This flight is always a killer. I don't think the dimming of the cabin lights help. At least Virgin was cheaper on the way there - they are at least courteous enough to have per seat entertainment, we have Qantas on the way home, which for a higher price ticket gives you a less comfortable seat on an older 767 which only has a single projector for over 30 rows of seats with 7 people seated in each row. Unless you're in the first four rows, you can't see much at all. It's a five hour flight. But the choice of Qantas for this older, less comfortable plane and now a complete absence of choice of food as a cost cutting measure results in a question of what are you are now paying for to fly with the premium airline of Australia.
I think about Haruka Nishimatsu. Now that is how an airline should be run.
I think of the company I work for now, the numbers still race around my head about how much everything just within arms reach costs. My work chair is ergonomic. They type of chair the two previous groups I worked for would have required a business case, two approvals and a lengthy waiting period to obtain is DEFAULT. As far as I understand someone noticed that there was an increased output from those with ergonomic chairs so thought "Hell, why don't we give them to everybody?" Somebody else said "We have a lot of people on every level, why don't we put two microwaves in every kitchen?" "Why don't we have five offices in Brisbane if we have more than 6,000 staff?" Sure, everything is still accounted for, but it's the type of organisation who wants the best for its workers. Okay maybe on the mine sites, it's unpleasant, but when I have been encouraged to speak to higher ups about cost cutting measures and procedure improvements, I just pick up that there have been a number of things that other organisations have tried to pull off, that this one has.
I turn up the brightness of the display and try to decipher the third song featuring Pitbull this hour. I mean, yes, okay, our body clocks are sitting at 2am when we get in, but surely keeping people up, rather than encouraging them to sleep and waking them up, is much better for those about to drive around a foreign city. Or meet relatives. It would so much nicer to get off the plane buzzing for at least an hour to get home before sleeping falling fast asleep - That's what we're always told about jetlag, Stay up. Even after a year of non university my body has only shifted my perrsonal sleep preference from the 3am -12pm timeslot, to 2am - 10.45am slot. Right now I can feel my brain going onto a lower power mode to try and brace for the things that may unfold tonight.
It will. It should all go smoothly, but it's still nerve racking.
The ticket crumpled into the seat pocket catches my eye again clearly showing the date. How the hell am I twenty two. Well, okay, time passed when I wasn't looking, but mores the point, how am I still alive, have I made any correct discussions? I'm happy with how I want to end this year, but I still am unsure if I'm going to pull it off. I'm going to forget something. Miss something.But still, I think I've found enough references saying that I am exempt from the Civic Intergration Examination, so that at least takes some pressure off. I wonder if, at some point, I put at the back of my mind "Oh I HAVE to do that by the time I'm 22."
I hope if I ever had, that I have completed it subconsciously. 22 Always sounded scary. There are cards, gifts, all the way up to 21, but once you are twenty two, you are considered too old for the gimmicks. Now, of course, I have no idea if there is suppose to be anything special about that. Maybe I'm over thinking things. I just feel I still haven't done anything. The only things I had in my plan was school, high school, uni and then get into a job, I had no plans past then. I was hoping things would happen to me and options would just be presented. Of course there is the options of the things that should happen by the end of the year. After all these years of complaining about not having a companion, it still has taken me by surprise. But, so far, all good things that I have preferred much more than the time I had alone last year.
These flights always seem endless, sure, on this aeroplane there are things to watch. I could look through more of my rage comic cache on my phone. I could go for a walk to the toilet and look at my phone there. A lot of business types use the opportunity to cue up emails which are probably out of date by the time they reach a source of network connect to empty their outbox, but I wish someone could come up with a concept of actually achieving something on a flight. On some planes, there are options to play games with those around you, but it's not really taken full advantage of. Some people talk with the people around them, but what would be a good idea, is something to really engage all the passengers in something. Not a horrible team building game, but that is a starting point. Some sort of interactive activity, that can be participated in sitting down, but can force all these various people to connect who would not, given any other circumstance. Someone start tossing round a balloon. A massive game of Pictionary between the various classes. I remember games played in the car growing up of car drives of similar length,and time sometimes going very quickly if the right game, the right amount of topics of discussion. Didn't need no movie, just a clever logic puzzle. But no, each seat or group of seats is an isolated booth in which talking to others is a mostly unique experience. The same thing can be said about houses. I'm in a block of flats with several other people. But do we interact? No. The closest I've had to a discussion with one tennant was him believing I shut my door too loudly at around 7.30 in the morning when I'm going to work and he's just waking up. So those times when I've been alone have been very isolating to say the least. Much like this plane seat. I have interacted with other people in Brisbane, but only one or two would actually read this post, and one of those is to continue my psychological evaluation.. I had two periods alone last year. One felt like it went forever. It was roughly two weeks. It felt so long, with no clear goal, hoping for that eventual exit back into work. This time. This time, it flew. I have had holidays between schooling which have been enjoyable for the lack of responsibility. This was enjoyable for the exact opposite. I could have done more, and part of me still thinks I could have, but another parts of me is more proud of the mindset of doing less, but making it count. Although there are times when I just plain pissed off my co-inhabitant with this.
I guess that maybe another reason why I've felt so isolated in plane seats, I still don't have the drive to go out of my way to create that atmosphere on a plane. Even though I want to be a guy who manages to get those seated in rows 40 to 59 engaged in a game of 20 Questions to pass the time, I rather internalise and just pretend I did in my head. A place where I am a much better person and can think of something special to say to the person next to me, to keep them awake and dismiss all fears they may have of what is waiting for them after this flight comes to a close.
Maybe she wishes it wouldn't end.
Maybe she wishes that this wouldn't make everything real
Maybe she's scared that the feeling that has been running through her head for the previous months will fade
But then again, she's not like me in many ways.
Whether I want it or not, there's still ages to go, the FLTTRK channel is still showing well over an hour and we're only just crossing South Australia. Distance is a strange thing. As humans, we've broken all sorts of boundaries to try and make this whole planet accessible, but only after dividing it up in ways that can make even areas within hundreds of kilometres of each other as distance as the nearest star. Language, culture, interpretation of human behaviour. Laws to get into a country. Laws to get out of a country. It's not perfectly easy. Maybe others don't find it so much but to think "Later today, I will be in a tube for a few hours, and emerge in a place where everything is the same, yet very, very different."
It looks like it's going to be a rough landing. The plane shudders with the force of the wind. My stomach growls, reminding me that my stomach still has very strict limits on uncontrolled movement. But a deal is a deal. Some promises are just sewn too deep. The contents of the plane absorb the introduced friction of the ground a reassuring feeling reappears in the group. Even those of s accustomed to flying still know there are risks, there are risks leaving your house and there are risks entrusting two people to operate a machine which is at the mercy of the weather. The moment when you arrive at the correct destination. There's still relief. Except for some, who have another journey to start before the evening draws to a close.
I chose to pretend to be patient, those who were annoyed that no one started an impromptu game of charades on the plane now just want to head to a place where they can sleep. I always find it the part of the flight which I thought the aviation industry would have tried to remove. Light off, familiar 'ping' crowd creates line. Crowd waits. It's the most awkward wait. Conversations have run their natural course. majority of baggage has been retrieved from overhead storage. Yet the crowd waits as a final round of checks commence to assure the plane will not fall down when everyone gets out. It's like that wait between dinner and dessert when you have been waiting all day for mousse. It's that final agonising time, when you know the delay, for what ever reason, is necessary, but just as to what is never revealed. People shift wait, both in the plane and in a hallway mere metres away. There are no clues as to when the expected will arrive. There is no previously agreed upon exchange. We all knew this moment would occur in advance. And yet, suddenly, an identification will be made and an impromptu exchange will need to occur. The greeting party have no knowledge of what occurred during the flight, the chosen words will have to allow for all situations. A general interpretation can be made of the flight can be made from whatever the arrivees chose to say, and how it is spoken should correctly convey mood. But the hosts will have to wait so they can make the appropriate plesentaries, making sure to mirror the enthusiasm of the newly arrived.
I decide dismiss the need for the other party to pose a small talk question to extract this mood from us, with all the strength I can muster I produce the words "Mum, Sister #1, Sister #2..."
For an instant, as I turn to indicate the passenger who has manged to keep pace with me on the airobridge, my voice quivers as energy I didn't know I had puts all my concentration into correctly forming the second half of the sentence.
"This, is Stalkee #3."
My mind blanks out as it achieves this.
I mean, who the hell cares what happens now?
My last post was actually before I met Stalkee #3. Which feels so weird. Exactly one week, if you are interested.
Now, that particular weekend didn't go so well. Typically my death threat count stays more minimal than it did that weekend.
But here we are, March 2012 and we're sharing the same toothpaste. And the only reason that she don't like that is because I use too much.
To be fair, I could say the same about her shampoo usage, but I guess I don't have more teeth than she does.
Despite my apparently exorbitant consumption re:Toothpaste, she has willingly increased my music collection and highlighted several songs that will be particularly fitting for this section, as a result, I will be intertwining them over the next few posts (Probably about 5 years worth of songs at the rate I post.) with my own selections:
"The Adventure" - Angels and Airwaves. I guess I could let her put her explanation into this choice. I guess I could my explanation of this choice from her choices, but rather, this one, I feel, is quite obvious, so I'll just let it speak for itself.
"Melbourne Cliches" - D-Generation.
"My Happiness" - Powderfinger. Annoyingly she just looked at me funny when I played this.
Graffiti of the Week:
Not strictly graffiti, instead two personalised car licence plates that Stalkee #3 refuses to add to her collection.
If you wanted to be accurate, it really should only say "TCP" (See what I did there?)
If you wanted to be accurate here, there should be a whole lot of these in a line continually crashing into a brick barrier that's on fire.
Until I get banned from the network, goodnight!