Chapter One: A bit of a bumpy start.

July 2-3, 2014

Important things learned:

1. Air hosts and hostesses go through a lot on a flight. 19 hours isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun day at work, so be nice to them, even when they’re a bit cranky.
2. If you miss your flight through no fault of your own, don’t panic, it’s just something to remember your trip by. Whining will only make you feel worse.
3. A hot shower will always be comforting – even when it’s 43 degrees outside.
4. Duty free shopping is always more important than eating breakfast.
5. McDonalds is the same everywhere you go. Except in the States.
6. MAC makeup is the same price every where you go. Except in the States.

************

Flying has always been something I love. It’s fantastic – 600 people floating through the air in a steel container with the sound of babies crying because of changing air pressure and food that makes you question how hungry you really are – what’s not to love?!

All sarcasm aside (I will do my best, I promise), I do love the adventure that’s associated with cruising over clouds and seeing a city appear beneath the plane. This trip however has gotten off to a less than happy start.

Diverted to Perth about 4 hours into our flight, a P.A. announcement calling for “any doctors nurses or paramedics on board to make themselves known to the cabin crew” isn’t the way I imagined this flight to go. Drifting somewhere between Pirates of the Caribbean on my TV and sleep, air hostesses shuffling to the upstairs First Class and Business Class cabins seemed to pique the interest of the people around me and suddenly, I was interested too.

With no ambulance on the Tarmac when we landed and a 3 hour stop in Perth, the words “suspected fatality” decided to add some further speculation. (Note: this is where lesson 1 comes in – yes, air hostesses can be crabby towards the end of the flight, but even if they are, don’t be like the people behind me, don’t be rude, those people have just had to deal with someone passing away on their shift. Having to deal with people wanting drinks and snacks and warm towelettes and yes I’m aware that they’re getting paid, but it still sucks. Don’t be shit.)

Chattering about what could have happened, groaning about increased flight times and a lot of people nervous as hell about missing connecting flights (hello, yes, that was me.), seemed to make the flight go on that little lot bit longer. With a steady 3G connection on the Tarmac at Perth airport, we knew we’d miss our flight and the next 9 hours, dotted with mystery meat and uncomfortable wiggling around in my seat, just counted down to either a long night sleeping in Dubai airport à la Tom Hanks or facing another 7 hours on a plane.

Not ideal.

We were given new boarding passes for our new connecting flight – all organised by the airline – and were put up in a hotel near the airport. After 19 hours in a bra, an overnight stay that causes one night less in London is not the most horrible thing in the world. Free of charge of course. (Thanks Emirates)

A shower, some serious snacking on bulk-bought Tim Tams and a good night’s sleep later, Dubai airport is the place to be right now.

Mum and I packed on to the courtesy bus, skipping breakfast in favour of some serious shopping to do (attn: lesson 4). The most beautifully shiny and expensive duty free shopping awaited, all just there, waiting to take our money and make us wonder how we spent money before even getting to our destination (alas the Marc Jacobs sunglasses were calling to me).
Now here I sit in the universal symbol of comfort food: McDonalds, writing this post and thinking of home.

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