Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sick Transit Gloria Mundi

So we're back to Airportland. I hadn't paid proper attention - our flight to New York from Hong Kong stopped via Vancouver - but after 15 hours sat on a plane, it was kind of nice to disembark and sit on a chair for an hour before getting onto a plane again. And then another plane.

We were stuck in the last row at the back of the plane, the noisiest one, but those headphones were a revelation. Or perhaps the opposite of a revelation. When I put them over my ears half the noise was blocked immediately, but when I flicked the switch to turn on the sound cancellation, I was in complete silence. There's an odd moment as the system figures out what it should be doing, in which the outside world recedes, first going quite and then vanishing, and then I spent the rest of the flight happily insulated from the dull bass roar of the air flowing over the fuselage.

I don't know how I ever managed to cope with not having noise cancelling headphones in the past - did everyone just stagger off planes, dazed and half deaf from the constant roar?

I've been feeling rough all week - that out-of-sorts feeling where you think you're about to faint, or vomit, or insult the Chief Executive of Hong Kong by accident, but you never go all the way through. This culminated in me throwing up in the toilet of the plane about six hours ago, losing the onions and lumps of squash that made up the vegan meal on the plane. I felt a bit better for that, but still pretty crummy. I'm rather looking forward to the next couple of days when we're off the plane, and I can sit around doing nothing. As opposed to sitting around, doing nothing.

But for now, here we sit in a 'sterile area', which means there's clean carpet, vaguely dirty lavatories, and a vending machine thta only takes US dollar bills, which is no good to me as I left my American currency back in Hong Kong under the bed, keeping it safe. Damn and blast. Another hour to get back into a sterile metal tube, and then a few more to New York, and then we get to find out that a man in Lantau has put our bags onto a flight to Denpasar or Paris or somewhere. I'd look forward to that - it means carrying less stuff...


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