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  • Dougie

Those are 16 hours I'm never getting back

Updated: Jul 3, 2022

Word of advice ...

Never -- I mean JAMAIS ... never get on a plane for 14 hours in the cheap seats with a tired, grumpy, Scottish quadriplegic. Do not sit next to him. Do not acknowledge his presence. Do not put yourself through the misery of travelling with Dougie.

It's not entirely my fault. It's called a long haul flight for a reason -- it is a very loooooooong haul when you cannot sleep, when you're constantly worried about pressure damage to your knees because they are in contact all through the flight with the hard sides of the cheap seat in front of your own cheap seat, when you sweat throughout the flight because the cushion you're sitting on is probably not protective enough of your scrawny paralysed arse.

Two things you should also know:

  • It's my own damn fault. I should have known better. I've done this loads of times before. How many times have you told yourself? "Douglas -- never buy cheap seats again. They are cheap for a reason."

  • Spike is an angel. If I think my 14 hours were Hellish. Imagine how much worse it was sitting next to me.

We arrived in Doha at that non-existent, not real time of day that one finds only during non-stop long haul flights. The Twilight Zones where your plane does actually stop. The airport transit 'lounge' where you have a quick wash, brush your teeth and wander aimlessly for two hours or so before boarding once again.

It was 5:00 a.m. in a place we would not visit. I had no idea what time it was in Sydney. I was too tired to know or care what time it was in Paris.

I had one question only, "are we there yet?"

"Not yet dear," said my guardian angel, "we'll be there soon."

I cannot tell a lie. I nearly wept when I saw that our next flight would be on board an Airbus

A380. They may be the never profitable, great white elephant of modern aviation. But they are marvellous airplanes. Even the cheap seats on the A380 are not terrible.

I intend to sleep.

Next stop Charles De Gaul.

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