Monday, 4 April 2022

Going Home

I rise a little before 7:00. Yet a-fucking-gain. Only because I really have to. I've booked an Uber for 8:00. Which will get me to Navegantes about 2 hours before my flight to Sao Paolo departs. I like to leave extra time, in case something goes wrong. Which it often does.

Avoiding stress wherever possible. That's my health plan. Having to rush and worry does my head in. Much preferable is maybe having to hang around somewhere for a few hours. So what? I've every episode of Peep Show on my laptop.

The drive to Navegantes is uneventful. As is the checkin process. There are huge queues at gate 4, from which my flight will depart. But for the earlier flight. I've still got some time.

There isn't much it the way of shopping. Long dresses and hats. Some sort of healthy-sounding food. And a bakery selling draught beer. Brahma. 18 reals (about 3 euros) for a half-litre plastic cup. I drink quickly, before it warms up. I wouldn't want to taste it properly. I get another. This is rather relaxing. Though I haven't relaxed by beer-drinking pace.

Do I have time for a third? I can see the gate and they are clearly not ready to board. Beer number 2, I accompany with a meat pasty. We had mini ones as snacks during judging. It doesn't disappoint. I finish my beer in a few gulps when I see the queues moving at the gate. 

They're just doing priority boarding. I notice that the icons of those given preferential treatment includes someone with a walking stick. Presumably meaning old person. Surely I count as that at my age?

It seems the airline staff do. As I waltz confidently through. Maybe getting old isn't 100% bad?

The flight to Sao Paolo isn't long. A bit over an hour. I pick up my bag and start the long trek to terminal 3. At least they have free baggage carts. Unlike in annoying US airports where they'll charge you $10 to use one. 

Some of the airport layout is weird. Starting at terminal 2 departures (first floor) you can't get to the terminal 3 equivalent without going up a floor. The first floor stops in a dead end.

There's a huge queue at the Air France/KLM checkin. Luckily, not for Sky Priority. There are only a couple of blokes in front of me. Everyone else is catching an Air France flight. It's almost seven hours until mine.

I'm wearing long kecks. In anticipation of arrival in Amsterdam. They're rather loose around my waist. Once the belt is off, it's hard to stop then falling to my knees. Making the security check a nightmare. I manage to retain by dignity, just about. I must remember never to wear this pair for travelling again.

The very friendly man who checked me in pointed me in the direction of the relevant lounge: American Express. I was here just a few months ago. Not bad, if I remember correctly.

A reasonable variety of food and generous servings of whisky. I get one of the latter. Without ice. Then grab some cheese and stuff. Things I can nibble on over the long hours of Peep Show I have planned. Because I'm going to be here a long time.

Being very nervous when changing planes, I leave a long time between them. At least 4 hours when one is intercontinental. Today is an extreme example at 7 hours. I need to pace myelf. No more than four whiskies per hour. I wouldn't want to get too relaxed before my flight.

I fire down Peep Show when the monitor says "go to gate". It's still quite a walk. Through the shops and right down to the end of the pier. Ten minutes for a fit man. Maybe less than that. Closer to twenty for me. Broken old thing that I am.

I've timed boarding perfectly this trip. Not one minute of waiting around at the gate.

One reason I stocked my belly in the lounge was a worry about what sort of meal KLM would serve. Those horrible fucking meatballs on the way out. Yet again. No, this time it's sliced beer in gravy. Much better. I eat most of it.

The lights going out is an unsubtle hint that it's time to sleep. Down goes my head. And out go my thoughts.

Not a bad kip at all. A good few hours fully out.

There's a big queue at the non-EU passport lane. A lot of English young blokes on stag dos. I'm so looking forward to getting my Dutch passport.

My taxi home is a Tesla.


StuartP said...

You can get a pasty in Brazil. Glorious.

Steve D. said...

I am slightly surprised you have not specified a special meal in your Frequent Flyer profile. In one of my last vestiges from the 20th Century, when I signed up with airlines, I specified a Kosher meal. I do not keep Kosher, but I was tired of being served a ham and egg sandwich on morning flights [ORD-MCI].
Those are still around. The last time I flew to Tokyo, Japan on United | All Nippon Airways, I received the Kosher meal. On my flight back from Tokyo, the Kosher meal was from a kitchen in Victoria, Australia.