Finally .. we are off, and with a minimum of fuss. The check-in at Sydney Airport was uneventful - even a bit amusing. A bit of street theatre was provided by two young Middle-Eastern girls who seemed to be having a problem with the weight of their multiple carry-on bags. After 20-odd minutes of "negotiation", there was a lot of sighing, and a lot of outstretched arms with palms up, but all to no avail. Finally there was a lot of zipping and ripping-out and slapping-down of bits of apparel between cases. I have to admire the dead-pan expression of check-in clerks that can do this, without even a hint of a smile or even the slightest trace of sympathy. Truly awesome performance.
We are currently sitting in Bangkok aiport, with around another hour to wait for our connection to Addis. There are some seriously weird people coming and going in this place. We have been dodged on our seat allocation, and have been moved to the centre section of the plane. Not happy about this - but even my best "grumpy old man" act couldn't produce an improved result. I was going to ask if he had a brother at Sydney Airport, but sometimes the language barrier is just to big a hurdle for such a small reward.