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Published: February 5th 2013
This morning we hit that limbo time when the sightseeing is finished, but it's not quite time to go to the airport for the flight home. Boring! We slept in and went down for breakfast about 9.00am. Bernie's new 'brother' - the Maître d' sort of adopted him when we had a (late) lunch yesterday - insisted on getting us a plate of traditional Arabian breakfast to try. Thank goodness he didn't come back to the table with anything more exotic than hummus and pita bread. We could manage that for breakfast. Although then he was back with some halva - which was delish, but a bit sweet for breakfast.
Back in the room we watched yet another bad movie. But this one was really, really bad - I cannot believe I wasted a couple of hours of my life watching 'Starship Troopers' ... again. Along with 'The Waterboy', 'Starship Troopers' is right up there on my list of all time worst ever movies!! I can't believe I know someone who owns this movie on DVD and considers it a classic??! Or maybe just so bad it's good?
We went back to Trader Vic's for a light lunch before
our driver arrived to take us to the airport. We had an entirely uneventful journey to the airport and checked in for our first ever flight with Etihad Airlines without any problems.
The fun started when we boarded, we could not believe how much hand luggage was being allowed onto the plane. It was absolutely shambolic as people tried to cram all of the carry-on crap - max size carry-on suitcases, overnight bags and shopping carriers filled with stuff - into the overhead lockers. We were nowhere near last on the plane, but struggled to find space for our modest carry-on bags.
We departed roughly on time for Abu Dhabi which was good, although we had a buffer before our flight to Melbourne. We were a bit alarmed when we went into a holding pattern over the gulf due to congestion at Abu Dhabi and the pilot mentioned the possibility of being diverted to another airport. Fortunately, that didn't come to pass and we touched down in Abu Dhabi only a little behind schedule ...to find that our 10.30pm flight to Melbourne had been delayed to 11.20pm.
Eventually boarding time rolled around and if we thought boarding in Amman was shambolic it turned out that that was orderly by comparison with the chaos at Abu Dhabi. Once again we were astonished by the size and number of bags being brought onto the plane. This time we were on board early enough to get our bags into the overhead lockers first, but then the late comers started tossing our bags all over the place trying to fit their stuff in. Even mild mannered Bernie got annoyed enough to point out to someone that he might like to exercise a bit of caution with the bags he was tossing around to fit his in.
And then there was the musical chairs as a group of Turkish women seated themselves and then shuffled around several times to seat themselves in different pairings and a woman moved into the seats in front of us, thinking they were not going to be occupied, only to have to move back to her allocated seat when some more members of the Turkish lady's group arrived.
All of this moving around was nothing compared with the young couple with twin baby boys who thought they had a bulkhead bassinet organised only to find out that you cannot have four adults, three babies and two bassinets at the bulkhead because there are not enough oxygen masks in the event of an emergency. They didn't want to be seated separately so they all needed to be moved. So a couple of the Turkish ladies agreed to swap and then they didn't want to and then they agreed that they would move after all putting the twin baby boys right across the aisle from us. Oh yay. (Actually, I have to say that, apart from a few grizzles, these two little boys turned out to be pretty good travellers, but their parents' arms must have been aching from nursing them all the way)
Finally, after watching all of these shenanigans going on around us, we were ready to go. Despite the dramas getting the passengers loaded we actually left at about our revised scheduled time of 11.20pm. At this point we were pretty optimistic about making up the 50 minutes in the air for an on-time arrival in Melbourne on Sunday evening.
Steps for the day: 4,952 (3.39 kms)
Tot: 0.077s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 10; qc: 26; dbt: 0.0134s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb