CX 138 SYD-HKG A333
Thursday 8 April 2010
Boarding: 2125 (Gate 31)
Takeoff: 2158 to South
Descent: 0415 (Hong Kong time)
Landing: 0445 from South
2-4-2 configuration in the main cabin, suiting me just fine. I have the window, Kerri the aisle, and there’s no middle seat to worry about.
What worries me are the chairs. Cathay Pacific has gone the “sink and slide” route instead of the old “recline and annoy” way. Yeah, you don’t push your seatback into the personal space of the passenger behind, but you create an uncomfortable gap somewhere around the small of your back as you try to sleep. I wedge a pillow in there and I’ve nothing for my head.
A red-eye flight and I’m hoping for sleep. Faint hope. Everytime I find a position that’s remotely comfortable, after a few seconds a knee or a foot or an arm begins complaining. Maybe I nap for a second or two here and there. Maybe.
I give up and watch a movie. At least that’s one thing I like about the new seats. The Audio-Visual on Demand system is touch screen, backed up by a remote, and there’s about a bazillion movies, TV shows, documentaries, CDs and games to occupy the jaded passenger. One could fly around the world a couple of times and still not see everything, let alone solve every Sudoku puzzle or climb every Asteroids level.
I choose Blackhawk Down from the list of movie classics. Never got around to seeing this one, so I enjoy it as best I can, contorting my body if not my brain.
Von Clausewitz, I think it was, said that everything in war is easy, but the easiest things are very difficult. The plan was beautiful, but once things went wrong, they really went wrong, and all the technology and all the firepower in the world couldn’t help those guys out there, isolated and uncomprehending, trying to force democracy on a society that couldn’t use it.
International travel is like that, I guess. Lost baggage, a delayed flight, a soggy passport, a stolen credit card, and all of a sudden the difficulties begin, and the poor passenger is stranded in a limbo of uncomfortable seats and lonely waiting rooms. I’m still mad at my bank for suspending my cards on my first trip to Istanbul – how was I to find a fax machine and someone willing to make an international call without any money?
Full of good food from the Flounge, we skipped the dinner offered. Breakfast was better: a skinny croissant and thin warm coffee, but that was all – we had another treat ahead in my second best airline lounge.
Bloglag: Istanbul (5 days)