Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Somewhere over Sri Lanka

It's been three days since we were in Argentina.  In those three days we've spent 35 hours in airplanes, 9 hours in a car driving on the wrong side of the road,  5 hours sitting in airports, crossed 18 timezones, and have spent 2 hours skiing.  Luckily that skiing was on a volcano, in good snow, beneath a waterfall.  Totally worth it!  And as long as the plane isn't rolling 30 degrees like the ship in the Drake Passage we shouldn't complain too much.

Check in for the flight in New Zealand was a bit frustrating.  Our ski bag was 1 kg over the weight limit.  We removed some items.  Then a supervisor complained loudly about us carrying-on our ski boots.  She said they would confiscate them at security and we must go buy a duffle bag and check them.  To make it more fun, she said "Check-in for this flight closes in 20 minutes so you better hurry!"  After pleading to no avail, I ran down to a store in the airport, purchased a duffle bag, and we checked our boots.  We were instructed to place our gear in a room for fragile bags, which consisted of a 10' X 10' room with white walls and floor, and about 200 "Fragile" stickers littering the floors and walls.  We go through painless passport control, and at the security station I ask the guard whether it is ok to carry-on ski boots.  The answer: "absolutely!"  I learned the hard way that economy folks don't get as treated as well as when I fly business.  No matter, Emirates has slid way down my list of preferred carriers.

We boarded a plane, which is a monstrous Airbus A380-800.  This thing hold 450+ people on two floors.  Or at least I think two floors.  Being economy I am not allowed to even approach the staircase to the mythical first class cabin upstairs.  Regardless of the upstairs, the main level is huge, with a 3 seats, aisle, 4 seats, aisle, 3 seats configuration.  There are four cabins on the main level, each with about 25 rows.  It comes complete with mood lighting and a video camera feed from the top of the tail to see where the plane is going.

 The purple hue in the plane is either an ode to Prince or signifying the sun is setting, which I would not have known since we are about a football field away from the nearest window in this plane.
New security protocal.  Metal Knife: OK.  Metal pointed fork: OK.  Metal spoon: way to dangerous...better make it plastic.  
7-Up in arabic.  And miniature can.  With a 15-hour flight, we wouldn't want passengers to get too hydrated.
View from the tail of the aircraft.  This is pretty cool.  We are sitting over the wing, two-levels down.

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