Posts Tagged ‘plane’

Stories From the Sky

Monday, September 7th, 2015

The last few weeks have been somewhat manic – my decision to run a marathon, turn 30 and move to the other side of the world turned out to be quite the challenge. I don’t regret it but next time I might reconsider doing so many physically and mentally strenuous things all at the same time.

I am currently writing to you while flying somewhere over the Indian Ocean. If the plane goes down now I’ll try and float towards Jakarta. That seems to be the closest land mass. I have already watched two films – Aloha and Frozen. You’ll be pleased to hear that both ended happily and resulted in me tearing up a bit in the lovey-dovey moments. It’s my old age.

I had the beef for dinner. We apparently get another ‘light dinner’ later. I’m likely to get yet another one on my next flight from Abu Dhabi to Manchester. Great. Three dinners. Normally I’d love this concept but when it comes in a foil container and you’re not entirely sure what you’re eating, it is slightly less exciting.

I figured I’d take the opportunity of me not doing anything to catch up on some blog posts so that people may or may not read them later when I have a chance to upload them. So here we go. Let’s catch up, friends!

Here I come, Manchester

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Exciting times in the Socially Irresponsible Adventures of Jess (although less exciting for my bank account.) This afternoon I made a substantial investment in a plane ticket, travelling from unusually sunny Perth to as-rainy-as-expected Manchester. My last day in Perth will be 3 September, giving me enough time to get old and most likely complete a marathon before I depart.

It is great to have a date for exactly when the next ‘bit’ starts. Having something to work towards makes a big difference to how I see my time in Perth as now I only have a few weeks left to soak up the sun, see my friends and get lots of hugs from mum and dad.

So get ready, Manchester – please at least attempt to bring out some sunshine for me. I will be eternally grateful and announce to the world that you’re not THAT grey a city after all.

The End is Nigh (Again)

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Dear Scientists,

You’re a smart bunch of people. You have done some really neat things that have been particularly useful such as inventing computers, harnessing the power of electricity and finding cures for stuff. Do you think you could please invent a way of slowing down time? I would be most grateful.

Cheers for that.

Love Jess

So it would appear that time has done its thing and passed with rapid speed once again. The expiry of my UK visa is looming, becoming more and more real every time I wake up in the morning. Last Thursday it all became terrifyingly real when I bought my plane ticket home. The culmination of paying an excessively large sum of money for something that I didn’t necessarily want and the fact that I now officially have an end date AND time, made everything sink in.

Mum, Dad, don’t get me wrong – part of me is very excited to be coming home. I haven’t hugged my mum in 2.5 years, which for someone who thrives on Mum-hugs is a really, really long time. Plus I have heard rumours of this thing called a ‘sun’ that delivers ‘warmth’ – that all sounds rather good. Plus I can ride my bike, be babysat by my parents, see my friends and meet some of the new additions that have been produced while I have been away. All of these things are great. But I still don’t want to go.

I have had this feeling towards the end of all of my visas and it is the fear of change, the unknown, the “what the hell am I doing with my life?” that rears its ugly head as the days count down. At least this time I haven’t made myself sick, unlike when I returned to Perth to apply for Paris Visa #2 and spent the month before my departure with a stomach ache. Maybe I am getting used to it and learning that no matter what happens or how hard I try and slow down time, life soldiers on. There’ll be another great adventure and I just have to wait and see what it entails. Still sucks though.

Australia puddle

This puddle that looks a bit like Australia has been outside my office window for over a week. This is the most exciting part of my day.

This morning, like many mornings, the question of “Why didn’t I just settle in a normal job with normal working hours in a normal office cubicle doing something like marketing?”. Then maybe I would be like many of my friends who seem to have found their place in the world and who have real careers, babies, families, husbands, houses, mortgages and sanity. Or I would have gone nuts, smashed down the office cubicle in a fit of rage and run off to deserted island. Hmmm…

So perhaps I should just stop fighting the fact that I need change, I crave adventure and I don’t like sitting still. I always want more, more, more and the purchase of this plane ticket is just that – it is the start of Jess’s Great Adventure #4 and the search for something more. I just wish I didn’t have to pack up all of my possessions every year or two. Fun fun fun.

Flying Visit

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Sincere apologies everyone. I have been particularly slack with my entries lately due to many factors – mostly just laziness. But I have been very busy with weddings, family visits, trips to Spain and then packing my bag once again to fly home to Australia. I am currently filling in time before I venture to the airport to stand in lines and wait and wait and wait until I can then get on a plane and wait and wait and wait some more. What fun awaits!!

I am heading home for two and a half weeks to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday. It isn’t every day that someone special turns the big Nine-Zero so a plane flight across the world is worth it. However I am currently wishing teleportation had been developed to a much greater extent so that I could avoid the next 24 hours. I should probably stop complaining and be grateful that it is possible for me to fly home… Nar.

So a quick catch up on things I promised I’d write to you about but never have.

Did I find a dress?

The answer to whether or not my shopping adventures before my cousin’s wedding resulted in the WORLD’S BEST DRESS is both yes and no. No, I didn’t find an amazing dress that was stylish, sexy and slightly ‘unique’ which was quite disappointing. None of the general fashion stores in Paris seemed to have ‘wedding appropriate dresses’. However, at the wedding I discovered that most of the Parisian attendees were less formally dressed than the foreign guests.

I did, however, find a dress that was ON SALE at Esprit (Esprit never fails me) that I wore on the Friday to Freya and Mark’s civil ceremony. It wasn’t what I was looking for but it filled a need that I didn’t even know existed. Clearly it was some sort of sign that I what I really needed was a new dress for the civil ceremony and that I should wear my trusty blue (and super cool) dress to the wedding. And so I did.

The wedding was wonderful with the catholic ceremony held in St Clothilde basilica. The basilica was just astonishing – a huge space with beautiful stained glass windows and light grey stone. The sun came at the end of the ceremony, just in time for photos and an apero in the garden of the Maison d’Amerique Latine. The reception was a lot of fun and absolutely delicious with great food and matching wines and it was so lovely to spend time with my Dutch family. A wonderful, wonderful evening.

For those of you who are interested, you can see photographs of the wedding (and my dresses) on my flickr site.

Did my new printer cartridge work?

Yes, thank goodness.

Was the Guggenheim as awesome as I hoped it would be?

Yes. It sure was. In fact, it was beyond amazing. There have been a few moments in my life where I have felt my jaw drop and then a big, tooth-filled smile spread across my face as I realise what I am seeing. Seeing Times Square for the first time at dusk was one of those moments, and now I can add driving into Bilbao and seeing Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim museum as another. I spent the weekend in Spain and most of Saturday wandering around and through the Guggenheim museum and was completely overwhelmed at how much I loved the space. And then to discover that one of my favourite installations – work by Richard Serra – filled the largest gallery in the building made me literally jump for joy. It was an eye opening and inspirational experience and I came away from it full of excitement about how maybe one day I will be somehow working in a space like that – either as an artist or as part of the gallery staff.

Did I eat good food and drink good wine in Spain?

You bet I did. I was a little disappointed with some of the things I ate but I put this down to my inability to communicate, my dislike for mushed up seafood (lots of the pintxos included this in some form), and my lack of confidence at entering very busy and clearly social places on my own. Eating in Spain is a very communal thing and I felt quite alone when it came to dinner time. However, I got by and managed to have a few conversations and was offered some fried peppers from one friendly couple. But my memories of the food in Madrid are still calling to me and Bilbao didn’t quite match up. That’s ok – it just means I need to go back and try again.

And for those of you with some time on your hands, why not look at my 341 photos of Bilbao and San Sebastian? I can promise you lots of images of the Guggenheim, food and Jesus.

Have I finished packing? 

Not quite. I should do this. And then get some lunch and then go to the airport. So next time you hear from me I will be upside down in the southern hemisphere, joining my fellow Perthians complaining about the weather. Oh, meanwhile yesterday in Paris it reached a rather impressive 33 degrees. It was hot. Everyone was complaining.

Round Two

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Je suis à Paris. It is 7.17pm Paris time, which after 24-odd hours in a plane feels much, much later. The good news – I had a Nutella crêpe at Sacré Coeur this afternoon. Let year two in Paris begin!

Mackerel in Maine

Monday, September 12th, 2011

A very quick post just to inform you of my brilliant fishing skills. We are currently in Georgetown, Maine, visiting my second cousin and her family. The past few days have involved a fair amount of fishing as this area of the world is fishing heaven. Tom is beside himself. However, today while out on the boat we fished for mackerel and before starting Tom and I declared it was a competition to see who could catch the most (it started off as the biggest but all the fish were about the same size so it turned into quantity over quality.) Final score? Tom: Two. Marijke (my second cousin): Two. Me: Eight.

In other news, we eventually made it to the airport in New York to catch our flight (Tom got stuck in a water-clogged underground for a while) which was then delayed and then cancelled for a second time as we were sitting on the plane being told the safety instructions. The crew had clocked off the number of hours they’re allowed to do and decided to tell us when we were already on the plane. We were going to have to wait until the next day to fly but then they decided that another crew flying in on another plane could take us so we had to get off the plane, wait for the new crew to prepare the plane (again), get back on, be re-told the safety instructions and then finally it took off. We were supposed to leave New York on our original flight at 3.30pm. We actually left at midnight. We weren’t very impressed. Tomorrow we are placing a lot of hope and trust into Delta once again to deliver us back to New York in time for us to transfer airports and then fly to Paris. If they fail I will be REALLY REALLY MAD.

So hopefully next time you hear from me I will be very sleepy but in Paris, waiting for my brother to arrive.

Flight Update

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Well, we’re back in Paris, I have done a load of washing and we have been to the supermarket and restocked the fridge. We’re on ‘healthy eating’ diets for the next while so we bought lots of vegetables and we’re replacing wine with sparkling water. I’d like to put a specific period of time on our new eating plan but we all know it won’t actually last long. I haven’t done the big weigh in yet and don’t plan on doing so until tomorrow morning, although discovering that I am 10 kilograms heavier thanks to Dutch poffetjes, German beer and Greek olive oil is maybe not the best self-esteem booster before going to a job interview. ANYHOO. We’ll have hot bods to go with our sexy tans before you know it.

So I promised to let you know who sat next to me on the flight from Athens to Paris. The answer: no one. It was great! But I do want to tell you about the family who were sitting in the row behind us. It was a couple in their late 30s with their 4-ish year old son. The man was German and I’m not entirely sure what the woman was but either Spanish or French. Anyway, the little boy is who caught my attention as he happily kicked the back of my chair and sang songs and talked loudly in German, French, English and Spanish. Fluently. He moved slickly between the languages, turning to his Dad and speaking German and then back to his Mum in French. Clearly every family member spoke every language as they all chopped and changed between them. It was just AMAZING. I was so jealous – I wanted to turn around and congratulate the parents and shake the boy’s hand for being so brilliant. Being that young and having so many languages is just wonderful. Sure, I think he needs to learn some manners and he was never disciplined for kicking the seat or banging the tray table, but he can travel the world and communicate easily. I’m going to have to have severe words with my parents now. This just isn’t fair.

Meanwhile, Paris is just as crazy and noisy as when we left. Apparently we went on a holiday… I’m not sure. I don’t remember.

Wow.

Monday, June 13th, 2011

What a morning. I only have two minutes to write this so I will keep it short. Tom and I got up early and arrived at Heraklion airport to find a mess of people trying to work out what queue to join to check-in and drop off bags. After pushing our way through we managed to get to our gate and then our plane was delayed (not by long, but still. Makes the story more exciting.) We had checked-in to our DIRECT flight from HERAKLION to PARIS which is why I am somewhat confused as to why I am currently sitting in ATHENS airport, using their free internet to write this while we wait for our NEXT PLANE to PARIS. There are a lot of very confused French tourists wondering what is going on. I’m not all that sure either. So not such a direct flight after all.

To make matters even more interesting, on the 35 minute flight between Heraklion and Athens I sat next to a woman who kept saying, “Oh very nice!” as Tom and I took our seats. As soon as I had fastened my seat belt she told me how pleased she was that we were sitting there and that she had been getting very worried as more and more black people and gays kept boarding the plane. Imagine if she had had to sit next to one of them! What on earth was she supposed to do then?! She then asked me where I was from and the conversation turned to Greece and how there are too many illegal immigrants who kill and rape people. And then she said, “You have Aborigines in Australia, don’t you?” and I responded with a particularly enthusiastic “Yes!” to prove that this was a-okay with me. I then almost choked when she then said, “They eat people, don’t they?” Apparently she had heard stories and refused to believe me when I assured her that the indigenous population of my home country were not cannibals and that she may actually find them quite pleasant people.

I can’t wait to see who I get to sit next to on this flight. I think I shall call this a mystery flight seeing as it is so unexpected. Actually, Tom and I are getting two flights for the price of one! Gosh we’re lucky folk. Thank you, Aegean Airlines.

Crete, Glorious Crete

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

I’m feeling a bit ‘bler’ at the moment, largely due to the fact that my three-week holiday is about to come to an end. Sure, I’m going to be flying back to Paris which is hardly the end of the world, but it was nice to escape the craziness of that city for a little while. We’ve spent three weeks travelling between three quiet, calm and generally relaxing places – a fishing village in Holland, a city full of old people in Germany, and a beachside/mountainside/resort town in Crete.

Crete is always a highlight – no where in the world wows me with its landscapes as much as this island. From powerful, impressive gorges and cliffs to oceans the colour that you only thought appeared in high-definition movies. In between you come across scraggy rocks with tufts of spiky grey-green plants and then lush forests with waterfalls and bright flowers. Considering they had snow here in winter, Crete seems to be where all possible landscapes and weather conditions join.

We have to catch a plane first thing tomorrow morning so we are spending the night in Heraklion, the capital city of Crete. We’re avoiding spending too much time there as it is hectic, hot and full of tourists. I think we’re leaving at a good time though – the European tourists are starting to arrive in full swing, ready to drink cocktails and get their summer tan. Time to head back to Paris where everyone is leaving for their holidays at the beach. Plus I have a job interview on Tuesday morning so I have to get back and face reality. Let’s just say the idea of talking about how good a writer I am in French is somewhat daunting. I figure if everyone reading this crosses all of their fingers and toes then that should be enough crossed digits to get me through. Thanks.

The Greeks Are Ahead of Everyone

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I am currently sitting in the Athens airport using free internet thanks to the wonderful Greeks. I have been to many airports in my life and most of them make you pay to access the internet. Not the Greeks. Sure, they may be bankrupt. They may only work for half of the year and spend most of that time chatting with their friends drinking ouzo, but they know how to provide their travels with useful, entertaining and necessary internet access. Thank you, Greece. I love you.

So in 30 minutes I am getting on my second plane for the day and flying to Crete. I have already spent two hours in a car driving from Koblenz to Frankfurt and then another two on a plane to Athens. When we arrive in Crete we’re getting our hire car and driving for almost three hours to Plakias where we will finally get out of moving vehicles. That will be nice.

I am very excited about getting to Crete – two years ago when Tom and I first travelled together, we spent two weeks in Crete riding around on a scooter, eating delicious Greek yoghurt and swimming in very blue water. I have been dreaming about going back since the day we left. Excitement plus. Hurry up, plane!