17:00 pm, GMT+1
Bags packed. Hiking boots on. Passport? Check. Visa? Check. Laptop? Mosquito repellent? Phone? Camera? Check, check, check, check. Hugs, goodbyes, tears. Boarding passes. We’re ready.
“Glastra van Loon? Could Passenger Glastra van Loon report to the information desk as soon as possible. Thank you.”
‘What did you do. Myrthe. Dude.’
‘Maybe they’re upgrading us to first class?’ Myrthe laughs. The laugh lasts a good three seconds, before she realises what the airport attendant is holding up.
‘Is this yours?’ She holds up the camera. And the passport. And the boarding pass. Check, check, check.
Alright, reset. We’ve got everything, our passports have been checked. We’re on the plane. Now all we have to do is sit back and relax with our high-tech inflight entertainment, our drinks, our tiny portions of slightly dodgy airplane food. Thankfully, Garuda Indonesia has provided us with a luxurious assortment of films, including ‘Super Didi’, ‘Yoga Kung Fu’ and ‘Her Love Boils Bathwater’. We’re sorted. Hey, who are we to complain. We’re going to Hong Kong.
4:00 am, GMT+1
Who are we kidding. We’re going to Jakarta. A twelve hour airport layover awaits us when we land, before another 5 hour flight to Hong Kong. At least another full 24 hours before we crash in our AirBnB. But then again, our temporary destination awaits 11,000 metres below our feet. I can’t wait.
Neither of us have slept yet though. Not for a lack of trying. We’ve had our melatonin pills, a glass of wine to help them along, we’ve got our pillows, noise-cancelling headphones, eye-mask thing, blankets… it’s out of our hands now. Nothing we can do about it. Try as we might, getting comfortable in a heavily air-conditioned plane in a seat that you can barely squish half an arsecheek into, with a man oddly fascinated with his magical ability to turn the reading light on and off, with what must be a severely ADHD child in front of you and one behind… well, impossible doesn’t cover it.
Promise, this writing will lighten up soon. When we land. In two days time. Until then, prepare yourselves for more grumpy inserts.
11:00 am GMT +1 (16:00 Jakarta)
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have arrived. Ish. Kinda. We’re in Jakarta. So, positives, we’re on the right continent. Even better, we’ve discovered that this airport is 10/10 fancy. Possibly the most luxurious airport either of us have witnessed. The colossal structure consists primarily of pristine glass, with enormous white beams holding up a spotless ceiling, which casts a reflection of the mirror-shine of the reflective floor. Basically, feels like we’re in some very, very clean version of a mirror house. Mirror mansion. Mirror palace. You get the idea.
When we say clean, we mean clean. Have you ever seen Wall.e.? You remember the little robot that whizzes around in circles cleaning up every spot of dirt Wall.e. leaves behind? That is this airport. Except the cleaning robot didn’t stare at you as if you were some kind of blonde-haired alien. And there weren’t fifty-thousand of them.
Not over exaggerating here either. As in, there’s a beautiful, fully made up, smiling lady welcoming every passenger into the toilet. As soon as you’re in, you can see her reflection in the door moving to clean the doorknob that you just touched, while you desperately try to get over your fear of being heard peeing. Then, once you leave, she scuttles back in to the stall, scrubbing it back to its’ already pristine state. Lord if only UCU students were this paranoid about the state they left their toilet in.
Until next time!
Myrthe & Eva