The word chaotic would not be too strong to describe our departure to Latin America. Awake at 5am, bags packed, out the door at 5.30am – or was that 6am? – actually it was 6.15am which was pushing it when we had get petrol and be on a plane to Sydney that was departing at 7.25am – and we live at least 30 mins away. I had visions of hugging my boys tightly at the gate and telling them how glad I was to have them in my life – and could they please remember to feed the dog and let the cats out each day. Instead, they were standing outside the car at the loading zone yelling at me “Run or you’ll miss the plane Mum” whilst I eagerly tried for that last photo of them so I could juxtapose it against photos from 25 years ago when my Mum stood at the gate farewelling me with Yvette and Julie as we headed off to Europe for the trip of a lifetime with tears and excitement all happening at once.
Inside the terminal the stars just kept aligning:- the auto checkin sent us to the service desk where I am sure the computer said “please lecture these amateur flyers on timeliness and good manners.” Mr Checkin man firmly informed us that we should be at the airport at least two hours before when flying international. Not being one to argue with authority, I politely informed him that this was domestic and we would, if all goes well, be in Sydney at least two hours before departure for our international flight and hence we would comply with this rather unnecessary requirement. At this point I am writing somewhere above the Pacific Ocean South of New Zealand I think (as Qantas likes to avoid problem zones) and all I can say is “God I hope our bags are on this plane!” Being a big fan of carry on I don’t know why I checked luggage today except to say I needed hiking poles and husband’s backpack was just too big!
The stress finally left us when we boarded and we were seated in Premium Economy and handed a glass of bubbly before we had even left the ground. So up in the air at this point I was feeling relaxed happy and thrilled to be seated next to my beloved husband as we headed into the unknown…..I thought I’d use this fancy little inseat messaging service to test out the system and send him a carefully worded text “I luv u” only to find he is not in seat 39A and that is on the other side of the plane! There is no delete so I quickly send an “oops wrong seat” message and am constantly trying to crane my neck and see who it is actually sitting in the seat that I was sending love messages to. Hopefully its some old lady who can’t work the darn thing either!
Well hours have passed. I have watched a part of a movie, had my dinner and a glass of wine. After stalking around the plane for some time, I have finally passed seat 39A. I am sure his name is Pablo and he hopefully does not read English. He certainly does not have the messaging screen up in front of him so I do believe my expression of love will pass unnoticed and I will not be accosted at the gate with an embarassing let down speech.
Finally it is time to rest as we pass the international date line and time warp back to yesterday. All is well in the world however I keep waking up laughing at the thought of Pablo in seat 39A – only someone else in my family would laugh louder than me at this point so I’m thinking the other passengers think I may have escaped from somewhere or inhaled something I shouldn’t have before boarding the plane.