Posted by: Rebecca | April 5, 2012

Look out Honkers, I’m coming back!

The olds left before me, flying out to Sydney then on to HK. I opted to hang around a little longer and caught a bus to Cairns first thing this morning, to fly down to Brisbane.

One thing I’ve noticed, like pretty much everything in Australia, the pilots who fly around down here are so much more laid back than in Europe. They chat to the passengers like they’re having a pint with you in the local pub! The first leg of today’s flight was a classic example; as we took off, the captain said it was ‘a cracking day down in Brissy, with great sun and stonking hot weather’. As we landed, he announced ‘Welcome to Brisvegas International Airport’ brilliant! Can you really hear a BA pilot saying that? Na, they’d be all POMpus, right? (See what I did there?… 😉 )

My domestic flights in Oz were all with Qantas but I’m now back over International waters, I’m back to flying with Cathay Pacific. With the vast majority of today’s passengers being of oriental appearance (is that politically correct? God knows, but this is my blog so who cares) I’m already starting to transition back into a Chinese-influenced culture. Everything is in two languages, the food has two options (one western, one oriental) and the people around me behave very differently to what I’ve become used to. They queue up for everything, in their droves, way ahead of time. They talk, all the time. They’re always in huge groups. They do everything really quickly. They’re all wearing massive glasses? (So the shades question wasn’t just re shades then, Gok Wan has a lot to answer for, unless they’re all Thunderbirds fans?) On the plane, the rows of seats are arranged as 2 (aisle) 4 (aisle) 2; I’m sitting in the central section, next to an aisle. The three seats beside me host a mum and her two children (younger teens, I’d guess). The son (c 14?) is sitting beside me, so as the cabin crew come round with refreshments, he gets served from the same aisle as me, whilst his mum and sister get served from the other side. Whenever the cabin attendant gets to our row and offers me a drink, lunch, refreshments etc, he leans across me and grunts something at her. She just looks at him, nods towards me and says something back to him, then serves me first. This has now happened three times. Both he and his sister seem to be well behaved and mum isn’t having any issues with them, so I’m guessing it’s not a behavioural / teenager thing but a cultural difference. It makes no odds to me; as far as I’m concerned, I’m traveling on a Chinese airline, with predominantly oriental passengers, so if that’s how it works, that’s how it works. I’m not fussy! But it is nice that the cabin crew seem to be alert to the differences. (The fact that I’ll get my Hagen Daaz first is just a bonus!)

So where the hell am I? I’ve no idea! I left Cairns at 10:00 local time, landed in Brisvegas at 12:15, took off again about 13:30 and Vesper (who I think is still showing Aussie time) says it’s 17:07. We’re due to land in Honkers about 20:30 local time, but that’s two hours behind Brissy. Oh God I’m lost already! Try working it the other way…

My watch (which I’ve set to Honkers time) says it’s 15:10, so if we’re due to land about 20:30, we’ve got about another 5 hours before we start our descent. Have we only been airborne 3 ½  hours? Feels heaps longer. The outbound flights seemed to fly by (no pun intended), maybe I slept more? Don’t really want to sleep this time though; just two hours’ time difference, I’d rather stick to the same sleep pattern if I can. Plus, if I sleep now I won’t sleep tonight, will be tired tomorrow and I’ve got a lot of shopping to cram in. The check in desk told me that, rather than the 20kgs I thought I was allowed, they’ve upped their allowance to 23kgs, so I have nearly 4kgs to fill in Honkers, bonus! Plan for the morning is to hit Mong Kok (don’t tell mum – her case is full and her overflow is in dad’s case, attached to his rucksack, tied round his waist and he looks just gorg wearing her new pink ‘I’ve seen Milford Sounds’ fleece!… Joking aside, I’m sure she’s doubled her luggage in 6 weeks!)

Anyway, still don’t know what time it is, or where I am… time to see if I can still use the playstation – this could be fun (and highly amusing for Cato sitting beside me)… OK it’s 5:04hrs to our destination (hey I wasn’t far out) and local time there is 15:14. We’re flying at 539 mph around 36,000 feet (is that jumpable? Maybe with oxygen…) Blimey we’re only just north of Darwin! Oz is huge! We’re about 2,500 miles from Honkers and our estimated arrival time is 20:18 local time. Do I feel any better for knowing all this? Not really, but at least I got to it without making a prat of myself on the playstation. Now do I dare step out of my comfort zone, and investigate the entertainment section to see what movies are on? Na, I’ll just read the in-flight magazine and look for some perfume *coward*.

LMAO – just tried to turn the playstation off, couldn’t figure out why the cursor was moving the wrong way? *holding the control upside down* (I’ll get my chute…)

Having figured out how to work the entertainment controls, I discovered about 100 films to choose from, most of which I’ve never heard of? But being a fan of spy thrillers and espionage, I opted for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Not bad – a bit predictable maybe. Watched another movie and , despite it being a terrible American RomComs, I’ve managed to stay awake. Flight has been pretty eventless really, although the lack of Hagen Daaz was a disappointment –the world’s smallest Toblerone doesn’t quite match up, I’m afraid. It’s now 19:43 and we’re around 38,000 feet above the South China Sea, starting our descent into Honkers; estimated arrival time of 20:23.

ttfn / Boxy xx

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