Turbulence. Bloody life-sustaining monsoon season and travel. We’re on a roller coaster at 41005 feet in the air halfway to Hanoi.
Jomo Kenyatta wasn’t so bad after all. Seeing as the flight was delayed, Kenyan Airways provided meals while we waited. Sitting on the floor of what looked like a circular airport, my new friends and I enjoyed what we could of the food – mostly the conversation though.
Halfway through our midnight snack, a happy looking cleaning staff come over and one of them decides to come and tell me that I am beautiful. Think what you will of it, but being called beautiful at 1:30AM by someone who (I like to think) genuinely meant it is a positive thing. Okay fine! So I got hit on at the airport.
Moving on, I miss having someone whose shoulders are available to sleep on. Nanaaaaaaaa!
After 3 hours of being fitfully awake, I decided movies wouldn’t help either. So this is adulting? Where I give up movie time, which I craved as a child, to make sure I’m still awake and able to keep an eye out for both myself and the group? (Yeah, I did that thing again where I get myself into a position of responsibility to keep myself out of trouble. Only difference between high school and university is that I like it better now – people can do as they wish and I won’t get blamed for not keeping an eye on them).
OH MY GOODNESS THIS DAMN TURBULENCE IS ABOUT TO MAKE ME SCREAM!! I CAN’T WRITE SENSIBLE WORDS ANYMORE.
I did hear one bit of good news: we are currently flying over Mumbai which is currently experiencing Monsoon weather, which is currently making me miss home and…!!!!!!! DEAR GODS (whoever is listening), PLEASE COULD YOU HELP THE PILOTS LAND THIS PLANE SAFELY? THANK YOU. I’M SORRY FOR SHOUTING BUT I’M SCARED. OKAY. THANKS.
*2 hours and some scintillating conversation later*
Currently flying over Hanoi, Vietnam, as the sun sets over this spectacular country. The landing strip is right next to rice paddy fields stretching out into the city; which itself is a beautiful blend of urban pockets of roads and houses surrounded by vast farm lands.
We couldn’t leave the aircraft though – I was deeply disappointed. But whatever I saw from the windows reminded me of home. The blast of humid air when the doors opened, the hazy sky, the smell of heavy rains. Monsoon season is by far the most dangerous for flying, terrifying to travel in, but also my favourite.
The Captain just announced that we’ll be taking off now, so it’s onward and upward to Guangzhou!! Finally.
*1 hour and 5 minutes later*
“Aaaaaaand it looks like Christmas threw up” (K, Halse. 2016. 20:38PM. 1500ft above Guangzhou tarmac. 1000kph. 26 degrees Celsius.) This is what I heard when I told my tour mates that I cold see Guangzhou from my window.
NB: we’re academics. We reference.
__________________________________ X _____________________________
*Exactly 24 hours after I started my journey*
Well fed, clean, and currently trying to get some sleep before the opening ceremony tomorrow morning.
More about this vibrant country to come – watch this space.
[Disclaimer: all of the above is entirely my own words, but the tone may vary because of multiple factors, namely: sleeplessness, jet lag, and 100% excitement about my adventure]
Photo: Taken from the emergency exit door’s window because we weren’t allowed to disembark.