Travelling – day 251 (J)

The alarms went off. They went on snooze. They persisted. We finally relented. Snuggled in to a single bed we were loath to separate as today we would be flying in opposite directions. Katherine heading to Australia to plan the next leg of the UNESCO hunt, while I returned for meetings, blood tests and prescriptions.

Katherine was unable to check in early and come through to the departure lounge, thus, it was a subdued (yet tasty) breakfast. The escalator to security did most of the hard work, tearing me away where my feet didn’t want me to walk. But, it was when going through passport control when the waterworks started – for Kat was visible through the glass of the ground floor and I was a mess trying to look presentable for the emmigration photo. The Whatsapp texting and frantic waving probably didn’t help.

I have never really drifted with a phone in my hand; watching where I’m going and paying attention to things. Yet, there’s a first for everything and I seemed to be past all the shops, with a big Toblerone in a bag that was purchased in a haze, and at the walkway to the Boarding Gate. Noticeably there were guys on a cherry picker above the plane at my gate and that should have spoken volumes. The plane had been struck by lightning en route to Bangkok and now 4hrs after I was supposed to depart I sit and write the blog up to this point. I’m at a new boarding gate, having been relocated after a free meal voucher (the first I’ve ever received in my whole life of travelling). The kind Thai lady offered me a banana as well as a spare seat at her table in the dining hall at the terminal. The free wifi has run out and boredom is setting in with nobody to chat to online and saving the iPad battery life for the plane and suspected overnight in Cologne airport. I guess it’s now a waiting game for flight EW 107!

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Well, this has proved all kinds of painful. It is 00:30 on the morning of the Wednesday the 15th. If, and I emphasis this point, if I was still on Bangkok time. I am somewhere cruising over the Caspian Sea at 785km/hr despite the head wind. I have another 5hrs to go and the time in Cologne will be 00:39. Thus, I have invented time travel. No wait, I’m killing time. Wait, wrong again, time is literally killing me.  I had to wander around some more after lunch. When I got back it was just as they were announcing a gate change. Everybody was now a bit antsy, and I was at the counter listening to conversations rather than annoy the staff, and ascertained that the flight was now scheduled for 17:45, plus another food voucher. Leaving the poor ground staff in peace (they should have finished at 12:00), I took said coupon and made my way to the other end of the terminal – a short 10min walk, but much quieter and laid back. The restaurant manager hadn’t seen a voucher before (maybe it was just today) but was quite happy for me to get two sandwiches and use the 475baht to the max. Banana, water and charge the phone a bit and I was back down the ramp and on the bus to the plane.  I enjoyed half of both my warm Chicken Pesto and Chicken, Bacon, Tomato & Mozzarella sandwiches and watched ‘The Intern’. Brilliant film. Highly recommend it. And during ‘Pan’ (rubbish twist on a classic film), I chatted a bit to my neighbour. Seeing how she was writing a blog on an offline version of WordPress, I recognised the screen and it was a topic starter. Wicked conversation ensued… she’s thinking of becoming a navay diver. Fingers crossed it goes well for her. Feel free to check out her blog btw: ‘thescenicroute2016’ by Jessica Laing of Wolviston. Watched ‘Sherlock Holmes – Game of Shadows’ and then cracked on with the blog of a very tiring day.

Tuesday 14th June 2016

Travelling – day 251 (K)

Having abandoned Jayne to head up to the departure lounge and waving at her through the slightly frosted window at immigration, I headed up to the observation deck. Slightly disconcerting to watch the crew on cherry pickers hover over her plane, especially as I kept getting whatsapp messages detailing delays… Because lightening had stuck (and broken) a plane window. As the more nervous flyer out of the two of us, there was a weird relief that it wasn’t my plane but a horrible sinking feeling that it was Jayne’s… Spent my time between 9.00 and 18.00 when I was finally allowed to check in by reading books, watching films and drinking Starbucks. Secretly hoping that Jayne’s flight might be delayed long enough for another quick kiss and cuddle, I was disappointed to see that it had taken off whilst I was making my way through immigration. As promised, I picked up my own Toblerone bar before getting some dinner and waiting at the gate.A slightly frustrating moment where I had to empty my life straw water bottle of water to go through to the departure gate only to be able to refill it immediately after they had checked my bag…

Got on the plane for an on time departure, sat next to a very loud and obnoxious Australian girl who, thankfully, took some drugs to put her to sleep so that ‘people around her wouldn’t have to hear her moaning about her ear ache for 8 hours’… Watched ‘The Danish Girl’ on my iPad before trying to get some sleep – not sure how I feel about the film. Some parts of it were incredibly accurate but it seemed, to me, to be missing some of the keys issues in the transgender relationship.

Tuesday 14th June 2016