1/Spend thousands of pounds for the pleasure of long haul travel.
2/Spend at least another £30 on travel gidgets and gadgets that will make your trip easier. Buy an inflatable pillow, spend money on a designated seat! Not the perfect seat (that would be a sky bed in first class, or perhaps a first class cabin complete with sexy husband and an attempt on the mile high record over Souther Russia en route..)
3/Board plane feeling slightly ‘bubbly’ after complete stranger, called Patricia, decides to buy you Piper Heidsicks at the Heathrow bar. Find seat. Bonus points.
4/Feel slightly hassled by internalised pressure to appear cool, calm and collected…and not ‘bubbly’. And especially not slightly hassled, pressured, stressed and anxious due to the reasons behind your hasty long haul flight back to Australia. In state of paradox between internal and external states, agree to put ‘the biggest cabin baggage in the world!’ in the over head compartment. Settle in seat – without inflatable pillow, diary, glasses, pashmina ie/the essentials – but appearing very cool, calm and collected.
5/Congratulations on your successful order of a Merlot to accompany your delish economy cabin mush meal. Well done. Everyone can see you are a very cool, calm, collected international traveller. Chin chin!
6/Time for bed. This is what separates the amateurs from the experts. Anyone who can successfully elicit more than five hours sleep on a 12 hour flight in economy is extraordinarily skilled, and surely a woman of the world! Minor hiccup – realise you do not have your inflatable pillow. Oh dear.
7/More bad news ensues - you do not have your woollen pashimna, what everyone who is anyone wears on long haul! If you peep into first class they all wear them, even the men! Especially those metrosexual business guys. No worries, you can make do with the supplied blanket and pillow. Oooooh real pillow, cool Qantas!
8/Three hours have passed. Nine to go, on this leg of the journey. Overall you will be in the air over 20 hours. But you’re staunch, you don’t need pillows or pashminas or first class food (the stuff that bypasses through the gut rather than builds a gastric retaining wall)! You drag your blanket over your body whilst manoeuvring the remote control and removing the headset wires which are placed indiscreetly in between your legs and are cutting off the circulation to your big toe. But you are staunch, you remove the wire. You stow the remote for the Q system, and tune the headphones to ‘chill out’ music.
9/The chill out music has rendered you suicidal. If you were any more chilled out you’d be horizontal and on a slab, and considering the reasons behind your trip Down Under, that’s not so politically correct. You put your head on the delish pillow and snuggle into the window – the same window which you paid another £20 to ensure was your very own for this leg of the journey. You snuggle into the window seat and your delish pillow slips. You sigh and reach down for the pillow but the seat belt (which must remain fastened during the course of the flight despite the seat belt sign NOT being illuminated, for your safety!) will not allow you to pick up the pillow. Undo the seat belt and hope that this very moment is not the one where the airplane hits turbulence. Pick up pillow and try again. Attempt to place feet in the well designed new foot stool net which some big nosed designer has added to his portfolio. Discover cannot reach foot net and pillow, simultaneously. Curse the gods that you were born ‘under-tall’. Curse the NHS, dieticians and medical profession that no one warned you that the excessive munching on the very best crisps in the world, might lead to a severe case of being up-sized and unable to reach the pillow and the foot net whilst simultaneously uncurling the genital garroting headset wires.
10/Realise that whilst you were attempting to be an international globe-trotting trendsetter, you have become a knock-kneed, undertall, curly wurly wotsit (Twistie) that is simply too short to fit comfortably in the new whizz-band A380. And more importantly you are not a cool, calm collected globe-setting woman of the world but the human version of a simple cheese snack curled into an impossible shape that’s hell for your spinal chord.
Image: Flickr CC