Leaving Vancouver on Friday the 13th (May), put me in a mild panic. It's safe to say that I have never been so nervous about flying. The whole day went too smoothly, which only added to my growing feeling of discomfort.
The day starts well, and annoyingly gets better. BJ rings my room, he has to come into town so will pick up my bags and take me wherever I need to be. On the way to some errands "as luck would have it" we bump into Emma and Takoda going to the shops. We have a leisurely stroll back to the apartment via the First Nation Artists' Gallery where I buy some pressies.
I easily get a bus to the market and find "by chance" a shop selling Celtic stuff, where I buy the perfect gift for Takoda, a 'teach youself Welsh' postcard, (well he's got to learn sometime) and even manage to time the bus back so I get off, go to the post office and get back to the bus stop just as the next bus arrives. It's all worryingly easy.
On the way to the airport, we hit some traffic, but to may dismay still manage to arrive on time and are even able to park right in front of the entrance without being moved on. I fail dismally to get lost in the poorly signposted terminal and regrettably find the check-in desk with no problems whatsoever, where I am checked in Barbie and although I find it amusing that she asks me twice whther I have packed my own bags etc, I should have realised that this was an alarm bell ringing. After entering the US (yes you can do this without leaving Vancouver airport), with only minor irritation from the grunting moron behind the counter, I found my gate, witnessed the pilot get on the plane, clearly sobre, and sat in my seat. Ahaa! In front of me (in fact all around me is the Fijian family Robinson, chattering and arguing as only a family can, complete with baby screaming at full decibels. This is it I thought, 6 hours in someone else's family, HELL!!
Unfortunately the plane was half empty, so it was an easy matter to move and I was shown to the exit seat. Gotcha, I thought! The plane is going to crash and I will be crushed in the stampede for the door. Oh what a cruel irony I tell myself! If only I hadn't changed seats! By the time we took I could have drawn the safety diagram from memory.
Of course we didn't crash either on take off or landing, and in fact I had 3 seats to myself to sleep on, which of course I didn't because I was listening to every noise of the engines. Air Pacific whilst unlikely to win any prizes made every effort to make my flight as comfortable as possible.
Landing in Hawaii, the Las Vegas of Pacific islands, we are treated to a spectacular view of the lights of Honolulu and exiting the plane, I discover proximate internet and coffee facilities. Bingo!!
Then it starts.....Friday the 13th Part II..Barbie's Revenge......
"Would passenger Wakely please return to gate 34"
"I'm afraid you are not checked in for the flight to Nadi, sir"
"You're only checked in to here, sir"
"Ah, that's because I was checked in by a moron, what can we do about it?"
"We can check you in right here , sir" Phew! Problem solved.
Five minutes before boarding, a thought occurs to me "Erm, if I'm only booked in as afar as Honolulu, where's my luggage?"
"Oh yes sir, we should really do something about that shouldn't we?"
Aaaarrgh! Bottom emptying panic!!
Ten minutes later, "Um what's happening, exactly?"
"I don't know sir"
"Can you find out?" I'm starting to wish they would stop calling me sir and do something useful instead.
Finally the Supervisor arrives, "Your bag's on the plane sir"
"Yes sir. Oh and the plane is delayed"
Two hours later in the most uncomfortable airport lounge in the world, (I think they had a plaque on the wall), I am ready to kill. This may seem extreme, but try being woken up in the middle of the night, being shocked, then being prevented from sleeping by some chirpy cockney geeza, banging on about nothing, then judge me.
Aloha? My arse!