It is always interesting to drive to the airport, knowing that you are about to embark on an epic journey. Having your dad grumbling about the way you’re driving and your brother zoning out behind you is always an added bonus. Parking the car, and checking and re-checking that the lost boys have the parking card and keys, dragging luggage across an airport that is proudly showcasing the best aspects of the haze. The sunset paints a pretty orange, and I am questioned at the check-in counter. They want my ticket out of the UK. I gasp. I haven’t got the ticket. I fumble around my iPad and show my booking reference. My brother gazes on, not understanding much, laconic, absorbing – not quite. He asks why Etihad has to know if I’m leaving the UK. I frowningly answer that it’s the UK Border Agency that probably needs to know that I’m not staying forever.
What if I didn’t want to buy my ticket out yet? What if I hadn’t? 3 years ago it didn’t matter. My insides fire up momentarily. I feel like an unwelcome fly on the wall instead of an epic adventurer. The pain of rejection segues very quickly into a self-righteous irritation – so much so that I have only now realised how sad it made me. My disgruntledness diminishes quickly, looking at my grumpy old father on the phone, yet again – where his world seems to find its axis. They follow me – unthinking – as always, quite happy to let me make decisions. Dinner is found. Old man takes his time with his coffee.
I wave to them as the escalator takes me down. I embrace the last vestiges of the Internet connection. I would be disconnected for at least 6 hours – AND I had just rediscovered Instagram!
Hellebore, the Fuji x-100, takes sharp images. It suits the modernist look of the departure lounge. The coldness of the police. The grim finality of it all.
I am one of the last to board the plane, as usual. The pointlessness of queuing-up for a service you’re guaranteed a seat on will happen many more times in the coming weeks.
Etihad planes are much nicer than those of AirAsia, and now, even MAS. Of course, I was on a Boeing 777, but you could feel the little extra touches. The lights glowing down. The lovely little pouch with toothbrush, earplus, socks. The seats reclining quite far back. Sufficient leg space. Intelligent cabin crew – not at all vapid – and no fugly flourescent lighting.
I could charge my iPad/laptop. Isn’t that something?
I haven’t good images for my transit – but it was strange. Of course, over the 2 hours of waiting, I sat in the lounge – and told myself that Duty Free was off limits. Naturally, I justified a wondrous change of mind. It wouldn’t cost as much as what I’d pay outside an airport. So I bought not one, not two, but THREE things. I suppose I’ll write another post about my Duty Free Makeup Adventures. Safe to say I am glad I got them.
The nice thing about taking a night flight is that you fly during sunrise. And of course, I was sitting on the wing. Yeay.
I’ll leave you with this.