June 17th 1982
Landed in Dubai at 04:30 local time (01:30 BST), temperature 27˚C, dawn is almost breaking, so is Dawn with swollen feet and ankles! The air stewards have been lovely to us although food comes round almost every hour as we pick up new passengers.
05:30 we’ve just been for a walk outside, now daylight and very, very hot. We’re exhausted as we haven’t had any sleep yet.
09:45 local time landed in Karachi. We’ve disembarked to change flights. There’s no such thing as queuing here, people just shove their way to the front. Stepping off the aeroplane was like stepping into an oven – 29˚C – hot with wet humidity. My skin has never felt so clammy. Flies are everywhere, no sooner do you swat them away than they’re back. Huge, dopey things, I guess I’ll have to get used to them.
We had a thorough frisking by a large, angry woman before being allowed to enter the transit lounge. We have no idea when the flight to Singapore is. All I know is we’re both extremely tired and it’s baking hot.
7pm local time we landed in Kuala Lumpar. We’re on a Boeing 707. The temperature is 30˚C: boil, boil, roast, roast. The flight from Karachi took 6 hours. I met a chap called Hamar, a student at Glasgow Polytech studying engineering. He’s come home to Malaysia for a 3 month holiday and has invited us to stay with his family when we come back. It will be interesting staying with a Muslim family.
10:30pm (3pm BST) we landed in Singapore at last – 22 hours travelling. We’ve been worrying about where we will be staying in Singapore as I’m not sure the NZ chap (friend of a friend) knows we’re coming. Once through customs, I called the number – the guy, Chris hadn’t been expecting us but told us to get a taxi and come on over!
Younes, one of the stewards chased after us and told us we could share his room at the Royal Hotel for 4 nights! We told him we’d meet him in the lobby at 12MD the next day (just in case things didn’t work out with Chris).
We got to Chris’s fully air-conditioned apartment at 11:30pm. The apartment’s in a high-rise block and is enormous. He shares with his girlfriend, Suzi. Seems we were just in time as Chris is leaving for Jakarta first thing. He works on oil rigs. He was extremely hospitable once I told him John had suggested we contact him on arrival. He handed us keys and told us to stay as long as we liked. I fell into bed at 1am.