Well I have to confess, and it pains me to do so, but that boy of mine has got me at it!
I used to get on a plane and go places, and didn’t give a rat’s corpse which airline or which terminal and I thought “Pax” was Latin for “peace”.
Being a bit keen to get back and see my 2nd born I had booked up in April for the “return of the mummy” scenario but then I find myself getting little messages from Jafa about seating plans and gaps between seat and window and a whole heap of stuff I had never thought about, much less cared for.
And now its too late, I actually give a flying whatnot about where we sit and what “equipment’ we are flying on…”equipment?” what in the name of God is that all about? Equipment is what The Patient One keeps in his shed….or was it his underpants?...at my age one tends to forget, except that regardless of location, equipment is something that men play with if left undirected for too long.
I digress, Jafa told me that we had a change of equipment…sodding aeroplane you geek!! And we would now be on a 777 which had a different seating arrangement, so I find myself ringing Air NZ
and actually asking to rearrange the pre-arranged for our convenience. WTF? As the Boy would say, WTF? indeed!
This seat jiggery-pokery involved the wonders of “Seat Guru” and that is where the rot set in methinks.
Innocent enquiries from small boys as to which countries we’d fly over led me to “Google-Earthing the bloody flight plan and then looking at seat-sodding-guru to ensure the best view. Good grief Snoopy!!!
Then those silly buggers from Amersham or wherever caused a stir with their pop-bottle bombs and I sent a panicked e-mail to Jafa asking which way he was flying to and from the UK in October and we have conversations about AKL
and worst of all I UNDERSTAND WHAT HE IS
So then I talk to Air NZ
again and re-route via HKG
for the family holiday and I check we can have the original seats for now I find we are back onto a 744R and horror of horrors I know what the “R” stands for and am secretly relived that the “equipment” has changed because the ANZ 744R’s have 2 inches more pitch than the 777’s.
OMG! What have I done to my brain???
Oh and that isn’t the worst of it…..I checked the boy Jafa’s progress AKL
on the flippin’ interwebbynet and knew exactly what time he landed at each airport and texted him.
A.net, you have so much to answer for, I am a Grandmother, I am supposed to bake pies and smell faintly of piss and biscuits, I should give sweets to gawky 16 year olds and not even know a Boeing from a Scarebus and now I have seat guru on my favourites list ( as well as a webcam mounted on a volcano in NZ
, but that is another story) and explain patiently to Wizard Boy, Shazbat and Gazza how many “Stans” we fly over and how to operate the “Airshow”.
When I start rambling on about high-bypass engines and have an opinion on the Boeing vs Airbus debate…please just shoot me, although even now I fear it may be too late.
But I suppose you want to know how the trip went don’t you?
Well the HKG
flights leave at 9:15pm which makes getting to LHR
a sight easier as the poor little country-bred taxi drivers don’t have to freeze with fear at the sight of the M25 and “All them thar Motycars” so we got there with ages to spare.
I had weighed and measured our toothpaste and other high-explosive toiletries as Jafa had warned me about the Fluid Nazi’s at LHR
and we were all set go and check in.
Check in was soon dispensed with and we had our few minutes with the Fluid Nazis and I was both amused and appalled at the silly bugger ahead of us who despite the many and varied warnings, was trying to bring a 6-pack of Strongbow Cider on board.
Maybe the multi-lingual signs should have been translated into “Chav”.
In the melee of the departure lounge I at last felt as if we were going somewhere and that the effort of getting us there was now out of our hands, all I had to do was stop the nephews from shoplifting and try to keep The Patient One out of the pub and we would be fine. Shazbat munched her way through a chocolate muffin as I received a “Must be near check-in time?” text from Jafa. He then proceeded to tell me that he had nearly fitted the new Powerhead to his boat and this pleased Hubby immensely.
The call to gate 8 seemed very swift and we found ourselves in the nice bright boarding lounge eager to be underway.
The cheery efficiency of the “FA’s” was up to par and we were all stashed away in row 59 ready for the endurance test.
Horror of horrors! I found myself being aware that the “loads were light for this leg”!!!
But these night time departures are fine, after the mammoth task of getting from the middle of Norfolk to LHR
with 3 nephew/niece types in tow, it is nice to fall apart and sit there dribbling into the pillow.
Except of course for the issues surrounding feeding a 12 year old girl on an “a/c” I hadn’t ordered a kids happy meal in advance and the food was a bit “grown-up” for the poor wee lass and we nearly had a hormonal episode.
leg was fairly uneventful apart from the two soppy Australian girls who insisted on ringing for the FA
’s at regular intervals throughout the night and asking raucously for Pot Noodles, couldn’t get off their arses to go and ask for it so we get “bong” “bong” “bong” “Kin I have sahm paat noodles mayt?” every 30 mins and when they did finally fall asleep one of them nudged the volume button on her handset with her ample Pot Noodle enhanced love-handles and turned her headphones up full blast so we (Hubby sleeps when I tell him to) couldn’t get to sleep.
So it was our turn to go “bong” and the FA
set about trying to unplug the head phones from under the noodle stuffed bum of this “Sheila” so we could get off to the land of nod. A mission of considerable danger as if she woke up again there would no doubt be a call for Pot Noodles and the cycle would be started again ad nauseum.
We slept through the “Stans” and missed Mongolia as the blinds were down but breakfast brought us all back to life sufficiently to truly appreciate the cloying miasma of filthy air that clamps itself around Hong Kong, it really isn’t pleasant but we knew what to expect having re-read Jafa’s “TR’s” before coming over.
, the airport that is, is a welcome change from standing in a cupboard at “Hell A”, we got our little stick on badges and cruised about in this vast arena of space for the few minutes it takes to fill a 744R with Jet A (good grief, there is no hope!) and so it was back to gate 35 with a hop skip and a jump and a text or two to Jafa, who no doubt was glued to “Stalk-a-Jet.com” and waiting for us to take off again, we re-boarded our trusty Jumbo.
If any of you read Jafa’s HKG
“The China Syndrome” TR
” you may be forgiven for thinking that he is racist or at the very least exaggerates about “No understand syndrome” but you can take it from me, granny a.net lurker, it is alive and well and seems to be stuck in a Groundhog Day loop as the same things happened to us, blank uncomprehending little faces, seats all reclined before pushback (groan, there I go again) having to be forced into compliance. It really does tick me off you know, there is no need for it and if I was the Purser………………
This leg was all dark to start with and uneventful apart from not really being able to sleep much, another episode of headphone extraction from a bloke this time and not actually flying over Australia as Jafa has promised, we went past the tip of Rolf Harris’s nose, got to be old and English to understand that reference!
It got light around this point and the anticipation was building, either that or the food was trying to recycle itself but nonetheless we arrived, banking over Auckland in the sunshine, fully aware that that boy of mine was watching it from somewhere.
And so, greatly in need of something other than a 744R interior to stimulate one we descended with the usual mix of anticipation and relief.
I sent Jafa a text:
“I know I saw you land”
“I know you know”
and he replied:
“That’s because I am a geek”
How true and I am rapidly becoming one too.
We got through all the formalities very swiftly and easily, we staggered out through the last door and heard
and there he was, Jafa39, my 2nd born, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, no shoes and clutching a pie…..bloody kid has gone native!
[Edited 2007-02-07 07:59:13]
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....