My last 24 hours…
7am – Struggle to get up after hitting snooze from 6am – Hilarious Girls Night with the UK Hospice ladies the night before. Wish I had remembered to take some photos!
8am – Picked up for work by Alex, our office manager, make him wait while I scoff down my Marmite on toast and coffee – the breakfast of champions.
8.15am – Meetings at the Hospice
10am – 4pm Training on database, involvement and discussion with key members of the team.
4.15pm Don on the Bagpuss outfit for the Hospice (another one for my bucket list – be a team mascot!). Pose with Hospice volunteer and his Olympic relay torch
4.30pm – Scramble out of the Bagpuss suit to have a photo myself with the torch
5.38pm – Catch train from Otford to Luton airport
8.30pm – Overly zealous customs officials bin my Vegemite and Marmite. Weep as I watch and salute the jars as they are thrown away. I think this is the grounds for an international incident!
11.55pm – Board the red-eye flight back to Bucharest. Sit next to two very different guys, one an au pair, the other a construction worker. Amusing tales and one very sad one.
The construction worker, drinking copious amounts of white wine, launches into a story about his first born – arriving 24 weeks premature. He spoke of the treatment of his new born baby. She unfortunately didn’t survive due to the lack of knowledge around her condition. He said that after four years he can speak openly, but the situation is so heart-breaking. I was so thankful to be a part of the Hospice – knowing their area of expertise is not maternity, however it is dealing with families who cope with loss and the grief that follows. And grateful to live in Australia where healthcare is so good and available to all that require it.
During the flight, significant turbulence – everyone applauds on landing.
5.15am Land in Bucharest, not as bad as it sounds – lose two hour on the flight over.
5.20am Rather cranky customs official goes over passport and length of stay (around 50 days before I MUST get a visa). Craving sleep.
5.30am Avoid taxi rank and the 3.50lei per km fees (Got caught on this on entry, Taxi from the airport should cost 20-30lei, not the 330lei charged when I first arrived! Decide on the bus and train transfer to Bucharest instead (haven’t tried it but figure it will be OK)
5.48am waiting on the train, maybe I should have paid the exorbitant costs of a taxi
5.51am picked up by what looks like a cargo train. Hmmm, I may end up in the wilds of Romania!!
5.54am Fear coursed through me as I watched a man being bailed up by two train officials, hoping my ticket is acceptable. I have heard stories of foreigners paying massive fines for not understanding the complex ticketing system.
5.57am Phew – all OK, breathe massive sigh of relief
6.20am Hmmm, really not recognising my surroundings
6.44am Success! Dropped at Gara de Nord, run the gauntlet of taxis to the metro. One train till home!
6.56am Arrive home, kick of shoes, pour iced tea. As Tony from the medical team says – I am too old for this!!
7.55am Washing on, showered, nap time!