It’s 2:56 am, and despite preparing myself as best as I could for this red-eye flight, with two pillows, a blanket and comfy clothes, I don’t seem to be able to sleep. We left Melbourne at 1:25am and are stopping over in Kuala Lumpar for a few hours before our last short leg to Danang. I don’t really mind being awake, even though I haven’t slept since 3:30 yesterday morning. I understand people who hate flying (particularly on classic cattle-class flights like this) but I’ve always seen planes as a sacred space, somewhere I can’t be online, can’t work, can’t do anything but contemplate whatever I want to contemplate. It’s nice – even with a baby crying. I suppose you could say it’s a good time to practise mindfulness. Just be in the moment, look at the view, do whatever you can in the tiny cramped space.
The day leading up to our flight went almost to plan. Charmaine stayed over last night then we did a few last minute things before sitting around with several hours of nothing to do – the down side of being organised people. We picked up Lauren on the way to the city – I’d arranged dinner before heading to the airport to ensure we’d all arrive on time and together. Nothing would have stressed me out more than waiting for someone to arrive late for the flight. I’d booked a table at Fancy Hank’s BBQ because my brother Michael and his friend Matt had travelled down from Orange to meet up with us and they are both mad BBQ fans.
A few friends came along too, we had a few drinks then headed to the airport, getting there rather early. We’d heard rumours that customs staff were going on strike in Melbourne starting the next day but we didn’t want to get caught out just in case it was earlier. We ended up with several hours to kill so more drinking was done and Matt and Mick had a game of ping pong. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a ping pong table in an airport – but what a good idea.
Anyhow, we boarded, they turned the lights off and now it looks like everyone but me is asleep. I will contemplate the many hours of lounging around a pool in my near future, and listen to some podcasts. Hopefully that will send me to sleep.