JBR - Day 15 (Part 1) [FINAL JBR]

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Posted by ® Ali@Perth on March 2, 2007 at 2:13 pm:

Our flight from Bangkok to Sydney was long but rather uneventful. Kristy and I, for the first time ever, managed to sleep on the plane. When I drifted off to sleep half an hour after the plane took off, I never expected that I’d stay sleeping for the majority of the flight. Miraculously, Kristy did the same.

We woke up probably five times throughout the flight but it was only for Kristy’s routine toilet breaks where I had to ask our fellow passenger to please excuse her while she squeezed her way passed to go to the toilet. The only other times I woke up, or should I say was woken up, was when Kristy awoke to the smell of food. Every time the meal trolleys were brought out, Kristy would sleepily nudge me and whisper to me to wake up. With drool running down my face, and sleep starting to form in my eyes, I’d begrudgingly open my eyes to ask her what the matter was. She would then point to the man seated next to me who had a tray of food and she would then go into panic mode saying we’d slept through the meals. This happened once before we realised that the man sitting next to us was, in fact, a vegetarian, and therefore got his meals allocated to him prior to the rest of us. We realised this simply because he told us. While Kristy and I thought we were talking in hushed tones about why she wasn’t offered any food or why the man hadn’t woken us, it was clear when he tapped me on the shoulder to explain why that we weren’t being as discreet as we had thought.

I was awakened again by Kristy poking me in my side asking me to wake up. I did…very reluctantly as I was getting sick of being asked to do things such as ask where her meals were, ask the flight attendant for a drink, ask the man next to us to move so she could go to the toilet, and so on. On this particular occasion, she said she needed to go to the toilet and begged me to go with her. I didn’t need much convincing as I needed to go too. We chose the wrong time to go though as the drink tray was just passing so we were going to have to wait. I made small talk with the man sitting next to me. I must’ve looked a mess too with crusty bits forming at the side of my mouth, my hair everywhere, my boobs falling out of my top and my glasses on crooked. Kristy looked no better than me either but we both couldn’t have cared less. More than anything, we were grateful for the sleep we’d managed to get and at that moment in time, all we wanted was the toilet. One of the male flight attendants asked if we were okay – I wasn’t sure if this was because of the dishevelled state we were in or the urgent looks on our faces. I explained that we needed to go to the ladies’. He smiled at us and then asked us to follow him. We did, albeit in a sleepy daze looking more like drug addicts than tired passengers. We noticed that the steward had led us all the way to first class where he told us we could use the toilets there. I went first and was amazed to find how spacious the toilets were. There was a vase with fresh flowers on display, a huge basin, an even bigger mirror and room to do, well, the first thing that came to my mind was join the mile high club! I looked at myself in the mirror and almost died of fright. I looked ten times worse than I had imagined. I could barely open my eyes either. Next, it was Kristy’s turn. I waited for her while she did her thing. As I did so, I noticed one of the flight attendants uncorking some champagne and organising some camembert cheese and some berries on a small serving plate. I was half tempted to reach over and grab it but managed to find the will power to stop myself. She must have sensed me looking at her because the next thing I knew, she was asking me if she could help me – but using a tone that implied that she wasn’t asking to be polite and more or less asking because she wanted to know what the hell I was doing in the first class section. I didn’t appreciate her tone, nor was I going to be provoked by somebody who thought that she was better than me. I smiled at her (and no, it wasn’t a smug smile) and then I continued to wait for Kristy. She obviously wasn’t impressed with me not responding to her rhetorical question so she asked me again if she could help me – of course, using the b*tchy tone once again. I felt like I was being cornered by her so I offered her an answer this time round, hoping she’d be satisfied and continue serving the people in first class. I explained that I was waiting for my friend who was currently relieving herself in the toilet and that once we were done, we’d then be making our way back to our seats … in economy. With the way she reacted, you could have easily been forgiven for thinking I had just declared I was either carrying a highly infectious disease which was now airborne within the plane or that I had shat in my pants and suggested she lick them clean. I was taken aback when she started shrieking at me that I wasn’t allowed to be using the first class toilets. I had to do everything in my power not to lose my temper with her for treating me like such an imbecile. Instead, I told her (with a certain amount of attitude which I thought was warranted) that one of the kinder flight attendants had offered for us to use the first class toilets seeing as they were unoccupied and seeing as it would cause less disruption for the rest of the passengers. She wasn’t having it though and she argued some more with me. Meanwhile, Kristy came out of the toilet wondering what the hell was going on. The nice, male flight attendant came over to us and asked the same question. The lady then directed her anger towards him saying we weren’t allowed in that section. He showed us back to our seats after explaining the situation to the b*tchy attendant and then rolling his eyes as if to say he was giving up. After that experience, I decided that I would never fly with QANTAS again (unless it was free of paid for by a client!). I was really shocked at how rudely we were treated and how arrogant the woman was.

The poor male flight attendant that had helped us out soon realised why it probably wasn’t a good idea to take us to use the first class toilets. All of the other passengers that needed the toilet after that thought that it was okay for them to just start making their own way down to first class. Kristy and I gave him a sympathetic look but we soon forgot about it as we fell back to sleep.

We were awoken again by the smell of the food passing through the isles. I opted to eat this time round as I had no concept of what the time was and I figured I hadn’t eaten in quite some time. I ordered the pasta. It was the most tasteless pasta I had ever eaten. Half of it managed to fall down my top too seeing as I was half asleep while trying to feed myself … the top being a bit too low cut wasn’t a great help either though. I discreetly tried to fish the food out from my cleavage without success. Instead, I just fell straight back to sleep and forgot about it. (Charming, I know!)

The next time Kristy and I were woken was not because of a toilet run, nor was it because of food. We both simply woke up at the same time and stretched out while yawning. Wondering how long we’d been in and out of sleep for, we turned on our tvs to check where we were on the flight path to Sydney. We were speechless to find out we only had an hour until landing! We’d managed to sleep through almost the entire journey! We were impressed! While our sleep wasn’t the most comfortable, it did the job and I was beginning to feel a little bit rejuvenated. Kristy and I quickly tried to get ourselves looking half decent. I wiped my mouth, combed my hair with my long nails, splashed a little water on my face and then readjusted my glasses so I could see clearly. We both scrolled through our tv guide to see what options we had for the next hour. We both didn’t fancy watching a movie which was almost finished so while Kristy watched re-runs of some sitcom, I picked up my book and started reading again.

In no time at all, we were told that we were descending and we’d be in Sydney in a matter of minutes. I was too dazed to think any more about us being well and truly on our way home now which meant that the holiday had actually ended. Instead, all I could think of was trying to switch my phone on and hoping it had recharged itself during the flight. I exchanged some small talk with the man sitting next to me again and I made sure Kristy was okay – which she wasn’t. While she was sleeping, Kristy had managed to pick up quite a nasty cold. It was the equivalent of the cold that I’d taken with me to Thailand. With Kristy being so sleep deprived and run down, it was no surprise that she ended up sick. I had a feeling we’d all be bed ridden for weeks after our holiday, or that we’d need another weeks’ holiday to recover. Kristy coughed and spluttered while I searched around for the cold and flu tablets we had bought in Koh Samui (along with the hundreds of other pharmaceuticals which they just hand to you over the counter!).

As we were about to land, Kristy and I watched out the window like 8 year old kids. The huge difference to the skies we’d just seen in Bangkok was unbelievable. We’d left blue skies (albeit, a bit smoggy) to emerge into grey rain clouds in Sydney. I suppose, if we were to look on the “bright side”, the weather certainly suited our moods. The announcement came on to say that we could now switch on our electronic devices. I lunged for my phone – almost as if my life depended on it – and switched it on right away. It died once the chirpy tone announced “You Turn Me On” – my own personal touch to my mobile. It took all of my self control not to hurl my phone in the direction of super b*tch (aka the first class nazi flight attendant). Being the smart little cookie I am, I kept my cool after remembering that I had kept my charger in my bag that I had put in the overhead compartment so I’d be able to charge it once I got to Sydney and then I’d be able to text Lee back and contact my sister. I breathed easier.

We alighted from the plane with our heavy and bulky bags in tow. We did the usual of standing up earlier than everyone else and shuffling our way along – just to keep Kristy happy! Truth be told, I was eager to get off the plane too seeing as I was dying for a real coffee, a cigarette and, of course, a power point for my charger!

Eventually, after going through the motions of buying duty free, being questioned by customs and collecting our luggage, we made our way outside for a cigarette and then we caught the bus which transferred us to the domestic terminal. When we got to the terminal, we were shocked at how quiet it was. It also seemed strange to be back at the place where it all began. We decided to have a big fry up for breakfast so we quickly found a café and sat down to eat. Conveniently enough, the café also had power points which allowed you to plug in laptops, phones, cameras etc so I made use of them straight away. I think Kristy was tempted to stamp on my phone seeing as it had quickly become attached to me since Lee’s number was entered into my contacts. She restrained from doing so though and instead gave an obvious sigh or an eye roll every time I checked my phone or looked in the general direction of where it was. I can’t say I blamed her. If roles were reversed, I probably would’ve done the same thing.

As we ate, we talked very little. This wasn’t because of the sh*tty day we’d experienced together and that we still held grudges, this was because, for some unexplainable reason, we were still tired. We felt completely deflated – a lot of which I think we could blame on our endless nights partying, dedication to our alcoholic diet and our sleep deprivation, not to mention the prospect of returning home. There really wasn’t all that much to be happy about at that point. We ate our breakfast with as much enthusiasm as we could muster, which, needless to say, wasn’t much. Once we were done, I collected my phone from where it was charging and noticed that it only had one bar left. I decided that the wisest thing to do was switch it off until I absolutely needed to use it – which meant waiting until we were at the gate to text my sister to let her know what time to pick me up.

We meandered through the airport, going in and out of shops and looking at nothing in particular. The majority of our time was spent outside chain smoking (or at least I was). I was really nervous about going home. I guess that’s because I had “the talk” with the boyfriend (soon to be ex) to look forward to. If I was honest with myself though, then that really wasn’t what bothered me…and I know that doesn’t sound very considerate of me but as Lee and I had discussed, my boyfriend and I ending was a long time coming. I suppose I was just nervous about re-entering reality seeing as I was quite happy in my idealistic world I’d become accustomed to. It was going to have to happen sooner or later though so I had to quickly get used to the idea. Kristy made the observation that I was smoking far too much and asked me what was up – I rambled off everything that was on my mind – perhaps a bit too quickly for her to take in all at once but she remained interested (or at least acted it) and we talked for awhile about what was going on in our “real lives” and how much we wished we could make it all go away. As we talked, I watched the taxis pull in to drop some expectant and excited travellers off. I was insanely jealous of them. I overhead one couple talking about their pending holiday to Bali and wished it was us going instead. Any destination but home was a viable option for me. Kristy agreed but she wasn’t dreading going home anywhere near as much as I was but I still think she understood how I was feeling and where I was coming from. For the duration of my new smoking regime, Kristy and I watched the rain fall on a miserable Sunday morning in Sydney in contemplative thought and silence.

When time permitted us to do so and after hours of waiting around trying to keep ourselves occupied, we made our way to our departure gate. Destination: Perth. Perth = Home. Home = Misery. This leg of the trip, we both knew, was bound to be the worst. We both used my mobile to inform our families of when we’d be arriving. Jennie, my sister, told me she had a surprise waiting for me at the airport which gave me the lift I needed. I thought of seeing Dad again, of seeing the kids, of seeing my sisters and of seeing Stacey again and I felt like a bit of an idiot for the way I’d been carrying on. I then thought of Chaweng, the Baan Samui, Lakeside Apartments, the beach, Soi Mango, Coral Bungalows, Haad Rin, KSR…I thought of Ned, Andy, Mark and of course, Lee and longed to be back there with them. I probably would have given anything to be back there, in any one of the moments we’d shared together, and for that moment to have lasted forever. As much as I wanted to look forward to going home at that point, I’d just thrown that chance away by reminiscing on the past two weeks…nice work, Ali; nice work.

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