The Trip from Hell Beginneth



OK Folks,

This is the start of my epic journey – a journey that will take me waaaaaayyyy out of my comfort zone and to the Other Side of the World.

Over the next days, weeks, months, it is my intention to use this as a log of My Great Adventure. I’m not saying it’s going to be funny, meaningful, poignant or even mildly interesting but obviously I hope it will be all of the above. At least some of the time.

I’ve said the goodbyes to my life in Belgium.

For now.

I’ve said my goodbyes to my friends and family back home.

For now.

It was an emotional time for me. Those of you that know me also know the value I place on my family and friends. Without these people, I would not find myself in this position – on a sabbatical from the day job and waiting for my flight to Brisbane.

Ah yes, the waiting.

The first leg of the journey – a 13:10 flight from the newly renamed George Best Belfast City Airport had proved a breeze. Apart from the tearful goodbye to mother, of course.

A friend of the family pulled a few strings and got me bumped up to business class for the flight to Heathrow, bumped me right through the queue at security and then got me access to the business lounge which ensured a quick free drink and priority boarding.

Nice.

But all that seems a distant memory already.

Having landed in Heathrow at 14:25, I now have the prospect of killing time until the next leg – a 10hr 50 min flight to Taipei departing at 21:30 – can begin. I’ve never been the best at killing time on my own, so this is my safety blanket, a pleasant distraction – typing these words in a typical faceless airport restaurant.

With alcohol, laptop, IPod and cigarettes, I shall make it through this trip. Although there won’t be too much of the latter on the planes and even now – smoking is prohibited everywhere in Terminal 3 apart from “Designated Areas.”

That would be stood outside in the cold November air then; where we huddle like shifty burglars “casing a joint”, furtively checking each other out and the people that walk past, like the social lepers we are.

I started smoking a year and a half ago, at the ripe old age of 33. I think perhaps it’s time to nail it on the head.

After I go through my duty free purchases, that is.

Ah yes – Duty Free.

I’ve heard about this place and have read signs directing me to it and I’m pretty sure that it really does exist but with a 20 kilo backpack to check in and a flight that doesn’t leave for another 5 hours, I am resigned to dragging it around with me until those lovely people at Eva Airways will take it off me.

Whenever that will be.

Ticket desk doesn’t open until 18:00 and there are no signs of them checking in for my flight, so it looks like I’ll be here for a while.

I’m going to try and blag an upgrade to Business Class – sure you never know. One can only ask. As a wise woman used to say to me “You’ve already got a no – you can only get a yes.”

Or something like that.

Anyway, wish me luck.

So now, as I drain the contents of my Becks and the “Low battery” warning comes on, I shall bid you all farewell.

Until we ‘meet’ again.

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