I love to travel but I hate getting there. Airports are about as fun as a kick in the nuts, ladies please use your imagination about how that feels, but trust me, there are better ways to spend your time. Security guards who have somehow have forgotten to smile, more lines than at a party at Courtney Love’s house and somehow I always seem to lose my passport at least once. Long story short, I’m really hanging out for teleportation to be invented.
Oh yeh, I also hate flying.. hate it. Maybe its cause I’m about as compatible with the economy sized seats as Bigfoot would be in a village of midgets. Every time I sit down I’m painfully reminded of how ridiculously long my legs are, mainly because my knees are up by my ears..
The other part of flying I’m just not a big fan of is the flying. I’m a big proponent of technology but planes appeal to me about as much as wrestling a bear (and not the cuddly Ted type of bear, I would mess that soft toy up, I mean the big scary kind you find in Alaska). Cramped, noisy, bumpy and don’t even get me started on the bathrooms; I think warning signs are in order for seniors or anyone with a pacemaker preparing them for the unexpectedly loud and sudden flush which somehow still always seems to make me jump.
I find airports so tedious that I’ve started to set myself ‘airport challenges’ to make my time in transit more interesting. Challenge number 1: Get that busty Perth airport security lady manning the X-ray machine to crack a hint of a smile. Challenge Accepted.
Her face looks as though it was carved out of stone with deep worry lines crisscrossing her brow like the Tokyo subway system (Tokyo has a massive subway system). “Hi there” I say. She gives me a look reserved only for small children who’ve just disappointed their mothers. “How’s your day going?” I try again as I flash a full mouth of teeth in my best attempt at the friendly smile.
Her second death stare reminds me of Medusa the snake haired women of Greek mythology who turned would-be hero’s to stone at a glance. My resolve to complete the challenge tries to run but gets caught in her Medusa like death-stare and dies quietly along with hope, smiles, cute baby animals, warm hugs and all the other nice things in the world. Giving up, I slide my bag through the X-ray machine and join her other victims at the bag collection end. Challenge failed.
Finally we stroll into the very moderate shopping area of Perth airport, which now boasts 3 different shops. The prices in airports in general make me hope that perhaps the staff member is quoting the cost in rupees instead of dollars (never seems to be the case). After forking out most of my last month’s salary for a coffee I wander around and people watch for a while. I’m no aeronautical engineer but if all the really fat people sit on one side of the plane will we fly in circles
I was pleasantly surprised with AirNZ’s new instructional middle earth themed safety video which for some reason reminded me of the intro to The Iron Chef.. but it was pretty cool to see Gandalf The Grey fly the plane and share the flight with Elves, Dwarves and Hobbits. It was my first time flying with Air New Zealand and I have to say I was a little disappointed the flight crew didn’t start their safety presentation by doing the Haka but at least the food was nice. All in all I’m glad to be away and on the plane, first stop Auckland with touchdown in 2 hours. Dear New Zealand Airlines, sadly no Haka but on a positive note, no oxygen masks either. Well played.
Stay tuned for New Zealand part 1 – I live like a king in Auckland, meet a monk and try not to get cooked as I bubble in hot springs.