I was to get on this Airbus A333 Cathay Airways flight bound to Hongkong which was to start deep in the night at around 1:30 am. So tired and restless, all I wanted was to just get on the flight and snug to sleep and nothing else. The timing of the flight was too odd and if that wasn’t enough, it was further delayed by 45 mins or so. With 1.5 hours to go and sleep dancing on my eyelids, I struggled so hard not to doze off even though I unknowingly ended up taking a nap by using my laptop bag as my portable pillow.
I virtually had nothing to do rather than looking around or maybe eavesdropping at people around me. Hearing unknown languages was no fun but the pleasure that listening to a known language offered was beyond comparison. Talking to a colleague travelling with me or rather bitching about the delay and others helped to remove the boredom to a certain part but what can you gossip about for hours and hours…
The flight was supposed to serve ‘Refreshment’ and I had picked a special meal not knowing what it was, just a trial and error method based on presumptions and prior experience stories related by previous travelers. Anyway the long wait ended and the check in message on the display screen changed to boarding. There was this long queue which looked so never ending that I many times thought to sit down and wait until the queue became small; obviously I didn’t obey my thought process.
I had this window seat booked for me even though it had virtually no purpose as the flight was at night and all you could see through the windows were diamonds sparkling in pitch dark and nothing else. It was a big flight, wide body jet not the domestic kind of. So I fasten my seat belt after shoving my laptop to the overhead cabin, of this I know very well as I had traveled previously in flights.
The audio and video (AV) facility was so amazing that I forgot about my sleep and all the bitching I was doing about the delay of the flight. After the usual skit conducted by the airhostesses, i started to browse through the movies, the songs, games and everything which the AV had to offer. Finally I settled in for a movie, The Fat Greek Wedding Part 2 mainly due to 2 reasons – one I had watched part 1 and two I didn’t want to experiment at night. Also I didn’t want to fall asleep when they bring in my special meal as I really wanted to have a sneak into what it was. (I didn’t know the meal was supposed to be breakfast until the movie was about to end)
Totally exhausted towards the end of the movie, I decided to take a nap as everyone around was sleeping or keeping their eyes shut. I didn’t know how to turn off the display and I was fiddling when my neighbour turned it off for me. I didn’t even say a thank you and snugged myself to sleep and I know nothing more about the flight.
Early morning came and the airhostesses were busy moving here and there. One of them came and enquired about my special food need and I felt like a person having some contagious disease who had to be segregated from the rest of the lot. This thought was further aggravated by the fact that my special food was served well in advance of all the others, I think all special food were. Then all the people around would start poking their head into your meal to check what you are eating and why no food is being served for them. Some of them from even the previous seat also turned back and were getting angry that their food was getting delayed. I felt as if I was the sole reason for their pain. Anyway I ignored all this bullshitting and started to have my delicious special meal. Then my empty plate was taken away and then the rest of the lot got something to nibble on. This time I decided to stare onto their meals, well I lost interest after a minute or so.
All cleanings done and again the drama began of the flight about to land. I had started a second movie, Tale of tales which I had to leave in between because my flight landed before my movie was over. The window did offer a very good view of Hongkong, a serene place of water bodies and mountains, justifying the statement ‘ A thing of beauty is a joy forever’.
There I was at Hongkong International Airport for the first time of my life.