So we’re back in NZ sane and sound although still slightly dulled after the flight.
The Emirates check-in assistant seated us at opposite ends of the airplane in protest at our checking in at the Skywards Silver counter – a maneuver I’ve successfully executed since being downgraded to a blue card holder about six years ago. My charm previously papered over this deficit, but has evidently eroded sharply since I turned 40. Still, with Finn lashed to my front flying a purple and green Emirates bib, I thought my net charm had at least tripled.
The woman obviously had a swinging brick for a heart, since her response to Finn blowing bubbles at her – admittedly delivered with droplets of spit – was to grow increasingly obnoxious. No, she couldn’t seat us any closer since the flight was full.
When she produced a body-bag I realized the situation had got completely out of control. However, she wasn’t planning to glare one or all of us to death; instead, she insisted we use it to wrap Finn’s carseat. Although the carseat was already swaddled in a binliner and about three kilometers of packing tape, she said it was inadequately packed and the baggage handlers ‘would not know what to do with it’.
Since the carseat had travelled halfway around the world in its binliner without incident, I can only conclude the Emirates UAE baggage handlers are as moronic as our check-in attendant.
Thankfully I found another Emirates staff member who proved more susceptible to Finn’s magic. After some minutes on the phone, she managed to seat us in the same row along the bulkhead.
Once aboard, the woman next to me agreed to swap seats with Andrew. I’m not sure whether she was more moved by my partnerless plight or Finn farting earnestly in my arms. No matter. Same result.
Ideally Finn would sleep the entire flight, but unfortunately airplanes seem to invigorate him. He is passionately anti-bassinet, probably because it doesn’t allow enough room for him and his bounteous chi. He slept only four hours, and that on top of me as I sat stiffly immobile with a dead arm. When awake, he was intensely sociable. Yet although I winced at every squirk he made, several disembarking passengers remarked how good he was.