I have attempted to write this post a number of times. In differing formats. With swear words and without. All in an attempt to convey the fucked-ness of our journey from the Sunshine Coast, Australia, to Cape Town, South Africa. This is the best I can come up with: it was a Shit Show from almost start to finish with just a few moments of awesome.
We start at 3am when, upon attempting to get our children dressed, the Boetman has a COMPLETE meltdown over the fact he has to wear long pants. In a rare fit of capitulation from the United States of Mama he travels across timezones wearing a pair of shorts. Because… pants.
The drive to Brisbane Airport is uneventful, as is check in and a quick visit to the Qantas Lounge which to be fair, was actually awesome. They have a great kids section which is away from the main area without making us child bearing folk feel like lepers.
The flight down to Sydney was marred by ear pain on descent for Sussie who screamed and cried enough for us to be admonished by the stewardess for not having a lollipop for her to suck on. Water, according to the Soft Touch Stewardess was “a bit mean” in the sympathy stakes.
Then after a bus transfer over to the international terminal (high excitement for The Boetman) we located their Qantas Lounge (after a heated mid- terminal fight over whether an arrow pointing to the right actually means you should go right) and the section for second class citizens. Sorry, I mean people with children. This is where things turned pear shaped.
After fight Number 2 over whether ‘boarding’ means the flight is about to close or whether it means make your way to the gate, we rushed down and were the last on the plane just in time to sit and wait on the tarmac for a while. Good times.
Fast forward 14 hours and I was pretty close to stabbing the mother behind me with my eyes. Heads up Douche Canoe, letting your 6 year old ‘play’ with the overhead light button for 2 hours whilst everyone else in the cabin is trying to sleep is not cool. NOT COOL!!! There were other crimes committed by this numnut but I just can’t be bothered. Apparently Douche Canoes and their kids also fly in planes.
We arrived in Johannesburg in time for an hour long wait at passport control, which was just enough for The Boetman to completely lose his shit: “I want to go home now” “I just want to have a rest” “Waaaah” rang out through the immigration hall. Lots of sympathetic looks from everyone except the people who actually work at passport control.
10 minutes before our next flight closed we checked in just in time to hear it was delayed by an hour. This wasn’t so bad, but then it was delayed by another hour which IS bad. The kids fell asleep on a couch in the airport lounge 30 minutes before we boarded, their first real sleep in 28 hours (thanks mostly to the aforementioned Douche Canoe). We then had Round 2 of Shit Losing, this time with both The Boetman and Sussie crying uncontrollably as we boarded our final, full, flight. I then lost my shit, topped with some hateful sobbing before we all passed out for the bulk of the flight to Cape Town.
We finally landed, got our stuff and then experienced one of those wonderful moments when you walk through the doors into the waiting arms of family you haven’t seen for 3 years.
Was 31 hours of travelling, door to door worth it? Well, I haven’t stopped eating, drinking, gazing at magnificent landscapes, laughing and feeling the warmth of arms we haven’t seen in years.