Published: December 18th 2008December 18th 2008
At last, at last - departure! So much waiting and uncertainty then suddenly action. Ideas were generated and communicated over night and the plan to join the vessel ‘upstream’ so to speak, took shape. If delays meant it would not be in Singapore till late December why not go to her. And so we will. Sitting on the plane heading to Singapore our plan is to travel to Bangkok, Amman and Dubai the next day to arrive in Fujairah on 20 Dec by which time our ship should have extracted herself at last from Kandla and be nearing that UAE port herself. Two attractions, getting under way and having the fortuitous opportunity to catch up with old friends in UAE clinched it. Of course the notion of joining a ship in Singapore by flying via Jordan, itself has a wry appeal for seasoned gad-abouters like PP and me. One major item has already been tested: two large purple suitcases stuffed to the gunwales with our stuff (we usually travel light and this trip is no exception but everything is relative and we are going to be away for over 4 months) and two rather weighty, if not unduly large ‘cabin’ bags plus my handbag did not ultimately come up to muster. The very charming and patient check in lady allowed a degree of re-arranging of stuff at the counter but in inimical fashion it was PP who saved the day when he announced quite coolly, ‘I do have another bag right here’ and produced an empty back pack from the hand bag! The distribution of weight v articles was then quickly achieved with no dire consequences other than me constantly having to check with PP ‘which bag was it I put my E reader?’ and such.
So after much going, going going,.. we have gone, embarked on this adventure we have planned for so long. Travel is such a series of small events, seemingly and actually insignificant in themselves but contributing to experience powerfully. Like when the bloke sat down next to me after PP and I had settled into our window and isle seats respectively, anticipating our first 8 hour flight. Not only was he huge but he stank! Reminiscences of flights in twin otters in Vanuatu did nothing to appease my dread. The prospect of 8 hours at close quarters with stinky was horrible but he had no sooner parked himself than he was accosting the hostie to find him another seat with more leg room (oh, yes, please - there could be god in a Qantas uniform!) And so it proved, 29A got the nod, I didn’t even have a conscience because surprisingly, so close to Christmas, he was to have a bulkhead row all to himself, and we have a spare seat between us, no stink, more room - bliss!