Well, you’ll be pleased to know that this online journal entry is coming from Seat 35J at about 33000 feet off the ground! It’s official; this road trip has started, though I admit we are not actually on the road yet! The flight is almost 12 hours long and, according to the information provided on the personal media console I have on the seat in front of me (yep. I know, pretty darned cool) we are now travelling at 909 km per hour and the temperature outside is -49C! A moment ago I was staring at these little numbers on the screen and thinking about how surreal and odd all this is. I turned my head to look out the window at the blanket of white below and was all of a sudden very humbled at how insignificant everything and everyone seemed from all the way up here. However, back to the point of filling you in about the day so far…
This morning, we were up and out of our hotel room at about 6:15am to come to the airport, and thanks to one of mum’s clients, we managed to gain access to a free breakfast buffet, so I admit I went a little food-crazy, especially for someone that hasn’t eaten breakfast in nearly two years! I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stuff my face with a full English (extra bacon, of course) for the last time in almost two months. So after all that we had to sluggishly grab our luggage and just managed to haul our bulging bellies onto the space-age looking shuttle to the south terminal of the airport.
The usual, and terribly dull, part of flying was made somewhat more interesting by me managing to set off the security alarm in luggage check and being patted down for the first time by a particularly embarrassed looking young attendant. I assure you I was not harbouring contrabands, I had just forgotten to take off my sunglasses – something that many of my close friends will know is typical ‘Jasmine’ behaviour – yes, I have been known to go to bed in them, no, it is not always sunny when I wear them. That frightening episode was amended by my mum’s client striking again by giving us access to the first class boarding lounge, so it’s safe to say that, despite still being rather full after breakfast, we made the most of the free snacks and beverages, the floor to ceiling view of the runway, and the mini cinema complete with beanbags and popcorn.
A diet coke, Malibu-and-pineapple aaand a white wine spritzer later we made our way to the waiting area at Gate 17.
I like to think of this part of the travel experience as a sort of reserved barn dance – everyone shuffles closer and closer to the doors awaiting the call of their allocated seat group, they then hop from foot to foot in the queue as they steadily inch toward the pleasant hostess checking boarding passes, and finally they ecstatically perform a ‘grand-jeté’ as they leap onto the craft. Then again, maybe that’s just me and my happiness looks a little out of place among frequent flyers trudging down the queue with stony faces and hand-luggage containing a specific slot for both passport and boarding pass. They are not enthralled to be heading to their next destination by the looks painted on some of their faces.
Anyway, as I said, I am now on the plane, sandwiched between my mum and brother. It’s taken me a little while to write this entry so far and quite a bit has happened on the flight already, so I’ll have to fill you in.
Just our luck, mum’s TV doesn’t work, so there was a little palaver with trying to share the tiny screen on the back of my chair and eventually giving up and swapping seats with her so she could catch a couple of episodes of ‘Friends’ before I steal it back to watch ‘Wreck It Ralph’ – I’ve heard it’s pretty darned good. Then there was MY usual palaver with my silly ears acting up on the take off. I don’t know if other people particularly experience this too when the pressure changes on a flight, but due to my unfortunately inflamed sinuses my ears cannot ‘pop’ to stabilize the pressure inside my head to suit the pressure outside. This causes a pain so intense I can only liken it to having someone stab a knife through your ear and pointing it down your jaw towards your mouth. However, I am aware that this happens every time I fly so this time I came prepared with a sealable freezer bag filled with decongestant inhalers, pain killers, Halls tablets and nasal spray. So, if any of you happen to go through the same trouble I highly recommend dosing yourself up on lotions and potions and grabbing a vodka cocktail for the ascent. Pain free. Hallelujah.
Now I am being presented with a travel-sized dinner of chicken korma and all the cute extras that come with the aeroplane foods, and listening to my mums revelation about “just how odd it is that we are about to eat hot food thousands of feet in the air”. So I better go for now, and I’ll speak when I have touched down in America!