The hodgeheg household (minus the chooks & dog) has just returned from a week in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was wonderful. The flights were exhausting.
The last time we went anywhere that required jet fuel was when Bruce was 18 months old. We flew to Cairns via the longest route possible because it was cheaper. You think we would have learned. I think it’s like having a new baby. You forget how much you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck, how exhausting and frustrating it can all be. You only remember the good bits. Perhaps it’s the same hormones that are involved in child-birth and travelling long distances and it is these that wipe the bad memories from your brain.
We’ve resolved – from here on in only direct flights where possible. However, travelling via Kuala Lumpur did save us nearly $1000.
I discovered a real downside to flying Air Asia was not automatically being allocated ear phones. I’d paid for mini entertainment units for the kids from Perth to KL so they were okay. I was not. Because we were being cheap, I’d only paid for me, Bruce and Squidge to sit together, leaving DB to the mercy of the airline’s allocation system meaning he was 10 rows away from us. I began to wish that the family sitting in front of me had done something similar. Sadly they hadn’t.
Instead the mother and her three late teen/early 20’s daughters sat together. On behalf of most Australians, I’d like to apologise for their behaviour. I was thankful that my boys had their earphones in and therefore couldn’t hear the delightful game of “I Spy” that went something like:
“I spy with my little eye something beginning with F and W”
<squeal> “I know – F*&k Wit!”
Nor did my boys get to hear the mother and one daughter observe that the toilet light had been on for ages and the mother make a bet that the occupant of the toilet was an Asian woman. They seemed completely oblivious that they were flying with a company called Air Asia and that they were in the company of a lot of Asian people who would find just about everything they said highly offensive.
Sadly because they had the attention span of a Labrador puppy they didn’t see out their bet – emerging from the loo was in fact a caucasian male.
They fairly quickly exhausted the $50 worth of gossip magazines that they had purchased before take off. This lead to a lot of complaints of being bored. So they started a game I’ll call “Where’s Your Titty?” because that’s what they’d say as they lunged at each other grabbing and poking (including the mother). Eventually, they found each other’s titties (which took longer than I would have thought) and settled in to do a crossword.
“Who is the entertainment reporter for Channel 9’s Today Show? Richard someone”
“What other letters do you have?”
“w, i, l, k and n”
“That’s crap – how are you meant to know that?”
<internally I’m screaming Wilkins – Richard bloody Wilkins, I don’t even watch the Today Show and I know that!>
On the one hand I was relieved that Air Asia don’t serve alcohol. On the other I could really have used a stiff drink about 15 minutes after take off.
The flight from KL to Hong Kong was unremarkable except the food was quite good but the plane didn’t look like it’d seen the business side of a cleaning cloth for quite some time.
Arriving at Hong Kong airport several days before we had a clue that the airport was big but not just how big. We arrived with plenty of time before departure and I read a notice that it could take some time to walk to our departure gate and to leave enough time. What it really should say is something like “THIS AIRPORT IS SO LARGE IT HAS A TRAIN TO TAKE YOU TO SOME BOARDING GATES”. That, to me, drives home the enormity of the airport. Guess who needed to take the train to gates 32 – 80?
We made it to our departure gate (gate 71) with 10 minutes to spare before the flight closed for boarding.
The plane wasn’t there. In the hour since we’d last checked the board, our plane had been moved to gate 48. We’d passed that gate on our way to gate 71. We were encouraged by the Air Asia employee to hurry to gate 48. We ran. It felt like kilometres. Bruce and Squidge were amazing. DB sprinted ahead to make sure they knew we were coming. We were by no means the last people on that plane and I wondered just how many people missed the flight.
That flight wasn’t a lot of fun either. Unfortunately the family sitting in front of us did make it on with their 4 bags of pastries each from one of Hong Kong’s most famous pastry shops that they stored in the overhead locker and which they protected with ferocity when I stood up to put something in there too. The person sitting in front of Bruce also took exception to his little feet pushing on her seat – quite frankly that’s as far as they could reach – he couldn’t really help it, and let me know that. I spent the rest of the flight reminding him, and setting up alternate structures for him to rest his feet on. And Squidge came down with a cold approximately 2 minutes after take off and we filled a vomit bag with tissues and drove neighbouring passengers crazy with his sniffing.
So, next time, direct flights with more frills. I’ve started saving already….