Welcome to Adelaide, don’t drink the toilet water » KathSwinbourne

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Apr 09 2014

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Welcome to Adelaide, don’t drink the toilet water

Kathleen 015If you ever see me standing in a queue, don’t line up behind me.

Whenever I get in a queue it immediately stops moving. It happens everywhere – the supermarket check out, the bank, even places where there is only one queue, and – always – airport security.

Kathleen 009Having checked in on line and only having carry on luggage I arrived at the airport right on boarding time. After all, it was early in the morning and all I had to do was get to the airport lounge and get on the plane. Sounds simple enough, but I had forgotten about airport security.

It seems like everybody these days travels with carry on luggage only. The airlines are to blame for it all, tickets are cheaper if you don’t check anything in, so of course everybody packs as much as they can into the largest bag they can get away with as carry-on. And it looked like some of them were going away for a month. Their bags were huge, and they all had to go through the airport security scanner.

Kathleen 019Another piece of advice about queuing – the shortest queue will always take the longest.

Of course not having much time I joined the shortest queue and stood there, and stood there, and stood there. Not moving, while everything was minutely inspected by the x-ray. Each bag spent so long in the machine that we were thinking of sending in a search & rescue team. And in the meantime the clock was ticking away, getting closer to when my plane would take off – possibly without me.

So I changed queues and immediately, miraculously, the queue I had been standing in moved forward while the one I moved to stopped.

Kathleen 003When it was my turn I walked through the scanner only to have it beep.I’ve done this before – the slow strip for the scanner. First one bracelet, then another, then the shoes, then a belt, etc. By this time it was 17 minutes before my plane was due to leave and I still had to get to the gate lounge, so I didn’t have time for the slow strip. I decided to go all the way immediately and  took it all off – all my jewelry, my shoes, I was even tempted to take my jeans off because they had metal studs on the pockets but I thought it would take too long to get them off and then back on again. And besides, I didn’t want to put everyone off their breakfast.

Finally I made it through and sprinted for … somewhere. I forgot to check which gate I had to go to so had to check the flight number on every gate as I went passed. To add to the list of “things I learned at the airport”: you can’t read those noticeboards through polarised sunglasses. As my glasses are prescription I couldn’t see when I took them off either, so I had to get up close and personal with each gate board to see which it said. Of course, my gate lounge was the last one, the one they advise takes 4 minutes to walk to.That’s 4 minutes as long as you walk straight there and you don’t have to stop at each lounge along the way.

Kathleen 001By the time I made it to my gate lounge the queue to board was almost cleared, there were only 2 people left. I was silently congratulating myself for avoiding a queue when, you guessed it, there was something wrong with their boarding pass and they had to wait while the steward checked on it.

At least I knew the plane wasn’t going to take off without me, and there was a champagne breakfast waiting for me on the plane.

When I got on the plane and looked out the window the early morning light was beautiful. It had been raining and the reflections off the wet runway made me wish I hadn’t put my camera in the overhead locker. I was admiring the golden light glinting off the wing as we taxied down the runway. It wasn’t until we were up in the air that I realised that wasn’t a reflection of the sunlight, it was an actual light on the wing. No wonder Doc laughs at me all the time!

Kathleen 053One thing I do love about flying is being up above the clouds. The sunlight up there is beautiful, and the clouds always make me want to reach out and touch them. As soon as the seat belt sign went off I got out the camera to take some photos, and realised I’d left all my photo cards at home! I know I packed light, but that’s one thing I really needed. Oh well, at least you’re allowed to turn your phone on on a plane these days so I could still get some photos.

Then – what I’d been waiting for – the cabin crew came around with refreshments. I was eagerly watching them make their slow trip down the aisle, serving everybody along the way. I love a champagne breakfast and don’t need much of an excuse to have one. A trip away was more than good enough. They got closer and closer and then it was my turn. But they didn’t have any bubbly!!!

Kathleen 049Apparently they don’t stock it on early flights any more. They have still wine or beer, but no bubbly. A sauvignon blanc breakfast is just not the same.

Fortunately I was going to Adelaide, home of great Australian wines, so the first thing we did when I landed was go out for a champagne breakfast by the beach.

Welcome to Adelaide, but don’t drink the toilet water.

 

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