I have never thought of flying as a glamourous activity. To me it is, always has been, and will probably always be, hellish. I say this is due to my arthritis – my poor creaky back can’t handle that much sitting down, nor can my knees – but in reality it’s my brain that’s the biggest problem. It gets bored way too easily.
For a while, I tried my best to do the London to Toronto flight with as crippling a hangover as I could manage. In my hungover state, I am more passive, docile, and more inclined to want to sit and veg out in front of the TV. However, as I get older, the hangover is losing its appeal, and quite frankly, I think the people at the Air Canada check-in desk are starting to wonder about me.
When I was younger, and just starting to travel by myself, back in the bad old days before iPhones and iPads and whatnot, I’d bring a few books with me, my discman (remember those?) and a stack of CDs to listen to. Times have changed of course, and now I bring one book and my laptop – but that’s not my special flying gear, that’s just my normal gear. And what with movies available in the seat back, I’m usually okay for the flight over the Atlantic. But I’ve never done anything longer.
The Mom’s trips to Australia these past couple of years are absolutely mind-blowing – I would very much like to see that part of the world one day… and that day will be when Crazy D’s ideal flying method becomes a reality.
As someone who travels a lot for work. Crazy D is a shining example of how to do flying and packing right to my mind. The man is a guru, truly.
His idea is that instead of turning up at the airport, on the day you’d be flying, a team of ninjas wouldd simply kidnap you, drug you, and you’d get put on board the plane, to awake later, in your hotel room, rested and refreshed, if slightly confused. And as far as packing goes, Crazy D normally just packs the clothes on his back. Even Helen Mirren rolls that way: she apparently buys whatever clothes she needs at a local charity shop and then returns them before she’s away back home.
Because without these nifty tricks, the idea that I could sit in a seat for 24 hours to arrive in Australia is completely unbelievable. I can’t even sit in my seat at work for longer than an hour before I start to fidget and lose all interest in whatever’s going on. I can only imagine the kind of nightmare I’d be for the other passengers. No, my long haul flights will have to be made up of a series of shorter haul flights, you know, like London, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney. Or whatever makes sense geographically. You get the idea though. Sure, that will add on a couple of weeks to the trip, but if I’m ever in the position to afford to pay for a trip to Australia, I’m going to do it right.
As things stand now, I try to just keep it together. I’ve done the Transatlantic flight often enough now that my brain sort of knows what to expect. And there are benefits to each flight: going home to Canada, I always get some snacks from the Eat at Heathrow. Some popcorn, crisps, maybe a bacon sandwich. And by doing the longer flight first, I feel good about coming back, knowing I’ve got the hard work out tf the way. Because Toronto to London is usually an hour shorter – though in an El Nino year sometimes it’s nearer to two hours shorter if the winds are working to your advantage. Once, I made it to Glasgow (itself shorter than London) in five hours. I was amazed!
Leaving from home, The Mom always packs me a lunch of sorts. I say lunch, it’s usually a random assortment of things I think I might be able to stomach– and pie. She always packs me a piece of homemade pie to eat on the flight, and I always try to save it for when I’m back at my flat, jet lagged, confused, and hungry. Pie is a good solution to all those things.
Though I don’t relish the idea of having to stuff myself in the ‘tin can of farts’, It’s only a few hours, and really, I’m going home to see my family. What’s a few hours of mild irritation, considering the loving abuse I get when I arrive.