I was frustrated with myself. For the past few days I’ve experienced a series of consequences of my not looking closer at my itinerary before this trip. Today is Saturday. I planned to see Magnetic Island in lovely Townsville. I double checked when I would be flying out on Sunday and realized that I’m not flying out on Sunday. I’m scheduled to leave in an hour.
I can be flexible; I pack and am ready to leave. Now on the way to the airport, the sheer silliness of my day becomes clear. I’m to take two flights traveling most of the day even though a flight to where I am going ought to take an hour. And I’m flying from somewhere nice to somewhere more remote with not much to look at or do. A whole day earlier than necessary. And so I was in a funk.
First, I made a series of calls to my girlfriends in LA. I needed to vent about my quality problems. Thanks Mandy, Laura, Tamara and Karen – I’m so lucky I could reach out to each of you!
Next, relying on the kindness of Qantas strangers, the helpful check-in ladies strategized for me how to make my day better. I would take a later flight (they would waive the fee) and take a taxi to the beautiful Townsville Rock Pool. With my bathing suit tucked away in my backpack, I was there in 10 minutes. I swam, swung on a swing set and took advantage of a cable zip pull thing intended for kids, but what the heck. There was a Dalmation barking incessantly nearby while I was swimming. He was leashed to a tree and clearly wanted attention or play. I felt bad for him.
His master set him free just as I was starting a short run on the beach. I watched him bound with joy in the sand, stretching his legs and using his muscles in pure pleasure. I ran along the shore as he did and his presence encouraged me to go faster and further than I normally would.
He easily loped in front of me. At a turning around point, I cheated and got a head start on him while he was sniffing at some rocks. Within seconds he passed me and at this point, seemed to adopt me as a friend. We were getting eye contact as we ran along. I would slow down and speed up to see what he would do. Eventually a large lady in a red bathing suit caught his attention and he adopted a new friend. It was time for me to wash up and taxi back to the airport – in much better spirits.
I have learned that if one is sleeping for a long time on a flight, one’s meal may be brought to one and then taken away if not eaten. This has the affect of making one very cranky when one is looking forward to a meal.
Now one – I have a plan.
Prior to my post take-off nap, I shall take the white bag in the front seat pocket and write a note to put over my meal…
“I plan to eat this after my nap, please leave it here.”
I feel pretty clever about this.
I woke and there was my meal. As I lifted my note, I noticed something terribly wrong. The dish was there, but the meal, the hot part, was gone. I asked my seat mate who must have felt I had an accusing tone about it. “I was sleeping too,” she told me. And so I accepted my fate – no hot breakfast for me. Yet I was curious.
I found Chris, the lead flight attendant. Yes, he saw my note. Yes, he took my meal. “It would have been scary to eat a meal so cold,” he explained.
“True,” I agreed with a slight whine, “but it was fooood.”
Once he was done teasing me, he explained that he took my hot meal so he could keep it hot until I was ready for it. “Really?” I said with wonder.
And so he brought me my hot meal of poached eggs, spinach and a roasted tomato (pronounced to-mah-toe.)
And it was good.