This is my first adventure, would be nice to get to know people before we go!!
Please get in touch
Hi there all, Ruth and I are back! I had forgotten that Ruth isn't a typist by profession so she has said I may write for us both, and if I go too far she will she will sort me out on the trip - so I have been warned! I saw the travel nurse today Anita and have 1 jab to get (I had others done last year) but we have decided that I will have the malaria tablets, not because of any danger, but I get so badly bitten by insects and react so badly, that if I get mozzy bites I could have problems. (Not a cheap option, but so be it). Of course, MY middle name is Oonagh (an Irish Princess) and the Blue blood in me is immediately noted by our flying friends, Ruth on the other-hand is a 'Commoner' so HER blood doesn't seem to be on such demand! We meet tomorrow night to sort out the forms and hopefully be finished with them soon. Have just received all the hotel info so will have to catch up, thanks Brian for the tip about finding the ship.
Just bought myself some smallish plastic bags to reduce the air in my case, you roll the air out, (instead of using a hoover) so will report on these. I travel light, cause I'm just 5' tall and can't carry loads up and down stairs etc. Ruth has longer legs and doesn't know how I manage with less, but needs must. Once went to Canada with a giant mustard suitcase which had no wheels, that I could hardly lift off the bedroom floor and got no sympathy from my father as he marched ahead. Never again. So if you get bored with my outfits, tough! Just been 'abroad' to England for a week with the mobile and charger, camera and charger, umbrella, sunhat, medication, suncream, insect cream and face cream, plus English money (cause they don't like Scottish money! just like in Ireland Brian) etc.etc. fills up a case to start with. What fun. Would you please calm down Anita, you are beginning to panic Ruth and me, there is a lot of living to do before September. Learn how to use our cameras' properly for one!
Take care all.
Take care all. Lesley
Nice to see you back Les :-) sorry I will try to calm down, I'm a little better now after Thursday! which was another exciting event in my life which I was probably more excited about than China!!! I am a huge basketball fan and on Thursday I went to watch team GB v USA in a pre olympic friendly game. Was really amazing to see all the huge NBA stars.
Les I am only 5' 2" so I know exactly how you feel. I think we'll both feel quite at home in China they will all be our hight :-D
Well I need to get outside and enjoy this lovely sunshine while it lasts :-)
Hi all, Wow Anita you were lucky, I once stepped into a hotel lift to find 2 Belgium basketball players, and they seemed to go 'up' for ever, met them in the bar later; the black gent was 6'11" with size 15 feet and said his daughter was 7'2", the other was a blonde Swiss but only 6'8"! Talk about opposites, we had to laugh. Read that over the centuries people from different chinese areas mixed so in fact there are many heights. Brian, I'm the same height (but not weight) as Queen Victoria, and us little people are not to be tangled with!!
Yes, thought I'd lost everything and kept pushing keys. Ruth says that I got my cum-up-ence for calling HER a 'Commoner", but one just knows ones place in this world!
We went yesterday with our Visa forms to the Travel Agent to be sure we had everything right, and 4 HOURS later! left, having been told that the Chinese had made changes yet again. The girls retyped our forms and made many calls but the Expert at Exodus was ill so we will need to wait for her help. Even the Chinese Embassy was shut, cause they work strange hours. But we will prevail!
There seems to be a lot of flooding in China just now.
Too right Les, us little people aren't too be messed with lol! There is actually a Chinese basketball player called Yau Ming who plays in the NBA he's 7'2" Well at least the Olympics will help to keep me amused before we go :-D
My Chinese friend is going to take me to a "proper" Chinese resteraunt and introduce me to some real food :-s he's mentioned chickens feet, intestines and tripe!!! I think I might need a blindfold and not be told what is going in my mouth. I will let you know how it goes!
Well I think all I need to sort now is my spending money :-)
Only 44 more sleeps to go!
Les coming from Ireland I have great respect for the little people and know not to mess with them.
Anita visa and another star well done. I will make sure in the restaurants I'm not ordering what your having. Get the chinese names for those delicacies then I know what to avoid :-)
Ok must rush off to the beach again
Have a feeling that although I like rice I could be tired of it by the end of 3 weeks, perhaps if I start eating rice biscuits now my system will be used to it! Hope the coffee is normal!
Am sooo jealous of those with their visas', that hurdle still ongoing.
Anita I found that the post office were very helpful as regards the money for China. And gave me a printout of values.
PS I've got a star, just like at school.
Well I think the summer is over again :-( miserable rain again!!!
The Chinese guy I was refering to, Yau Ming, retired from Basketball last year, he's 7'6" tall!!! (I had to google it :-s)
I watched the opening ceremony too, was absolutely fantastic. I loved the sketch with the Queen and also the Mr Been bit had me in stitches :-D
Thanks for the tip about money Les I will have to look into that. Although when I spoke to somebody at Exodus they said to take cash and change it at the airport :-s
I hope you're enjoying the beach Brian, I'm not jealous (much!)
You should be getting your visa back any day now Lee :-)
I think I have decided I'm difinatly not taking my iphone after looking up costs etc online! O2 have suggested for China £120 a month to cover all costs etc!!!!! They cap data charges at £40 if you haven't told them you are going abroad and although you can turn off the wi-fi and GPS certain apps still connect. I have an old phone that I will just get a pay as you go sim for, it still has wi-fi but I think I only want to send the odd few texts to people.
Anita, my idea of taking a phone is to have the pay as you go (which works in China) so make sure it will, and get the sim card in CHINA which is much cheaper, and to have it to communicate with Ruth or yourself, the guide etc. if we are doing different things or simply need to meet up. Just the odd text home. I believe that if we don't get the Chinese sim, the sound will bounce to Britain and back, thereby costing the earth!
I do know the Post Office don't charge for money.
Up here in the North of Scotland we have had a scorching day, but tomorrow could be different.
Up here in the North of Scotland
Steady on Les you'll be overtaking me on the excitement levels lol :-D
Yes I did catch some of the programme, and set it to record on series link. I agree how exciting!!!!! and some of the food looked delicious can't wait to try it :-)
Congrats on getting your visa back Lee :-) that's one less thing out of the way. I hope Les, that you and Ruth are getting closer to sorting yours :-)
Well I'm going to catch up on the rest of that Chinese programme now :-)
Still enjoying the sun in South of France for another week then start sort out visa via London. Glad you all got your visas already. Then need to think about currency. Think I will take some chinese currency with sterling cash to change over there together with my credit and debit card. Believe my maestro debit card will work in Bank of China ATMs. Watch where you change currency yes some offer no commission but they give a lower rate. I found Covent Garden FX a good place even to use to compare rates (9.4238 at moment)
Then I have to consider what to bring.
My daughter took me to a Vietnamese resturant here had to use chop sticks think I will pack a knife and fork or else I will starve.
Nice to hear from you again Brian, hope you're not enjoying yourself too much in France while some of us are working really hard!!! Lol :-D
I've just found out that I need Hepititas B injection which is a course of 3!!! Been told I'm OK for Malaria though but to use insect spray etc. Having my first jab tomorrow night I think she was a bit annoyed that I hadn't sorted sooner oops :-s
I am OK with chopsticks so can teach you if you would like Brian :-)
I think for money I will be doing the same as you Brian. Thomas Cook is a good place to change money they offer a price match so I find the best rates, commissions etc from all over and get them to match it all. Can even take in printouts from the internet and they will match :-)
Anita thanks for your Thomas Cook advice. I am always willing to learn new things even how 2 hold my chopsticks. I will be the model pupil :-)
It hard work staying 2 hrs on the beach till happy hour starts.
I think that is the injection you need take 3rd one 6months after others as booster or else you have to start again. Doc said ok for malaria not required.
I have the jab for typhoid, recommended in Exodus trip notes and my doctor looked up database when I was with him and typhoid was one to get.
Well my Visa has arrived at last. Yippee!! So, because I have visitors coming and 3 grandchildren to entertain in the last of the school hols I spent the afternoon packing for China, yes, I did! So only the last bits, some hems to sew, and my hand luggage to finish off. Money to get. Ruth is going to sort the seats for the flight down. She is on a family holiday at the moment, getting lots of sun and good Scottish weather. All jags done and I had some carried forward from last year.
Watched 'Wild China" and 'The Story of the Great Wall ' again and now can't wait. Think it's cause I didn't get at the last minute last year and it is sooo close again. Run a mile from anyone with sickness!
Hope your all fine, and does anyone know exactly how many of us are going?
I have received my joining instructions today, help nervous, excited I'm not sure how I feel!!! :-s
e-mailed Joanna today to find out how many booked on trip and to see if anybody else on my flights, not had an answer yet but will keep you posted.
Got my 2nd hep B jab in the morning, didn't get any side affects with the first just a bit of an aching arm so hopefully this 1 will be OK too.
Back home no real heatwave here, was 32deg in London on Saturday. Got my last injection this morning and Visa should be processed and returned by end of week. 7 ladies 3 men I might get my ironing done after all :-). Its a nice size of group not too large i'm sure we will all get on.
Clothes to sort next then think about medication etc. What is people bringing?
At least Anita you might have some company, look out for the Exodus "label for life".
Read an article about processed chinese food in supermarkets not too complimentary about health and safety and additives.
My trip starts 5Sep so just 17 nights sleep to go.
Anita, if you get anymore excited you wont be sleeping again till you leave :)
Passport arrived back with visa so can go after all. Medicines and accessories bought as well and small piles started in spare room.
Glad not sitting beside you Anita on the plane I would never get any sleep :-)
Hi Lee and Phyllis,
Ruth and I had a 'meeting ' this week to go over final arrangements! Finding you both was on the agenda so we decided to go with a Scottish theme and will have tartan ribbon on our suitcases and flight bags. We leave home at 8am so will probably have a 'hangdog' look accompanied by a Scottish accent but Irish sense of humour! Take care.
Anita I see you are now doublely excited what next!!
I have ordered my Bank of England notes as I'm sure the Chinese currency exchange bureau will not appreciate an Ulster Bank note. Piles getting bigger in spare room and all toiletries bought.
I hope you ladies are ok what electric plug to bring for your hairdriers and straighteners.
Hi all, eventually managed to get logged into this by joining gmail.com. Exodus could not recognise my yahoo address even though they send me a monthly newsletter!!
Thought I'd better join in before we leave. I'm not going to try, at the moment, to get my own back on Les, for some of the things she has said about me. There will be plenty of time for that. Hope you are going to be able to cope with her!!!!
Looking forward to meeting you all. Ruth
Nice to hear from you Ruth :-) you need to catch up and get a gold star before we go.
I have a multi adaptor plug which can even run from a light socket if it hasn't got the right pins so I'm OK for my straightners and hair dryer, however unfortunately I don't own a travel iron ;-) lol!
Well 2 posts in 1 day (trying to get my 4th Gold star!) I need to go and write a shopping list :-)
Thanks for advice about Thomas Cook took my good "Covent Garden FX" quote to them and they met it. If you plug ur hairdryer into the light socket how are you going to see to dry your hair??
I have a travel iron but no instructions how to use so just stick to ironfree shirts.
So only my clothes and packing to sort out now. Hope your shopping went well.
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