An hour and a half later we arrived at Sandbanks, a little town near Poole, smack on the Banks peninsula. I noticed how similar this place was in architectural design to Stavanger , the little "kampong" up in Norway. Sea-side town, I guess. I targetted the Cafe Shore, speculating on whether the Ent Draft and Black Pudding would be available here. A little further and we came to Panaroma Road, turned into its bend and our townhouse sat tucked in on Brownsea Road. It was charming, with tongue-and-groove (not the procedure for a tryst) walls up to the roof on the outside and layers of insulation to the plaster on the inside.
Chris, our course coordinator, was waiting for us with a broad, yellow-toothed smile, which confirmed yet another familiar English trait, and I was beginning to feel like I had in fact not travelled far from Labuan, but only that the weather had suddenly chilled. Chris was a friendly chap, ever ready to accomodate our third-world queries and briefed us on the creature comforts of the house: hot running water, flat screen plasma telly, digital satellite receiver, dvd player, washing machine, dryer and full-specification kitchen. "It is the third most expensive real estate in all of Europe, you know," he advertised. We duly bid John and Chris goodbye, and recced the kitchen.
Our first meal in England, was ignobly, instant noodles. The draw towards something hot, spicy and completely meaningless (again, no links to a tryst) was hard to ignore. The evening wore on, and any meal, a hot bath and bed was an attractive proposition. However, there was the unpacking to do, prepping the next day's attire, investigating the workings of the hot water shower and seeing if any of the televisions in the bedrooms worked. As luck would have it, only the telly in my room didn't work. Oh, heck. My two coursemates, Azman and Wan had long surrendered to sleep, yet again. I normally do not envy them as I am known to drop off in an instant. However, these two chaps had bio-clocks that defied time zone hops.
I finally managed to pack in the noodles at 2100 Zulu time.That means ten o'clock in Sandbanks. However, I was not to see a single night of restful sleep all my days in England. This was my first severe tussle with jet lag, and I am still paying for it at time of writing.