Friday, 19 April 2013

I asked Astrid what was the date

Debs, I am always checking my tickets. The time; the date; the time the date; over and over, as I did all this week since I woke up from jet lag and general end-of-term overwhelmingness. I went on checking every day in Singapore then today I said to Astrid, "What's the date today?" There was a reply and then I said, "My plane left this morning."

This solved the problem of what to do on the last day. When I finally got the flight to Dubai sorted, the lovely lady from the Emirates said, "Are You a frequent flier?" I told her that actually I was a plane phobic, terrified flier.

Online I booked my other planes from Dubai to Paris, and onto Manchester. And seeing that I had the night in Paris [well, not exactly in Paris], I booked an airport hostel at Charles de Gaulle.

Had a final splash in the family pool.

The Tropical storm started late afternoon. In Singapore you are advised to stay in for storms. Now Astrid was going to drive me to Chengi Airport, and along the big roads. My fear of everything returned. The storm abated a bit; we left at 8.30 ish. I made her come into Chengi with me while I checked in. Astrid tried on some specs. I watchd a calming instalation thing.

We bought some Merlion Snowstorms and a cup of tea.

I wanted to get back home, but I hated leaving.

Turbulence. Terrible. Pit stop in Colombo. Dubai at early hour. Left my suitcase with Left Luggage, took Dubai metro to Jebel Ali. Thought someone had recommended it. Possibly not. Half port, half building site.

Debs, I would have only a few miles away from you! I crossed over to the line back to town, got off at a random stop, walked around for half an hour in unbearable heat, went back to the airport, joined the queues for Flight Whatever to France.

Nice monoglot French lady next me talked me down the descent when I was convinced the engines had stalled [and gave me a chance to speak my favourite foreign language].

At the airport, I somehow or other I blundered onto the shuttle bus, and thanks to helpful fellow travellers found the airport hotel.  Had four and a quarter hours sleep, and headed back for the last lap to Manchester, and the only plane flight that didn't terrify me.

At last, back in the UK, settled down on the train to Barrow-in-Furness. Sadly I live in Leeds, so I got straight off at Manchester Picadilly.

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