They say its the journey...
...not the destination that counts.
Well I think the first leg of this journey has been the metaphor for my life of late. Timing has not been my friend. The trip started with the flight from Adelaide to Melbourne, for my international connection, delayed by an hour. Thankfully I was still able to catch up with Tam, who made the trek up from Geelong to see me off on the "big plane".
Once I walked through those doors at customs the memory of what international transit is all about came flooding back. First hurry off the plane you had to hurry up and wait for. Dash from domestic to international terminals and proceed to hurry up and wait in a queue to be checked in. Enter the hallowed gates of customs and wait in a queue to make sure your gels and lotions are packed in the placky-bag correctly. Step past the screen of Oz and... you got it... wait in queue at immigration. Shuffle through that and be dazzled by all that glitters and shines in duty free land, where Yes! maybe I do need that iPad for $650 duty free. Drift starry eyed to the departure lounge and wait in a queue at the boarding gate and finally wait in a queue to get on the plane and into your seat. Then, with all your might, you try to squeeze all your flesh into the confines of the arm-rests (the seats are getting smaller, right?) and then relish the opportunity to have your knees squashed to your chest for the next 16 hours, until the wise-guy in front tilts his seat back and your knees make contact with your tonsils! Be fed dinner at midnight in the timezone of your departing city and then breakfast at 1am in the timezone of your arriving city, all because it works better for the hosties that way. Free current release movies are a perk! Sleep like a baby, because the dozen infants and toddlers on the flight seem to wake screaming on an hourly rotation. And lets not even mention the up-close-and-personal contact with total stangers sleeping habits and body functions!! On arrival you get to hurry up and wait in queues all over again at the transit international airport and once more at your final destination. All in all, nearly 24hours of transit, 19 of those in continuous darkness, you smell like a sewer, look like youve been dragged through one and just grateful you got there in one peice without any fistycuffs.
I say screw the journey!!! Thank heavens Ive arrived!!
Its at international airports that you realise we humans arent that far removed from our animal cousins. We line up like cattle to be force fed through turnstiles and "branded". We scurry aroundthrough tunnels from gate to gate like an army of ants, each of us with our own peices of leaves, bread crumbs and sugar crystals. For the most part its all done with precision and efficiency. We all know our place in the world in these terminals. They are the great multi-cultural equalisers.