Despite the expected major disagreements over navigation (we literally traipsed back and forth between Terminals 1 and 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport for 45 minutes, on the Departure Level instead of the Arrivals Level, unable to find the passport control and exit to the airport hotel) we made it to the Premier Inn, a compact budget airport hotel across the road from the airport. It was 01:30 in Abu Dhabi, so probably almost dawn in Perth, when we crawled into our separate single beds to desperately try to sleep 5 hours before returning to the airport and fly onward to Athens. I don’t know how we survived in our early twenties, when we flew from Perth to London, via Dubai, and waited at the gate during our several hour layover. I think we passed out from delirium, on the floor. Maybe airports have changed but our expectations now are available on site hotels with a bed and a pillow and the promise of restful sleep.
Our opposing problem-solving approaches causes conflict: Daniel will tackle an unknown, whether it be writing a new story, skiing down a slope, or looking for passport control, by launching right into it. In an international airport this means he’s already twenty metres ahead of me, taking long strides headed towards anywhere but standing still. Meanwhile, I haven’t moved (in case the floor is lava) and am looking around (left, right, behind, sometimes up – have you never seen Aliens!?) trying to observe all options, consider different solutions and compare to prior experiences before putting all my chips on black. Before I fire the biopsy gun, in a stereotactic-guided breast biopsy of screen-detected indeterminate calcifications, I’ve already decided where my next four adjustments to the target will be: 2 mm to the right, 1 mm toward the chest, 2 mm back, re-target if no calcifications on the specimen radiograph. This difference in approach, plus my willingness to stand up for myself and announce that I thought that perhaps we should have turned left backing Terminal 3, after we had traipsed through crowds of other travellers, meant we walked back, and forth, and back before realising we were on the wrong level. We got there. And, we were still talking to each other this time. Monosyllabic, but talking.
Things to pack in carry-on next time I “travel light”: more than one T shirt. I’ve sweated through this one, worn since yesterday, and it’s icky.