I’m sitting on a plane and I’ve just realised that this is my eighth flight in four weeks. Not many trips from a suit-wearing CityFlyer veteran or professional flight crew point of view but more than usual for me. I’ve been from Sydney to Brisbane and back twice in two weeks, a trip to Grafton and Yamba in Northern NSW earlier in April, and now I’m returning from an overnight trip to Adelaide . (My record, by the way, was last year – I travelled from Sydney to Melbourne and back, then Sydney to London, then to Glasgow, then to Barcelona, then to Dublin, then a day trip to London, then back to Dublin, then back to Sydney, in the space of four weeks. Madness!)
This month’s journeys have been variously uneventful, which I’m grateful for when travelling in the air in the big silver tube. We’ve just had a smidgen of turbulence and my coffee slurped in a minor way, but fingers crossed that’s all.
I have dutifully observed all the usual jaded business traveller aeroplane etiquette. I nonchalantly hung back when called for boarding, keen to look like a seasoned traveller and not an over-anxious tourist. I took my seat but delayed belting up just in case. I obediently stored briefcase below and wheelie bag above. I secretly dreaded pulling the seatbelt across my middle, in case a skinny person had been in it before me, forcing me to lengthen it to contain my fatty-boom-stickness (no fear necessary, I had to tighten it and happily felt svelte like an otter).
I have, however, disobeyed some of the rules of business travel. I peered enthusiastically out the window when we took off, watching as the city became a toy town beneath me (who are those weirdo cool people who don’t look out the window anyway? What kind of jaded person doesn’t have that moment of labrador-like joy when the big plane takes off and launches itself into the sky, disobeying the laws of god and gravity and everything?!).
I even broke the cardinal rule, and ended up having a conversation with the man next to me. This is usually a big no-no. We’re all supposed to pretend that we’re completely alone on the big plane, even though we’re squished in cheek-by-jowl. But he was a nice man and I’m not that cool anyway, so a conversation was struck.
I did have one unique flight experience this month. On the Taree to Grafton part of my flight a few weeks ago, I was the only person on the plane – apart from the flight attendant and pilot, of course. It was quite bizarre, and very unsettling. I joked to my client that I enjoyed the private plane they ordered for me, who knew the Clarence Valley Council was so well heeled! Really though, I’d rather be a sardine. It was a bit too much like a plane version of The Shining.
By the way, which is more correct – aeroplane or airplane? I quite like the jaunty American-ness of airplane (who needs that extra syllable anyway?), but there’s something charming and olde-worlde about aeroplane. Pedantic comments are most welcome!
Happy freelancing jetsetters!
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