Monthly Archives: April 2009

QF10 – Paris to Melbourne – a revolutionary road

So there was plenty of space in business class and I got my upgrade. Yippee do dah !

That means I get the chair that turns into a bed and blankets, cushions and PJs. Good food, wine and big screen movies. Nice headsets and stretching out all make it much more comfortable when travelling 19000 kms over Belgium, Russia, India and down to Singapore, where I’ve just had a 60 minute stopover.

Back in the air I’ve moved forward one row to 12. I’ve got two seats to boot!
12 A and B !

I had the marinated chicken, salad and a wonderful tart that was teamed up with a Coonawarra cab sav.

The food together with the movie I’m watching “Revoltutionary Road” got me thinking about France and the wonderful experience it was. I really liked the way life happened there. Maybe it’s a romantic notion and there is something in that. But I think there’s more to it. It also depends on which slice of life you cut through to I suppose.

Yet on the crowded Metro yesterday I saw even the regular folk were doing something apart from the rest of the world even just up the road in Belgium or across the street in Switzerland. France is different. Paris – “people are alive there” Frank from Revolutionary Road.

Another film I watched, a doco, was “Not Forgotten”. A story about the World War 1 memorials and the personal stories of the names on those stones.

It was a very moving work. I’m going to build on and share my experience in Northern France and Beligum. I want to share those stories of my family so the victims of W.A.R. are not forgotten.

Those victims were on both at home and on those far away fields that are not so far away anymore. I’ve seen them and they are real.


Reflections on Terminal 4

Caught the taxi from the Hotel in Saint Michel, Paris to Charles de Gaulle aerogare (my word) where I left Europe. Dragging my bag and attendant parcels of glassware and recently purchased momentos.

I hung out at CdG figuring I’d be better with a bag to put all the glassware and Easter eggs in.

The flight from Paris to London is meant to be one and a quarter hours. It arrived 20 mins early. Then I had to make my way to Terminal 4 from Terminal 5. Simple I thought. Not so Alex. It takes 2 hours to clear security the customs official told me “and then you have to get to Terminal 4” she said. First bum steer.

Catch the train the guy with the Scottish accent and official looking garb. “Can I use €’s for that” I say.

“Its free” says he in his best Scot. Socialism lives even in the UK!

After getting to the platform serves the London bound train an official looking woman in smart uniform says I’m on the wrong platform for London. “I just want to go to Terminal 4” says I in a desperate voice.

“So it’s the bus you’ll be wanting” says she – “It’s quicker”. “I’ll show you where”. Bum steer number 2 as she directs me to a bus stop with a bus waiting. But this driver ignores the would be passenger from the Antipodes whose carrying more luggage than a camel train driver. I see the friendly looking British Airways attendant and thinking she’ll know, I ask her. “Over there to the Terminal 4 bus” she directs me, in her best scottish song.

Bum steer number 3.

I’m redirected on to the “true” path by another soul. Though he suggests I go back into Terminal 5 and take the train! Not that again. The never ending buddist circle. No I’ll find the magical mystery bus. The true path to enlightenment.

On the true path I meet the BA lassie who apologises for giving me the wrong steer and then she goes into overdrive helping me through bus routes and timetables to get me to Terminal 4. Thank you!

2 minutes and you’ll get a bus. I’m trusting but not convinced.

She and the other air attendents board their bus and I wait ! Then along comes the 390 or whatever. On I get bags flapping everywhere. The driver confirms we are going to Terminal 4.
I do not believe him.

We make another stop (eating into my 2 hour security clearance). On hops another man about my age. At first I think he’s English, turns out to be Spanish who lived here for 16 years but now lives in Peru. He is heading home to Lima. He tells me this is the Terminal 4 bus for sure. I believe him.

We arrive at the entrance to Terminal 4 and I can see the QANTAS desk. Australian spoken! A billabong at last.

The clerk confirms my upgrade to Business Class, the sleeping capsule, the food and drink. I have been enlightened.

The Last Post (bar one or two)

Today is Good Friday and later this afternoon I board British Airways flight from Charles De Gaulle for London and then on to QF 10 for Singapore and Melbourne.

For the first time on this trip I’m feeling unwell nothing serious just a sore throat. I grabbed a strip of night and day tablets before checking in my bag.

Spent my last day in Paris which was the begining of Easter weekend shopping and having my last cafe creme at a brasserie on the corner of Boulevarde Saint Michel and Saint Germain. Sitting on the striped cane chairs and watching the European world walk by, thinking about all I’ve seen and done in these past nine weeks. Wondering about it all.

So soon I’ll be off and all this will be a dream.

Goodbye Europa!

Test post

I’ve been having problems with posts being visible BUT I THINK IT’S NOW FIXED

Fingers crossed