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Posts Tagged ‘Airplane travel’

6:00am: Wake up.

6:02am: Be sad that The Food Network is showing infomercials. I don’t want a set of cheese graters. A foot grater, on the other hand… Anyhoodle, snuggle back into blankets.

6:10-10am: Get up again, pack, poke around on the Internet, wait for rain to stop.

10am-1:30pm: Last wander around New York, involving more chocolate and peanut butter buying as well as the necessary purchasing of snacks for the plane. (SNACKS ON A PLANE!)

And snacks for my tummy before getting on the plane. Seaweed salad, heavy on the ginger and sesame oil.

2:30pm: Arrive at airport, ridiculously early as per usual, but for good reason this time.

2:31pm: Strip bandage from toe and dignity from self, then walk to Qantas counter and point at foot whilst asking if anything can be done for Le Poor Cripple.

2:35pm: Overflow with gratitude for being given a seat up the back of the plane with a spare seat next to it, so that Le Poor Cripple can keep Le Stupid Toe elevated.

3-6:55pm: Read trashy magazines in airport shops (Brad and Jen caught kissing? I don’t believe it. Kate Gosselin a nightmare parent? I don’t care. Also, captioning a photo of her wiping her son’s mouth with “Kate gets aggressive with child” is revolting). Savour last Starbucks Frappuccino, which is not revolting. Read Mansfield Park.

6:55pm + 5 hours: Plane leg from New York to LA. Watch It’s Complicated, while constantly being interrupted by American man two seats to my right asking me questions such as:

* Do you have abalone in Australia?

* Did swine flu go to Australia?

* Did you get your shots for it? [Me: Yes]. Good, good girl.

Flying at night = no light for photos. Apparently, I requested a vegetarian meal when I booked this flight a year ago. I received a serviceable tofu stirfry, though since when does "vegetarian" mean "doesn't want dessert"? Thank heavens for my stash-of-muffins-and-chocolate-that-never-runs-out.

Midnight-1:40am (New York time): Chill with my homies in the transit lounge.

1:41am: Acquiesce to a homie’s request to put her shoes and hair rollers in my bag, because she’s scared of her carry-on being too heavy.

1:42am: Hope have not just become accomplice in terrorism.

1:50am: Board plane. Return goods to homie. Sigh with relief that am not a criminal.

2am + 14 hours: Eat ratatouille with rice, which am unable to get photo of because light is non-existent. Watch The Invention of Lying, while constantly being interrupted by American man two seats to my right asking me questions such as:

* Can you watch geese and swan fly in formation from your house?

* Is Canada part of the Commonwealth?

* Have you been to Africa?

In same period of time: Sleep[ish]. Breakfast.

Smelt delicious, tasted pretty good. I do like me some mushrooms. BEANS ON A PLANE! (Okay, that doesn't work. I'm tired.)

8am (Australia time… New York time would be 6pm): Disembark in Sydney. Customs. Hold breath while lady checks out my peanut butter stash and my Sahale “Almond PB & J” trail mix. Get the all-clear. Woot!

8:30am-9:30am: Get stuck in never-before-seen (by me) queue in the domestic transfer area.

9:30am (original flight to Canberra having left at 9:20am): Accept that queue is moving at the rate of cane-toad migration from Queensland, and limp over to Qantas lady. Yep, it’s the return of Le Poor Cripple. And I’m darn proud of myself, too – something good has to come out of the toe, right?

9:32am: Move to head of line.

10:40am: Get on plane to Canberra. Have 453rd can of coke since getting on first flight. Don’t even like coke very much.

11:35am: Arrive in Canberra. Greet parents. Discover that only one of two suitcases (checked in at exact same time) made it.

11:36am: Realise that the suitcase that didn’t arrive is the one with all the chocolate. Wonder if this is how parents feel when their kids are stolen. Feel glad that didn’t steal woman’s pug in Paris.

Luckily, the bag has since arrived. You can all rest easy again. The blog shall live! (This isn't all of it, either.)

11:45am: 453rd bathroom trip of day.

12:30pm: Visit maternal grandparents, who look wonderful and happy and healthy and whom I love dearly. Risk being disowned by wonderful grandma, though, by stating that Mansfield Park shall not be a favourite and repeated read in my life.

1pm: 33 hours after leaving hotel in New York, arrive home.

3pm: Nap.

4pm: Woken up by mother. Open eyes and ask “Who else is in here?” (Hostel habits die hard.) Then exclaim moments later, before she’s answered, “I’m in Australia!”

6pm: Dinner out with the parents. Second attempt at green papaya salad.

BBQ Duck and Green Papaya Salad at Verve, Manuka. I'm not a big fan of duck, and there was a lot of it here, but it wasn't too bad. Quite game-like. However, this was not the zingy-spicy papaya salad of my dreams. The hunt shall continue.

7:15pm: Affogato with Baileys. And decaf coffee. Oh, please let it have been decaf.

Nom Nom Nom. Though I think I maybe still like it better without the liqueur, plebeian that I am.

10:10pm: Finish writing post. Blame any dullness in it on discombobulation and tiredness.

10:15pm: Stop eating peanut butter from jar with spoon. (I can never go to bed after a meal out without also having something at home too. A solid nightcap, if you will.)

10:40pm: Publish post.

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It’s funny how first impressions can be erroneous. Or, if not erroneous, at the very least amendable. 

Take today, for instance. Now, keep in mind that I’m six hours into my second flight of the day, that I’ve already been awake 13 hours and need to stay up at least another 8 in an attempt to get on New York time, and that I’m listening to Swiss Airlines’ Music From the Films of Tim Burton. Which means that if this starts to sound a bit loony-bin… you have an explanation. 

Where was I? Oh yes, first impressions. But before we get to that, want to see what I got for eats on the plane? Course you do! (Some of you do, anyway.) 

There was also a piece of apricot cake but, um... I ate it first.

Lorraine, you’ll be proud to know I only went to the airport one and a half hours early*. Waiting by Gate 5, I overheard an American woman talking to her two daughters… 

American Woman (making sweeping movements near her own ears with curved hands): We’ll need to get your hair cut like this, because it looks like shrimp head if we don’t. 

Um… okay. I, of course, immediately pulled on and zipped up my crankypants at the idea of any mother telling her daughter she has shrimp head (whatever that means). I mean, at least my mother never said anything more to me than that my cheekbones reminded her of an anemone**. 

After settling into my window seat on the plane, I turned to discover that this woman and her husband were my seatmates. I considered making shrimp noises, but instead commented on the fact that we were all on the same ensuing flight from Zurich to New York. And you know what happened after that? I discovered that these people were lovely. 

This was pretty awful, if I'm entirely honest.

We had much to talk about, from the father’s travels in Australia (plus he works for NBC at the actual 30 Rock, on shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway. He says they’re considering a Top Chef Australia – I’d watch it, but I wonder how it would fare against Masterchef?), his gluten intolerance, my travels, the kids’ reading of Twilight and our mutual confusion as to the hysteria surrounding the books, all of our travels in Florence and Paris, the fact that my two days in New York will be spent doing nothing but going from grocery store to upmarket grocery store… 

Ultimately, I had to let the shrimp head comment slide, because this family let me tag along with them through Zurich airport’s international transfer system, through waiting an hour to be let into the gate area, through my anxiety over being standby for this flight (I still don’t know why I was put on standby for one of four flights all booked at once), and the father even gave me some Australian music recommendations. Anyone heard of the Pigram Brothers? 

The upshot of the day was that I now consider myself an honourary member of this New Yorker family, and as you’ll no doubt understand when you read the following, such membership involves an amendment to my name. 

See, the four folks’ names were Kevin, Keeley, Keaton, and Khloe. 

Therefore, from now on, my name is Khannah. K? 

Peace out! 

Turkey and cream cheese on a roll. There was also Movenpick caramel ice cream, but it came halfway through my watching of Fantastic Mr. Fox, and sometimes a girl's just gotta eat her ice cream straight away. After Berthillon and Florence gelato, though...

* The hotel reception man may or may not have said I only needed to be there an hour in advance. But there’s only so far a leopard can change its spots, right? 

** I jest. She said kelp#. 

# I jest again. And I can’t even blame Tim Burton, as I’ve change to the Beatle’s 1 album. Lady Madonna love.

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It’s rather cold here. I’m typing from Los Angeles airport at what is, to me, 2:40am, and I’m feeling rather wistful for the summer I’ve left behind. Also missing sleep, but that’s to be expected. However, I’m currently listening to a Canberran fellow (represent!) trying to chat up a girl from Alabama, so that’s mildly entertaining. Though she just mentioned barbecue and he asked if that was a type of beer, so somehow I think he’s not likely to be very successful (less represent now, I’ve decided).

Some thoughts that have wondered through my head over the past 19 hours (and there’s at least seven more until I get to New York, and a couple hours after that to get through the airport and to my hostel):

  • It’s probably not necessary to thank the people at security checkpoints. Particularly not the woman who rifled through my bag, stroked my laptop and prodded my shoes during a random security check. It’s likely that this reflexive thanking at inappropriate times is linked to the part of me that apologises to inanimate objects when I bump into them.
  • I think everyone should enter planes from the back. It’s cruel making us poor economy folk watch the seats get smaller and smaller as we make our way down the aisle from the front, ultimately reaching our little cramped seats where not even those brave souls suffering from the agonies of toe surgery have room to move or protect their feet.
  • Why on earth is even the maximum volume level on the entertainment system near impossible to hear? When every second person spends the duration of a movie with their hands pressing headsets firmly to ears, this might suggest that volume levels should be adjusted to compensate for the enormous jet engines doing their work outside the window.
  • Regardless, I managed to watch Whatever Works, The Time Traveller’s Wife, and bits and pieces of other shows and movies, which largely failed to hold my attention.
  • I just realised that I never learnt the name of the woman sitting next to me with whom I conversed a fair amount. In contrast, I do know the details of both of her traumatic birth experiences. It’s an odd world sometimes, isn’t it?

Anyone else have airport/flying related tidbits or ideas they’d like to share? At least my bag made it this time…

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