Thursday, May 19, 2016

Adelaide to Dubai 2016

The first blog post of my 2016 trip! This was mostly written on my phone on the plane, and is very much stream-of-consciousness. And there aren't any photos.

Here goes:

Well, the flight is under way. I'm feeling a lot calmer this time around; I was really not in that good a place back in 2014 and I spent a great deal of the drive to the airport wondering what the hell I was doing jumping on a plane and flying halfway across the world when, as far as I knew, I didn't even LIKE travelling.

But that was last time. The 2014 trip was so much fun it changed my whole perspective on travel – I hadn't been in London for very long at all before I realised how much I was enjoying it, and that I'd almost certainly not be happy with the amount of time I was on holidays for, and would have to go another trip as soon as it was practical to do so.

My unhappiness about the relative brevity of trip became abundantly clear on the night before I flew home; I was in Edinburgh during the Fringe and having an absolute blast, and I got very angry about such a good experience ending before I was good & ready. I did get some respite from the rage courtesy of Australian comedian Celia Pacquola, whose show I'd opted to go see – and she was brilliant.

Oh, I will point out that I'm writing this post on my phone on the plane, as much for something to do to pass the time as anything else. This flight – Adelaide to Dubai – is nearly 13 hours, so anything that will engage me is a bonus. But I haven't yet flipped through the entertainment guide to see what movies or tv shows I can enjoy on my 10 inch screen – no doubt there'll be something I'll check out at some point. Oh, I am listening to music on it; I had Pet Sounds on before, and right now it's Cream's Disraeli Gears.

They claim we have Wi-Fi access on board. That's a filthy lie. Well, without prefacing it with a word like 'shithouse'. But it's not like I really need it for anything right now. Though I wouldn't mind being able to play with Google Translate a bit, just to get some key French phrases drilled into my head.

Ooh, food is coming out. Glad I had dinner early.

Well, that was pretty good. Muhammara – an Arabic dip of crushed walnuts with peppers and pomegranate molasses; chicken tagine (loses some points because it had evil gourd with it) and finally a spicy carrot cake.

Now playing: Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Back to food: I think I'm glad I live in an age where airline food is actually pretty good. Though I suppose I don't know for sure that it ever was as bad as it was joked about being. In a way I'm a bit surprised that food is still standard on most flights, even short ones. But if they didn't, people would probably bring their own, which might prove...interesting.

Huh. Just checked the flight path and it appears we're flying over NT, not far from Uluru – I don't think I realised that was the way we went; I assumed we headed west and then north towards Dubai. Maybe that is the way it went last time and it's changed since.

Anyway, I'm getting tired. It's 11.28 Adelaide time, well past my usual bedtime. I might try to get some sleep.

Well, that was surprising - I think I actually slept for a while, all up. It wasn't great sleep, and it wasn't continuous sleep – I still feel quite tired – but I don't have that kind of zombified feeling you get from being awake on a plane for a dozen straight hours.

Current album: Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

Right now it's 46 minutes until we land in Dubai, where I get a three hour layover. That's not going to be fun – while it's quite an impressive place to look at, it isn't three hours worth of interesting. I suppose it's possible I'd be more occupied if I were much of a shopper – they have a gazillion shops there with all kinds of fancy crap – but I'm not, so it isn't.

So, I'll probably just find somewhere to sit down and maybe read for a while.

What I am looking forward to seeing again is the Burj Khalifa. There are few things more impressive than a building whose peak is above the cloud line, and which it takes a plane quite a few minutes to get higher than from takeoff.

I don't think we'll see it as we land – it's 4.38 in Dubai right now, and still dark.

Nope; belay the last, as the sailors might say. We're still in the air and the sky is growing lighter.

Dammit, no Burj that I could see on the way down. Either I missed it or the path we took meant I couldn't see it from my side of the plane. Hope that's not the case on the journey to Paris.

Oh, everyone is standing up now we've landed. Idiots. [Image from The Oatmeal: link]

I'm just going to sit here and read my book until the line actually starts moving...

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