tried the Spanish tapas for lunch. Although it was small and there were few, it was quite filling. Arrived at the city, and I went to Mango, while SF went to Zara to shop for a bit. Found a short pure white skirt, which was really pretty, but I decided not to get it, coz it was too expensive (by my means), and didn’t know whether if such a short skirt really fitted me, as I have really bigggg thighs… =/
Headed back to the hotel, and just walked along the coastline of the Arenal beach again. Didn’t suntan this time, becoz it was really cloudy. Took lots of pictures of the sun setting. We just sat there, and enjoyed the view, seldom talking. The times when there was silence along the trip, it wasn’t awkward silence, but comfortable ones. It’s like we didn’t need to say anything and just enjoyed each other’s company there. There, SF tried to climb up a lifeguard station, and he managed it, but he didn’t dare come down by the fireman slide, coz he said it would dirty his shirt! =P After that, we took a photo together on the beach. I didn’t realise, until I viewed my photos later, that my hand was on his thigh, and he had his arm around my shoulder (which lots of other photos have, therefore this is fine))! *gasp* Either we looked like a very secure couple, or siblings. But our posture doesn’t indicate the latter. A couple of people who have seen the photos said that we looked like a couple, a very compatible one at that. I beg to differ, but then again, that is another case by itself. =P
Anyway, we headed towards Riu’s Palace, and stopped there for Sangria, since they were having an offer of buy 1 get 1 free for that drink. That was also the place which had the bar-top dancing. =P Apparently that night, the clubbing season has just started in Arenal. We so wanted to go, but becoz I had sprained my leg, and we had to wake up early the next morning, and we wanted to save money for the big splash on Ibiza, we didn’t go in the end. We just had dinner at the place where we ate in the first night there, and headed back to the hotel.
Day 4, 1 May 2003 – Palma/Ibiza
Woke up early, and took the bus to the port. Had bought tidbits for our breakfast, as we wouldn’t have any that morning (since we left pretty early, ard 7am). Ate bits of it at the ferry station, while waiting for the Balearic ship. The journey was relatively long, about 5 hours. Initially, we played a bit of cards, with bridge and ‘dai-di’. After that, SF wanted to go on deck, so we went, laid our mats out, and sat there, in the sun, enjoying the breeze generated, as well as taking the view of leaving the island. Very soon, we were in the midst of the Miditerranean sea, with just the sea surrounding us. It was a pleasant sight, and we had a good time talking and partially sun-tanning (the upper body only lah). Think I was pretty opinionated that morning. I remember talking about my family, and my circumstances of coming to study in the UK.
Anyway, before we knew it, Eivissa came into sight, and we were anchoring at the port. Was supposed to go to the tourist office, but it was closed till 5pm! So we went around the city, going to a hotel first to find out how much a double room would cost (E68/nite), coz we didn’t book any for Ibiza. We went to a hostel next, and it was E40 for the room, and since my ‘barang barang’ was so heavy, and I didn’t want to carry it further, I gave in and we accepted the room for that night. It was seriously in a sorry state, although it was sleep-able. =P After putting down our stuff, we walked to the nearest beach about 20 mins away, and sun-bathed for a while. SF went swimming for a bit, while I napped while sun-tanning. When it turned chilly, we packed and walked back, and incidentally found another hostel, which was so much cleaner and cheaper (E28/nite)!! We booked and paid for the next night, and went for dinner. Drank lots of Sangria, and had a large seafood paella, which tasted great! =) To ease the bloated feeling in our tummies, we walked around the bustling streets that night. It was around 10 plus, and it seemed like everything was just about to liven up! That night, SF actually wanted to go Pacha to club, but after we reached our hostel, he said he was too tired, and slept. Haha…. Old liao… =P
Day 5, 2 May 2003 – Eivissa
We woke up early, and moved our stuff to the new hostel, and walked around Dalt Villa, also known as the Old City. It’s basically an old fortress, which affords great views of the island, yet offers good protection from invaders, at least in the olden times. That morning, I wore a skirt and a t-shirt (with sleeves), as it seems that all the sun-tanning I’ve been doing has been taking a toll on my skin! Climbed up lots of stairs = lots of exercise, man. Not good, esp with a sprained leg, but luckily, I decided to wear sports shoes instead of sandals, if not, my leg would have died! =O At the end of the morning, we stopped for an Irish coffee as well as breakfast at one of the cafes near the Dalt Villa, enjoying the hot sun (26 degrees!).
In the afternoon, we sat a bus down to Sant Antonio with our mats, hiked roughly 4km (the other beaches were too far!!) to one of the more secluded beaches on the island, Cala Gració & Cala Gracioneta. We hiked along the sea coast, although it was rough terrain, the view was gorgeous, just the sky, the horizon and the sea. Saw some amazing coral reefs along the way. That day was scorching. We laid out our mats, and SF went to swim in the lagoon, while I just laid there and napped. Earlier that morning, SF mentioned that he wanted to swim when he went to the beach that afternoon, and I said I won’t be joining him. He asked why (after all, I had brought my swimsuit), and I told him I just can’t. He kept on asking, until I finally told him that I was having my p******. After that, he shut up. Haha…
Anyway, we sun bathed for a bit, with the usual of him putting suntan lotion on my back and neck, and I doing the same for him. Somehow, this felt different. Then we played a bit of cards, before we packed up and hiked back to town. We settled for a restaurant in town and near the bus station. After we got back to Eivissa, I wanted to sleep for a while, before we went to Pacha that night, and also becoz I was feeling a bit feverish. Guess I had too much sun. Anyway, I told him that at whatever time he wanted to leave, just wake me up an hour before for me to get ready. Apparently, he was so afraid to wake me up, coz I said I wasn’t feeling well. So considerate. =) Anyhow, I woke up, took a shower and got ready. That night, he paid me a real compliment. He said I looked classy, esp with my heels. =D I was wearing the skirt I had worn that day, but this time, it was matched with a mature, maroon spaghetti top. Plus, he also said I looked very good that night, esp with my hair (I had let it down, and didn’t even use gel!) and make-up. =) So pleased.
We took a cab to Pacha, and paid E30 for entrance, inclusive of 1 drink. Apparently, clubbing in Ibiza starts at 1am, and doesn’t end till 6am, earliest. We drank a bit first, looked around (and found that we were the only 2 Orientals there!), chatted a bit (about who were the cuties. =P), and then started dancing. The music wasn’t that great, but it was dance-able and pass-able lah. Danced for an interval, then took a 15 min break, and continued dancing somemore. By the time he was tired, it was close to 5am. We stopped dancing and sat at the couch, and just leaned into each other (=P), for him to catch his breath, and have enough energy to stand up and go back. Think that was the only time that we seemed to be flirting with each other. Haha…. =P Then again, it might just be me… =P
Day 6, 3 May 2003 – Eivissa/Stansted, London
Considering we had gone to sleep at around 6am, the fact that we woke up at 10am was quite good. =) Took a quick shower, and packed up everything. We left our bags at the hostal owner’s place, saying that we would take it before their siesta started, and went to town to shop a bit. It wasn’t weird, yet it was weird. Why? Well, we aren’t attached, to each other or another one for that matter, yet we went shopping as if we were a couple, meaning that when he tried on stuff, I gave comments on whether it looked good or not, and when I went to try on clothes, he was there with me. Then we went to buy robby a shirt, and I did the most girlfriend thing of using his shoulders to measure the shirt size for robby, and he was asking my opinion of which shirt was nicer, etc. Perhaps I’m blowing this out of proportion. Whatever….
Anyway, finally got the shirt for robby, and we headed back to the hostel to get our stuff, and had lunch at MacDonald’s, and stayed there for about 2 hours, coz we didn’t want to lug our heavy bags all the way to the beach to suntan. Instead, we played cards, chatted a bit, and he bought me gelato! Finally had my first taste of gelato. =P When the time came, we walked to the bus-stop, and took the bus to the aeroport/airport.
Upon reaching there, the food was pathetic and over-priced! Argh… no dinner man… Anyway, we were just really quiet. Either we had run out of things to ask each other, or just didn’t need to say anything, I don’t know. But we had a pleasant time looking at airplanes fly off the runway, and at some point, I was asking him about aerodynamics (he’s studying aeronautical engineering after all mah!).
Uneventful flight back. First time I’ve been to Stansted airport, and it looks about the same as Heathrow, just that there may be fewer people, less crowded, and easier and faster to get the luggage. I realised that I had dropped my railcard and switchcard as well as my hairclip somewhere along those few days, coz I couldn’t find it in my bag. =( Anyway, he sent me to the train station, and I did the politically correct thing of getting the full priced ticket, instead of the discounted one (with a railcard). Oh well, at least now I know it will not get checked, on the train, at least. =/ Even if it was checked, I could have just paid the excess amount. Haiz…. Stupid me… Reached home, and SF gave me a call, just to make sure I was back safe. =)