Wednesday, 20 March 2013

... Indochina: Back To The Future

 “Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.”
 - Carl Sagan

Has it really been almost a year since I scratched one of my travel itches?

My MayDay ban came into effect about 3 weeks ago. Of course that was with the assumption that I was going to get my usual window seat, my comfort blanket if you will, for me to stare out of as a reminder that all is ok. Unfortunately I am sat in row 34F of an Airbus A330. Lets just say it is not even an aisle seat. You can imagine how thrilled I was about that. I think I can safely say that, thanks to my morbid TV interest, I have managed to scare the bejesus out of myself enough to grip onto the seat handles when I am not sat in the aforementioned seat during take off. I think they heard me breathing at the rear of the plane! If not, the people around me certainly heard the very kind gentleman next to me reassure me that all was going to be ok. How embarrassing. May be I should stop watching the reruns? 

Of course all is hunky dory now... Aside from the bunch of devil spawn gracing the rows in front of me. At least two of them are currently screaming. Thank heavens for head phones cranked to the max! As a result it is at least now only mildly annoying plus the 500mg Ibuprofen that I took is thankfully having some effect. I am currently 3780 miles from Shanghai with about 7hrs 40 minutes left of a flight that took off almost 4 hours ago. We are currently cruising at 36000ft at a speed of 452 mph. The nearest landmass is Alaska, which is now behind us with names like Cold Bay, Bethel and Nome gracing the flight map as we fly over the Bering Sea. In another couple of hours I will leap forward in time (or should that be backward given my current direction of travel?) as I cross the International Date Line for only the second time in my life. Of course I am totally expecting a painted line down there for us all to see... Well, those graced with a window seat that is.

I'm flying with China Eastern. I was a bit gutted when told the only seats left upon check in were "in the middle" for my first flight. However, the leg room is impressive which granted isn't ever likely to ever be that bad for someone of my stature. Yet even the guy next to me who must be 6ft tall seems to be comfortable. The personal TV screen looks like an IPad and is possibly even larger. It has an easy to control touchscreen and the sound quality is really good! I've even forgone my usual flight map for a couple of hours to watch a movie. Two thumbs up!

My food thus far has been really tasty too. I'm one of those weirdos that likes airline food to begin with, but having something above your usual level of expectation on a very long flight has been an absolute Godsend. A tasty vegetable salad to start, a veggie noodle-based lasagne type thing with no cheese, green beans & squash for mains and a fruit salad for dessert. Yum! I look forward to dinner!

The "kids" have gone off to Urban Tails and The Rex respectively for the duration to be looked after by some wonderful people. I queued a lot at YVR but got to my gate with plenty of time. Yet mysteriously I was the last person to board and I don't even know how that happened. I was just about to write about how uneventful the lead up to this trip had been.... how silly of me, two days prior I had finally found out my exam results after 3 weeks of nail biting and pseudo-camping out by my mailbox. I can now add three letters to the end of my name.... R, M & T. So may be the lead up to this trip can be counted more as a 22 month eventful roller coaster?

It's time to scratch some itchy feet..... around SE Asia!

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