Here I am in Darwin airport, on an extremely reasonably-priced flight to Kuala Lumpur (the kind of flight that confirms one’s prior hypothesis that airlines charge too much for tickets).
The ‘hitch-hike on a boat’ idea sounded like a brilliant one to me. But, yesterday, when faced with a choice of searching (in the rain) for a willing skipper (which search might not have been successful anyway), or buying a bargain-priced flight that was only on sale for another 4 hours, mammon prevailed.
Some might say this was the course of reason, rationality, practicality, common-sense, short back and sides, 9-5 jobs, the 40-hour week, two-car garages, car-seat covers and assigned seating.
Others might accuse me of betraying the basic philosophy of travelling on the cheap, of dodging the big adventure walk in favour of the well-marked tour, dumping the uncertain in favour of the tedious, choosing the mass produced over the hand-made, eliminating risk but destroying hope.
Can you tell where my sympathies lie? I console myself with the fiction that i can always come back and do it next time.
But one has to make the most of the clay one has. I do like the way the guy speaks several languages over the intercom (one after the other).
I exhibited that classic British (and therefore common New Zealand) tendency to avoid makinng a fuss this morning. I am (still) a member of the Qantas Club, but I sent my card home a while ago (why should I carry it with me when I do not intend to fly?), so I felt a little apprehensive about just rocking up and asking them to find me in their computer or whereever.
I thought it might be okay, though, so I went off to find the place. But I was turned back decisively when I discovered that I had to ring at the door to get it opened (note to self: it is unlikely to encourage your customers to come into your shop if you just present a solid, closed door and a buzzer).
I think that this is something I should change. A similar thing happened yesterday when the computer I was on at an Internet cafe did not work. Rather than complain and get it fixed, I just left, telling myself that I was mostly done anyway. Such self-deception is designed to hide the fact that I am afraid to knock on the door.
I have never seen a plane so empty before. It is a 747-400 (a huge plane), and everyone is in one section – a maximum of 50 people. This leaves around 400 seats completely empty. I managed to get an emergency exit row. It was not difficult.
Anyway, the next time I write it will be from a different country. Farewell Australia, you lucky little country you. I will be back before you know it.