January 19, 2015

Stupid, stupid night

So you're in Bali and you've had a wonderful time, and you feel really blessed that you're able to take an overseas holiday with the kids. But you have to come home, and the only way to come home is a night flight on Garuda, leaving at 10.30pm.

You are not excited.

The bus picks you all up at 7.30pm. You are already tired and anticipating the hideous night ahead, but you try to be brave. You arrive at the airport at 8pm and check-in. Your seats are in the back of the plane near the toilets and you try to be more brave. Toilets are good. You often use toilets.

You kill an hour at the airport looking at shops and buying water, then head to the gate. There is nowhere to sit, so you and the kids sit on the floor. The floor is hard. Your kids start whimpering. You laugh internally as they ain't got nothin' to whimper about yet. Just you wait, kids. Just you wait.

It's all fun and games until the passengers arrive

The plane is half an hour late to board and you feel yourself getting more and more tense and more and more agitated. You don't want to get on the plane. You are tired and you want to go to bed, not sit bolt upright for seven hours in a capsule near the toilets. But you have to get on the plane. You have no choice. Oh shut up kids, stop whimpering, I'm more cranky than you.

You board, hauling your kids along with you. You find your seats fairly easily. (They are near the toilets.) You all sit down. It is cramped and stupid. Your head is hurting. The 7 year old is white with exhaustion. The 13 year old's eyes are hideously bloodshot. The 15 year old takes out his Nintendo.

You put on your seatbelt and turn to buckle the 7 year old's seat belt. She is fast asleep in the chair.

You breathe a sigh of relief. That's one less to worry about. You wait impatiently as the stupid pilot takes hours and hours (okay 30 minutes) to get the stupid idiotic plane in the stupid air. You finally take off. You don't crash, which is good. Everything else is bad.

You get out your neck rest to try to sleep. The 13 year old is almost crying with tiredness. She is uncomfortable and can't find a good position to sit in. But at least the 7 year old is sleeping.

You stroke the 13 year old's leg and put your seat back in the reclining position, which is about 3 centimetre's more 'reclined' than the upright position. It is about as 'reclined' as a ladder. A stupid, stupid ladder. You try to be brave. It is hard, because everything is just so stupid.

You shift in your seat, this way, that way, the other way. You put your legs on your tray table and your legs under your bum. You wish you could cut your bloody legs off so you can fit in that stupid seat. You get delirious with exhaustion, and pray for release.

And finally, finally, it comes. You fall asleep.

And then there is a tiny little jab in your side. A finger. "Mummy, mummy, I'm awake! I'm going to watch movies now!" It is the 7 year old. You have been asleep for 8 minutes.

The rest of the flight passes in a blur, a stupid, horrible, sick, headachy, cramped, backbreaking blur. You drift in and out of consciousness, waking up with a dry mouth and the smell of airplane oozing from every pore. You hate this aeroplane and everything in it more than you've hated anything in your life. And when the flight attendant turns on the lights to give you breakfast... at 3am Bali time... and who eats breakfast at 3am anytime?... you hate her more than everything else put together. Stupid, stupid flight attendant.

You finally arrive at 5am Bali time, which is 8am Sydney time, which is just as bad. You head out, revolting, fetid and blinking in the light. You collect your bags, go through customs, declare that giant wooden python you bought for $5 at the markets. It passes. You're so pleased. Now you can go back and smack the stupid flight attendant over the head with it.

But you don't. You herd the revolting, fetid, blinking kids outside, and wait about a day for a taxi. And then you get in the taxi, and arrive home, and you all collapse on your beds and sleep for about a year.

And then you wake up and do laundry. The holiday is over. Real life, in all its stupid glory, begins anew.


  1. Is there anything better after the night flight from Bali, than staggering through your house at dawn, dropping your bags at the front door( ours usually stay there for days) and melting into your very own bed? It's perfect, until you wake up and you're hungry and you remember that you have to like... cook your own meals and stuff. Happy New Year. Welcome back - the real world is always a little bit funnier when you are around!!

  2. I recently had a 15 hour flight with my precious five year old son... he kept waking me up each time i managed to fall asleep. Finally I drifted off into some sort of sleep and woke up with millions of tiny foams balls statically stuck to me and him... His neck pillow exploded because he thought it was a great idea to make a hole. I entered the US looking like I brang the snow with me. Flights + kids = NIGHTMARE!

  3. Oh god, I'm sorry to laugh at your pain but that is the funniest image ever. FOAM BALLS!!!!! Bwahahahaha!!! x

  4. Ah, love a good plane flight. I can only say 15.5 hours Vancouver Sydney. Packed Plane. Almost 2 year old, 8 year old (I do have hubby with me). Plane due to leave 11.45pm Vancouver time. Screaming child on plane. Plane sits on tarmac, needs to be de-iced (because of snow). Plane leaves 1.20am Vancouver time. Plane arrives safely in Sydney but I can't remember the time, or the day because we've lost one crossing the date-line. Drag an entire year's worth of luggage (I don't know how to describe this other than ultimate excess baggage that they fortunately took pity on us and let us get away with) from customs in Sydney to Qantas domestic check-in (it's just around the corner dear,yeah right). Shuttle to domestic terminal. Flight to Brisbane. Don't even know what time it lands. Luckily parents pick us up with two cars in Brisbane for drive to Gold Coast. And then there's China x 2 adoptions with new babies....

  5. I would sometimes take the red-eye flights from Perth to Sydney, but I refuse to now. REFUSE! I can't sleep on planes, and I just feel anxious, tired, grumpy and want to sleep all the next day! Feeling your pain, hon. Feeling your pain... (Glad you're back safely.) xox

  6. Overseas flights ? No thanks. Been there, done that. If I never get on an aircraft again, it'll be too soon. If I do, it'll be a domestic flight, which apart from Perth and Broome which take months to get to, are generally not even long enough to take a pee. That's my kind of holiday.

  7. LOL. I always forget you were a hostie x

  8. NOOOO! That's too horrible. Don't do it!

  9. I'm still amazed I didn't get searched by customs... I looked suspiciously stupid. I laugh now, at the time foam stuck to my tears lol

  10. The midnight xpt from Wauchope to Sydney anyone?? Night......mare. No sleep. The seats are hard. Every stop smokers walking passed you to jump off the train for a quick drag. Midnight d&m's from the people behind you. Book readers (overhead lights). Chip munchers. BRIGHT lights on at 5.30am, the buffet closes in an hour. Mad dash by half the train. 7am and you're at Central, the day's just beginning but all you want to do is curl up on the nearest park bench and sleep for eternity. The only positive was this was the beginning of our holiday. We had the day train to look forward to on the way home!

  11. Ugh!! Sounds like the last few days of our recent trip (except we didn't have any kidlets with us!) 14 hour bus trip from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh on the Thursday, at the airport 11am Friday, plane got delayed so didn't leave until 3.30pm, finally got to Melbourne at 6.30am (after an hour and a half stop over in Brunei - the worlds most boring airport), caught the shuttle to Southern Cross train station, hour train ride to Geelong, 45 min local bus ride to our home town and then a 1.5km walk (with 15kg rucksacks) home!! And to make it all REALLY pleasant, I had a really severe ear infection kick in on the overnight flight, so the second half of that whole thing I spent feeling like someone was poking a red hot metal skewer into my ear drum......!!

  12. 'Real life' is beautiful. It might be a little challenging at times, but you're ALIVE. I take a different tack and bask in whatever life may give me :)


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