Things I’ve Learned Down Under Part 2: Flying


What’s the worst part about flying halfway around the world? Well, for me it was taking inventory so that if my crap burned down while in storage I’d have an iota of a clue what to claim and all the stuff that I used to have. But for everyone else, ostentatiously, it’s flying halfway around the world. All that tedious boring sitting, lack of leg room, and jet lag I gather is not terribly fun. Well minions, if anything a life invested in video gaming and digi-computer-stuff has given me, it’s the ability to sit still for long periods of time. Pish-posh I say to you athletes out there, you may live longer than me: but I can and will sit longer than you. I also made it considerably less boring on myself with three core strategies. Gaming, reading, and more gaming. Never go anywhere where you will have to sit still for hours on end without a copy of Civilizations. It’s a game that normally takes hours to play… but somehow I managed to finish up a game within 30 minutes of turning on my laptop. So for the rest of the flight from Toronto to Vancouver, I read up on some of Sun Tsu’s Art of War. In Vancouver, I had a brief moment to stretch my legs while the plane refueled, and then having left my PS3 (and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) back in Toronto hopped back on for some River City Ransom using (and I have no qualms pimping this thing two posts in a row) GameEx.

Now as to the latter of the two demons: lack of leg room and jet lag. Well… when you’re 180+ cm tall like me, leg room can indeed be an issue. But showing up early and getting yourself a decent seat can go a long way toward alleviating such worries. Sit behind a bulkhead, or near an emergency exit if you need to sprawl. And jet lag? Took the advice here for sleeping as though I were already at my destination and experienced absolutely no jet lag when I arrived down under.

That said, as I write this, tonight was supposed to have been the last night before my wife arrived in Sydney. So my freshest tips for the travel inclined? For starters, if you’ve got a long haul flight like this I heavily recommend trying to ensure that you have no connecting flights. For me it was a quick get off for the plane to refuel, and then back on the exact same plane. No rushing through the airport to find my connection, and minimal time waiting around going nowhere. Failing that, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a good cushion of time between your connections so that you don’t miss said connection. My wife’s Los Angeles bound flight on United Airlines was an hour late due to strong headwinds. That had her landing at the same time that the connection was boarding. Now for some reason, UA decided that even though both flights were UA, there was no need to give her both boarding passes. After deplaning, she had to wait in a line to get her next boarding pass. She was directed to the wrong line. Twice. She missed her connection. Note that airlines will sometimes try to avoid taking credit for their tom foolery. Give them credit. Give them credit, and then take their credit: in the form of vouchers for accommodations.

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