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Posts tagged ‘emirates’

Iceland is easier to spell

Before leaving Oamaru yesterday morning, I checked the newspapers and the Emirates and Christchurch Airport websites to see whether Husband’s flight had been cancelled due to the volcano in Chile. Not Iceland. I really feel the media could have been a bit clearer about that.

Thankfully, the ash cloud appears to have blown over.

Agent of Death and The Welsh Giant loaded the trailer while I supervised i.e. criticized Agent of Death’s knots. Due to a previous blog entry, wherein I lamented the quality of send-off staged by the in-laws when Husband was not around, a full complement of in-laws presented to issue hugs, kisses and trailer adjustments. Couldn’t fault them. On the one hand, balloons could have been a nice touch, but on the other they might have suggested celebration at the prospect of my departure. In retrospect, a sound decision.

After gleefully slagging off my in-laws in my blog, I suppose it is appropriate here to mention how overwhelmingly grateful I am for their hospitality and care over the last two months. Evidently I chose my in-laws well and feel privileged to be part of the family.

They were stunned when I left ten minutes before stated, at 09:50hrs. Somehow, I seem to have a reputation for being completely disorganized and eternally tardy. Which is a mystery to me.

The weather on the drive to Christchurch was miserable; grey and rainy. I took it easy with the fully loaded trailer. This included Andrew’s KTM dirtbike and a coolbox full of an ice-cream maker, a bread bin, three freshly sharpened knives, and a set of fish-themed coasters. There was also a tin trunk containing biking gear and tie-downs, and another full of partially-digested tennis balls. 

I reached the airport with plenty of time to spare. Husband rather optimistically/foolhardily/manfully strode out of the airport wearing a t-shirt. I have to say his welcome left much to be desired; Jed got a lot more pats than me. Admittedly, he didn’t snog the dog.

The plan was that Andrew would take on the bulk of 5.5 hour drive north, but after a while I resumed driving because his mach-speed cornering was making me nauseous.

We decided to stop in Kaikoura for a light dinner. For some reason, I absolutely had to have spicy potato wedges and nothing else would do. Since leaving Oamaru, I had been preoccupied imagining the tearful reunion with Husband – and a big, greasy plate of spicy wedges, preferably with sour cream and sweet chili sauce and maybe even some grated cheese sprinkled over the top *slaver*.

Luckily we located a Monteith’s bar; it seemed portentous that there was a double-parking space right out the front. Sure enough, the menu featured spicy potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. I persuaded the Irish barman to throw on some cheese by leveraging his lack of Guinness.

Andrew had spare ribs, or something.

Quick stop at New World for some staples – milk, bread, eggs, coffee – and we got home at about 21:30. It was raining and we couldn’t find the key for the gate padlock; it didn’t appear to be on our keyring. After some prolonged torch-lit rummaging through glove box, centre console, door pouches, and my bag, Andrew eventually hunted it down . . . on the keyring.

We’d planned to collapse straight into bed, but our landlords/neighbours had left a tub of pumpkin soup and some of their freshly-baked white supremacy bread on the sideboard. And I can’t recall ever having seen anything so welcome ever – even that time Andrew got dressed up in . . .

Yes, well.

I suppose it’s all about timing and appropriateness.

Tainted by excrement

So I am now in the UK. I know, but I like to surprise you.

Officially this is a holiday to see my family. Unofficially, I am here to pick up an amp for MarkJ.

Husband – who leaped out of the airplane in the Middle East – and I were completely unprepared for the trip. We ended up forgetting all our Dubai-issued bank cards (not including my two cards with expiry date 0408) and one NZ-issued visa card between the two of us. What do you mean, whose? Does it matter? What’s mine is Andrew’s and vice versa.

Ok, it was Andrew’s.

I robbed it.

(Improv on the ‘What’s Andrew’s is mine’ theory.)

I had forgotten to book my flight under my Skywards membership, which would have informed Emirates of my food preferences. ‘Chicken or beef?’ is an existential question as far as I am concerned. Asking if there are any vegetarian options results in a lecture on informing them 24 hours prior to the flight, before the flight attendant ungraciously stamps off to scrape some of the cabin crews’ leftovers into a piece of tinfoil and pass it off as ratatouille.

In this instance, I ate the prawn cocktail starter (my vegetarianism makes exception for fruits la mer), and Andrew donated his starter. Then the flight attendant returned with a main course from business class. Turned out to be – what d’you know? – more prawns. Prawns in a vomit-yellow sludgy sauce. God, I sound so ungracious. Can I pass it off as jetlag? In general I have found it works extremely effectively as an excuse.

On the Sydney to Dubai leg, Husband and I were seated right next to the toilet. By that I mean I could reach out and close the door from a sitting position. Which I did, on average once every five minutes – which might not sound like much but stacks up over a period of seventeen hours. It was one of the worst flight experiences I’ve ever had: movies interrupted by the regular flush and suck; people resting their arses on my face as they leant against my seat; the vicious whiff of reconstituted airline food every time the door opened.

Andrew’s and my touching goodbye was tainted by excrement.

Unfeasibly large bottom

Shortly after David waved us off at the airport yesterday I finally stopped leaking, but nearly started right up again when the check-in assistant informed me I would not be allowed into New Zealand without a return ticket. She toyed with us a while before bringing us to the Emirates ticket counter, where I purchased a refundable one-way ticket from Auckland to Brisbane. We were on our way.

The flight was pretty uneventful, except for Husband chatting up the girl on his other side. I could hear him yapping away through my MP3 headphones – this from the man for whom saying ‘How are you?’ constitutes an emotionally draining conversation. He was so engrossed he didn’t notice me sulking, even when I closed my tray on his fingers.

I felt much better when we disembarked in Singapore and noticed her unfeasibly large bottom.

(I mean, he could have chatted up someone with a nice arse.)

At Auckland Airport, Husband collected the bags and pulled faces at me from the other side of passport control where I queued for nearly an hour. The welcoming committee consisted of The Bro, the rest of the family having buggered off to a party.

The Bro and Husband

How to straddle a camel

We celebrated our second wedding anniversary with a trip to Al Maha. With spectacularly bad timing, who should be bump into but . . . Andrew’s ex-girlfriend. Even more ironically (for her) she was on honeymoon with her recently acquired husband.

Well, you always want to be looking your best for such an occasion – ie bumping into your husband’s Ex on your wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, I was just about to straddle a camel, which – for those who have never attempted to balance on a camel hump – is a difficult maneuver to execute gracefully.

At least Jill was also about to straddle a camel, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

You may ask yourself with some justification: why? Well, in the course of several years in the Middle East I have never been coaxed onto a camel. And really it’s a mandatory photo for the album, isn’t it? – so we decided to give it a go

Husband, doing . . . something

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