Another year, and another term. I’m now back at Oxford at the start of what looks to be an incredibly busy Hilary Term (yes, they have strange names). The winter holiday was an eclectic mix of down-time and a sudden realisation of the immense amount of work that I had left unfinished. Can’t say I managed to finish much or most of it, but that isn’t a very good excuse, so off I went on another multi-leg hop across 8 time zones.
This trip was a rather special one, mostly because of how uneventful flights usual are for me. This one had its fair share of movies, but the first leg to Dubai was marked by a mysterious stomach bug that had me doubling over, oscillating between cold and hot, and totally loosing my appetite. Sadly no energy for movies. I tried my best to just sleep it off, but planes are hardly the best place to sleep and the rather full plane didn’t leave a lot of leg/body room. Even the food decided it didn’t like the shape of my stomach. The paper bags were useful other than for writing on – for once.
Landing in Dubai didn’t seem to help matters either. I still felt pretty out of shape. Walking around the massive airport trying to get from one end to another was a much bigger problem than usual. Not only that, but the flight was in Zone A which is a train-ride away from the normal zone B and C. So I basically had to walk like an aged, dying person with a carry-on-luggage in tow. I eventually managed to get to the waiting area and decided I needed to sleep. So I did.
I slept so much that when I woke up, the waiting area had been emptied of people entirely. Not a soul was in sight. I totally freaked out. Jumped up looking panicked. I was so worried that the plane had left. Thankfully it hadn’t, there were still some stragglers making their way. I wonder whether they’d have woken me up, especially since I had to be a passenger to be in that area. Rushing onto the plane didn’t make me feel any better. In my catatonic state, I managed to sit in the wrong seat, forget where I put my carry-on and then almost destroy the toilet door.
Thankfully, the sleeping seemed to have done some good and I was able to enjoy the whole of Hotel Transylvania while we were stuck on the tarmac, The Words, Arbitrage and 2 episodes of Alcatraz. So quite similar to the usual travel experience in movie count. But the most uncomfortable plane ride I have ever had to endure without a doubt.