There isn't much one can say about a flight that lasts more than seventeen hours. COVID has changed the face of world travel and I am surprised that the plane I am now sitting in is much smaller than the old-fashioned jumbo jets of past trips. It seems compact, but there is enough room - that is until the bloke in front of me lays his seat back and I either have to do the same, half sitting, half lying, or become a prisoner in my seat. The pilot has already given explicit instructions not to move from our designated seats, and I'm not sure whether that is in case of an accident or to monitor the sections if passengers are found to be COVID-positive later on. Regardless, the whole row that was vacant when I selected my seats is now filled and I am feeling slightly claustrophobic. One of my row-mates does move during the course of the flight for his comfort and it certainly improves mine.
I sleep for a long enough time and I watch movies to pass my waking hours.
I do wonder whether I would ever visit a Neil Perry restaurant after eating the food, which, after all, is supposed to be Neil Perry's recipes. Our food is served in cardboard boxes with compostable cutlery. There is no sorting of trays, silverware, etc these days as there are expectations that airlines will be responsible for reducing their carbon footprint - after all, we are blowing holes in the ozone layer as we fly.... I'm not getting involved in THAT discussion because I am just happy to be able to fly - full stop.
Qantas is my preferred airline (I wish Qantas would pay me for saying that). Something is comforting about the Aussie accent and the easy-going nature of the staff. There is always enough 'sparkling' to keep an economy passenger happy - me in particular. I say it helps lull me off to sleep.
My arrival in London is exciting. Without knowing exactly what to expect as I wander through security, I am pleasantly surprised to see the queues move at a brisk pace. My only problem is that the automatic exit gates reject my passport three times and I have to go through a manned border booth. That is not a problem though, and from the time I disembark from the plane to the time I collect my luggage and find myself on the street looking for the taxi rank totals forty-five minutes. I am way too early for my PCR test over at the Hyatt Hotel, but I decide to go over there immediately and see whether I can simply get it without waiting for my 9:20 am appointment.
And then I am on my way to Natasha's home in a taxi.
Excited since it is three years since I last saw her.
Happy that I can address any jet lag during my isolation period until the test results are sent.