Saturday 6 October 2012

Homeward bound

So here I am, back on the A380-800, upstairs, ensconced finally in what I knew would be my favourite seat out of the four trips I’ve made on this aircraft: 11A. The number’s not so important – in fact, smaller would be better as it would make me just a bit further in front of the wing – but the A is because it’s the window seat. There’s one on the other side, obviously, but left has always been good to me, view-wise.
Today, leaving Dubai after six, count them, hours kicking my heels in the Business lounge of the long white slug that is Dubai Airport – a new and shiny slug, that is, amazing in both the sheer numbers of people swirling about inside, and the miles you have to walk to get to your gate – during which I snacked, showered, surfed and snoozed, and even found a copy of the NZ Herald, the view was of the city as we circled round the Burj Khalifa. On the right, I could have seen the Palm and The World artificial islands, but the BK and I have a thing going on now. It was fun to see it from above this time.
It was 7+ hours from Lisbon to Dubai, and it’ll be the best part of 13 to Sydney; there’s about an hour on the ground there, and then it’s another 2½ home to Auckland. We were often asked in Portugal how long our journey had been to get there, and when they guessed, they thought 10 hours sounded sufficiently epic; so they were to a man blown away when we said it amounted to more than a day. Apparently, though, it’s common for lottery winners there to nominate NZ and Australia as their dream destinations, so the urge to set out on a great voyage of discovery is clearly still an important element of the modern Portuguese psyche.

There’s no need to do a Vasco da Gama any more, of course: it’s far easier these days, especially courtesy of Emirates Business class, tucked away here in my private little enclosure surrounded by shiny blonde walnut veneers, a nice big screen with a huge library of entertainment and information, my own mini bar, lots of cubby holes to stow my gear, and an almost-flat bed with a cotton mattress. There’s also the bar down the back, though I reckon that’s really just a novelty. But, wonder of wonders, there’s wifi, which I’ll use now to upload this post, just for the novelty of it, even though I’ll have to – gasp – pay for it: a whole US$5 for 30MB. Appalling.

UPDATE: Wifi there and connectible, but that’s as far as it went, disappointingly. I knew that some airspaces didn’t allow it, but though I tried periodically, nothing worked on this journey, tch. So this is coming to you from Sydney – after crossing over the city, harbour, bridge and Opera House, all on the left. QED.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...