Monday, August 10, 2009

My Welsh Holiday


I'm notorious for being disorganized in almost everything, but one thing I always good at : planning holiday ahead. (FYI: I am a wanderlust slave). Just like a weather forecaster, I know where to go on Christmas holiday by August; I can assure you that I've booked each leg of my journey, I've arranged meticulously when, what and where I will be doing during the holiday. I understand exactly that advance booking saves a lot of money. It cuts the cost by tenth, if not more. But this time was an exception. I had no plan at all and I was about to go nowhere this summer! (which isn't too bad if I'm not Indonesian and don't need visa to go to toilet in Dublin).

But one day I saw a holiday brochure which had fabulous price for 3 days holiday in Wales. Full board. It was cheaper than megabus and couchsurfing altogether (if megabus goes from Wakefield to Wales, which it doesn't). Seriously. It was discounted by £22 for last minute booking via internet. Perfect.

What I didn't really think about is when at the form I filled in there was a question if I'm an OAP. There was no explanation what OAP is (or perhaps everybody in England knows what it is except me). I looked up my very useful dictionary and found out that OAP is abbreviation for old age pensioner (and I discreetly chose yes, in case I got further discount). I booked my holiday 2 days before the date of excursion.

When I arrived at the pick up point, I was amazed that my traveling group are all old couples, ancient women and people in wheelchair. Fantastic. In no time I found myself chat incessantly to an old lady about music that we like (me: Shaggy, her: Elvis) and our hobby (me: diving, her: gardening) and pension scheme (I have no pension scheme, unfortunately). They are surprisingly knowledgeable and amusing. It was like going somewhere with your grandma anyway.

I was waiting for people putting their luggage to the trunk. I wondered why they had so many stuffs to carry for 3 days. We were not going to camp in the wild, were we? Or did they bring kettle? (like Lynda, she can't live without a cup of tea). But it still doesn't make sense because we weren't going to Italy (Lynda said there is no kettle in Italy!). I was quite sure that Welsh drink tea like English so they must have kettle and tea pot and tea cozy and tea saucer, etc. I carried 1 (one) rucksack (thanks to easyjet and ryanair that always made me traveling light) so I walked directly to the seat. My seat reservation turned out to be...er...no reservation. But I sat comfortably at the rear row, right behind an old man who suffered from incontinence. It was actually good because if you farted, nobody would accuse you for that. I sat next to the window on my own. The view from Yorkshire to Wales was very idyllic and picturesque, or at least that what an old couple told me, because I was fast asleep (I was drinking with my best friend the night before).

The whole journey was fairly OK, apart from me always being the last person to get on the couch. You see, they are all old people and one using wheelchair, but they are very punctual and not direction-dyslexic like me. I can be lost in my own hometown. And also, they were usually just sitting around in the pub or tea room or restaurant, when I wandered around the river and a bit outside the city. So, it's understandable (at least for me) if I boarded into the couch in the last minute (but not late, they were early, really). The couch driver just needed to wait for me before counting our heads like sheep.

At the last night I had a 'party' with those ladies. We danced the 60's, 70, or 80's songs. When I tried to request "hot and cold" by Katy Perry, suddenly everybody sat and enjoyed their drinks solemnly. So I changed my mind (like a girl changes her clothes) and asked for Abba and danced painfully to Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen (not again!). One of the lady, called Margaret, bought me few glasses of Baileys. I was tipsy but still didn't find the party very enjoyable. I think it was lack of youth spirit, so to speak.

I was the most popular member of the group, I guess. It was because I did kind of dirty dancing when other ladies danced gracefully in a circle (hip and back problems are common in women over 50s). I am not good at dancing but surrounded by women in their 50s sort of giving me mental support. It boosts my confidence, to some extent. I went to bed tired at 1 o'clock, after the DJ bid me goodbye by saying, "Goodnight, young lady," I was quite flattered, honestly (although I might prefer: "Nobody put Baby at the corner,"^_^).

That's all my holiday in Wales. I won't give any detail about tracks or history because I remember nothing about them (that's why travel guide and camera are useful).

1 comment:

chris said...

of course u're the most popular mba...
mba kepikiran gak sih kalo mbah2 itu ngomongin mba ria di belakang?? kalo ada young lady kesasar...dan ngaku2 OAP...! ck..ck...ck.... berharap bmbah2 bule itu ga menggeneralisasi indonesian = ria....
hehehehhe

eh,tapi seru mba...
wish someday i could travel as much as u did.. ^^ even much more... hehehe

Jam

Sejujurnya, inilah Ria dan Kristina...

Ria dan Kristina, sama-sama punya ide-ide yang nggak masuk akal saking nggak bangetnya pikiran kami berdua. Obrolan kami ini, berkat kemajuan jaman dan menjamurnya aplikasi internet (hiduplah Indonesia Raya!), kami sekarang bisa tuangkan di blog. Dulu kami suka ngetik-ngetik pake mesin ketik manual di belakang kertas HVS A4 bekas fotokopian. Tapi tetep aja kami tidak berhenti menulis. Kata pepatah: setipis-tipisnya tinta masih lebih tajam dari ingatan manusia. Kata Pramoedya: menulis berarti memetakan sejarah. Halah, kalo tulisan kita mah sebenernya gak ada hubungannya ama sejarah. Cuma mengukirkan betapa masa muda kami ini sangat indah. Dan jelas nggak mutu isinya. Jadi, mending kalo sisa-sisa waktu dan pengen baca yang tidak terlalu berguna sajalah baru buka blog kami... Tapi apapun komentar, masukan dan pendapat teman-teman, semuanya adalah cendera mata yang indah buat kami...

Ria dan Kristina (hualah, koyok undangan penganten. Amit2 deh. Lesbong juga pilih-pilih ah...)

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Sri Riyati Sugiarto (aka Ria) adalah cewek kelahiran limpung..(pinggiran kota Pekalongan)..habis sekolah di SMU St. Bernardus Pekalongan trus kuliah kedokteran di Undip Semarang..sementara Kristina Melani Budiman (aka Kristina) juga lahir di Pekalongan trus satu SMU ama Ria dan kuliah di Atma Jaya Jogjakarta. kami kenal di kelas 3 SMU tapi mo duduk bareng selalu ga bisa gara2 terlalu cerewet dan kalo duduk sebangku selalu bikin keributan karena hobinya menggosip jadi terpaksa sampai sekarang tidak pernah duduk bareng..untungnya kita ga satu kampus :p