And there it is. Travel day. Which is made very surreal by an evening flight. For some reason, it feels a lot less real when you have to wait until 5pm to even leave for the airport. You get up, eat your same breakfast, put on your same clothes and it seems like just another day.. Apart from the last minute panic when you realise you have printed neither your flight details nor your accommodation confirmation and where the hell is your passport?!
But finally it comes around, the drive to the airport, the tearful hugs and kisses goodbye, the queue for the check in desk, a slightly overly friendly attendant who calls you a crazy chick and announces you would be pregnant in 10 seconds if he were to join you on holiday, the browse through duty free, the refusing to stand and queue at the gate, and finally the moment you have to climb over people who refuse to move just to get to the window seat. Apologies to the very camp man who now has my footprint on his shoe and the Indian lady whose suitcase I tripped over.
I don't know if anyone has flown etihad before, but wow. It may just be because I normally fly budget airline where you hold onto the passenger next to you and pray you make it to your destination still airborne, but etihad airways really is the height of luxury. So much legroom is normly a rarity in economy (of course, the only class I would be flying) and so many brand new films to choose from I didn't know what to watch first! Lamb kofta with jasmine rice and aubergine scores far above the usual un-identifiable slop on a plastic tray. Plus a charger for your electronics (me and my phone!) The packaging on the blankets even reads 'freshly laundered for sweet dreams' not to mention taking advantage of the free booze. Thank god for whatever sale allowed me to afford etihad airways and bring on the connecting flight! It's only 9 more hours to Manila....