Friday, April 13, 2012

The Journey to Bologna

The look of fear before I  board the plane. (Photo: Kenneth Quek)

The calm, cool and very capable Kenneth before we board.
(Photo: Kenneth Quek but taken by me)

16 March 2012

To say I'm a nervous air traveler is an understatement. I guess I really should stop watching Air Crash Investigation, shouldn't I? So poor Kenneth Quek was saddled with me for our 18 hour journey from Singapore to Bologna.

Nerves had been kicking in for the whole week and on the morning of our departure I was a complete wreck. I usually fly on Singapore Airlines when I fly at all, but this time we were flying on British Airways. Being an aviation enthusiast and an airline connoisseur, Kenneth was looking forward to the flight; I, on the other hand, was relatively subdued as he picked me up in a cab and I bade my parents farewell. I only remember bits and pieces of our conversation on the way to the airport, but once we were checked in a sense of calm  over came me as we waited to board our plane.

Panic set in when I couldn't shut down my iphone and it would just reboot itself whenever I tried to switch it off. It was mocking me, taking great pride in pushing my buttons, seeing how much I could actually take. "Just leave it on airline mode. It will be fine," Kenneth assured me for the umpteenth time as I could feel beads of perspiration dot my brow, and my cheeks began to twitch as they normally do when I am nervous.
The economy seats: It was almost too economical for my behind!

We finally boarded the plane and found our seats, which to say were minuscule is an understatement. Ok, economy seats are not the most spacious but this was ridiculous. Anyway, I shoved my bag into the overhead compartment after removing my toiletry bag, my ipad and my Bible--You know just so that God was there on me on the flight. Not that I'm an overly religious person, but it was good to know that he would be with me. Of course I had sent multiple text messages to family and friends to pray for a smooth, non-turbulent flight and above all to reach my destination safely.

With that I buckled my seatbelt and sat silently and waited for take off. Kenneth was already in his seat with his eyes closed- meditating, contemplating the trip or just merely asleep. Probably asleep as he had been working practically 24/7 at his job as the Festival Manager of the Asian Festival of Children's Content for the past couple of months. I gripped my handrests as the plane taxied down the runway, building speed before finally taking off. The plane shuddered slightly as the wheels retracted and gained altitude. We were in the air... and there  there was nowhere else to go but up....

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