Hurrah! I’m in New York! My Great Big Gallivant has begun! As today’s title indicates, I’ve decided to tell you my flight story by way of:
33 Steps To Make Make Long-Distance Plane Travel Relatively Painless, with Bonus Chocolate
2. After dinner, arrive back home to start packing. Laugh hysterically when your father proclaims “the car will be leaving for the airport in eight hours”.
3. Finish packing after midnight. Go to bed. Lie awake.
4. Sleep for 1.5 hours. Get up at 4:20am.
5. AIRPORT. Buy compression socks, because Deb told you to.
6. Final hugs with parents. Start walking to plane. Have gallant man offer to carry your carry-on to the plane, because you clearly look feeble.
7. Fly from Canberra to Sydney. Get shuttle to international terminal. Have another gallant man offer to carry your carry-on, because you clearly look feeble. In customs line, run into your favourite Andy, who is flying to Israel. HEART SPARKLES. Of all the gin joints in all the world.
8. Talk with Andy for two hours.
9. Board plane to LA, thinking with dread of the boredom and frustration ahead because you’ve never been good at sleeping on planes.
10. Sleep for three hours as soon as the plane takes off.
11. Eat first meal on plane. Giggle because your vegan meal gets delivered first. Giggle again because someone drew a smiley face on your label. Giggle again because the cauliflower chana masala with raisin and almond couscous is surprisingly delicious.
12. Watch Monte Carlo. Disprove of blatant heteronormativity and stereotyping throughout entire movie, as well as bizarrely unresolved eating disorder subplot. Feel sorry for The Youth Of Today.
13. Eat chocolate.
14. Mini review of Domori Apurimac Peru 70% Dark Chocolate (thank you, Carolyn!):
- Aroma: butterscotch, caster sugar, meringue, plum
- Aesthetics: dark blue-black, crisp snap, well-tempered
- Melt: silky, smooth
- Taste: zesty but also earth, definite tangy lime meringue sweetness, smoky woodsy beneath, lemon curd and brownies, lovely
15. Doze a little.
16. Watch a thousand episodes of Modern Family.
17. Eat Qantas’ snack pack of grilled eggplant sandwich and apple berry muffin, both vegan.
18. Eat chocolate.
19. Mini review of Koko Black Dominican Republic 100% Dark Chocolate:
- Aroma: fear, terror, smoke, walnuts, brazil nuts, subtle, trees (what?)
- Aesthetics: black, glossy, pretty
- Melt: not as dry and chalky as other 100% dark chocolates that I’ve tried, firm and a little buttery
- Taste: not horrific (unlike, say, Dagoba’s version), actually edible, cooling, wood, twinge of red currants and sour plums at end.
2o. Eat breakfast (at around midnight your time) of vegetable rosti with mushroom and bean ragout. Be once more surprised by how tasty the meal is.
21. Watch Any Questions for Ben?, and decide to buy soundtrack on iTunes. The Aussie music might help with future homesickness.
22. Disembark at LAX with two hours to clear customs and find second plane that will take you to New York. Wait for over an hour in the line at Customs.
23. HAVE FINGERS NOT WORKY-WORKY.
24. Get taken to scary admissibility-check area behind ropes. Don’t cry. DON’T CRY.
25. Get taken to retest fingerprints.
26. FINGERS STILL NOT WORKY-WORKY THREE TIMES. These are my fingerprints. They really are. Have the men in the security area try to make you laugh because they can tell you might cry.
27. Get taken to another area to answer security questions.
28. Be given stamp of approval. Get personal escort all through LAX. Lovely man run run run jokes breathe feet hurt what time is it? stupid faint fingerprints run run run just in time on plane collapse shaky.
29. Eat third plane meal at what-time-is-it-o-clock, and mentally high-five Qantas for the veggie curry which is spicy, aromatic, and full of chickpeas.
30. Mentally retract high-five because the melon is soaked in devil fruit juice and therefore must be abandoned. Sleep from LA to New York.
31. Heart fluttering with joy, jump on shuttle to Grand Central Station, and then dance inwardly with pride because you’re able to walk directly to the hotel you’ve never been to before without getting lost.
32. Drop off bags in mini but new and clean room, which even has an ensuite (a rarity in New York, unless you’re the type who can also afford a private jet). Skip to nearest grocery store, then return to hotel for “dinner” of siggi’s Icelandic skyr and Ciao Bella pistachio gelato before falling asleep around midnight.
33. Wake up. NEW YORK HELLO YOU ARE JOY AND WONDERMENT.