We’re in Abu Dhabi. This afternoon, for the first time in weeks, I left work on time; Dan picked me up and we raced home to tidy up the house for the sitter, confirm our bags were packed (carry-on only – mine was only 8 kg) and feed the cat. We have one week of vacation travelling southward through Italy from Milan to Rome then it’s back to work next week for me with the ISUOG World Congress. Dan can find his people.
I’ve lost track of time. The flight left at 5 pm and we were served food. We both watched X-Men Apocalypse. I managed to nap then watch another film, relishing in the luxury of being able to request further food as we’d booked business seats for the long-haul and partially work-related travel. Dan slept. There were about 4 infants in our cabin, all had respiratory tract infections. A few adults were coughing too. I’ve finally recovered from that awful sinusitis/head cold that’s been going around so slept fitfully, resenting the impending new cold inevitable after insufficient sleep in transit.
There were several episodes of turbulence. It doesn’t help to visualise that you’re strapped to a chair in a long metal tube that could very easily fall out of the sky, catch on fire, or get torn to bits by violent winds outside. Daniel slept.
It’s now 1:13 am in Abu Dhabi, several hours later in Perth. We’re going to arrive in Milan some time in the morning and won’t get to sleep until the night. Once again I over-estimated my stamina when agreeing to Dan’s booking of transfers and accomodation.
We aren’t in the same giant lounge we spent 10 hours in on our way home from Toronto in June. This lounge is up a level in Terminal 1 and was crowded when we arrived. Two adorable siblings were playing hide-and-seek, the younger toddler loudly counting, presumably in Arabic, while blatantly cheating and staring at his older brother not actually hiding behind the coffee table at their Mum’s knees. It was more a game of chasey, augmented by squeals as the older brother loped behind, slowing his drawn-out chase to not quite catch up with his younger brother. Weary travellers almost tripped over them, as they wheeled their carry-on bags right towards us; we’ve somehow sat at the ned of a corridor next to a kitchen but you don’t see that on approach. Everybody hopes to discover empty unclaimed seats around the corner, or like one man who almost walked into an exiting food trolley, the toilet.
The food selection here is generous. I ate some rice and lamb dish, as well as dried chow mien that had been sitting out too long. I tentatively took a skewer of fried fish pieces but they were dry and tasted funny. Dan found the shower first. Rinsing off the sticky dried sweat from my fitful naps, and endured turbulence, was mildly refreshing and I was glad I’d changed my tight buttoned-shirt at the last minute for a soft and stretchy cotton polo. There are no couches in this area of the lounge so I have no promise to sneak a nap in the final hour before our onward flight to Milan.
Back to my book. It’s September and I’ve yet to read a book this year. How dreadful. My thirteen-year-old self would be disgusted; I’d bravely decided to read the entire library at Balcatta SHS but lost interest about halfway across the first shelf of A. I did read all 5 books in the increasingly mis-named trilogy of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and even started carrying a towel around in my backpack, something I only stopped doing in my 20s when I realised they weren’t proving as useful as The Guide implies. Now I’m reading Here I Am, by Jonathan Foer. It’s bleak but its frequent resonances with long-term relationship experiences have me enthralled. If I drink a few more coffees I should finish it by the time we land in Italy.