4pm, Thursday, Flying over central Australia
We had lunch in the terminal and then realised that we'd both forgotten to bring and card games – Fluxx, Love Letter, not even UNO. So we had to find something in the terminal. Cue a newsagent that sells battleships for $13 (purchased without hesitation), and a deck of cards for NINE DOLLARS (purchased with extreme prejudice). But cards are necessary on this twenty four hour slog.
Most of the take off from Sydney airport was fine. In fact all of it was. We're sitting towards the back of the upper deck of a A380 – two seats, thank god, so there's no climbing over strange idiots. Walking through Business Class to get here is a rude experience though. Those seats are luxurious and big, with plenty of foot space to stretch out and sleep. And classical music, James notes. Such class.
Contrast ,if you will, with our economy seats. We are sitting in the window bay, with nobody behind us, so we get extra incline. All of our stuff is jammed in, but that's fine – I have a thousand electronic devices. I took my shoes off before takeoff, which flies in the face of the safety video, but I don't care. #YOLO
There's an American sitting in front of me who observed that "planes have come a long way since the Wright brothers". There's something intensely frustrating about American exceptionalism, particularly the way it is constantly re-expressed by American travellers. Everything is reduced to some achievement of the US. When I was in Munich two years ago, Germany was equated to Texas. As though the Americans couldn't get more self-absorbed, suddenly a nationality as old as Germany is coopted into their asinine Southern circus.
I bought a travel pillow in Dymocks yesterday. It is Lonely Planet branded, so I assumed it would be the best. This assumption was false, because when I tested it on the flight it turns out to be rock hard (which I thought would be just great for my posture). It is really large and holds my neck and head firmly away from the seat, in such an awkward manner that my back contorts into a kind of f shape. Even supplemented with the complimentary pillow from Singapore Airlines, I don't know how comfortable this is ever going to be. I don't intend to sleep until the second – longer – leg of my flight, so hopefully I will be too exhausted to care. Else this flight is going to be savage.
Oh god, the Americans have started talking about Trump. Quell surprise.
We have two choices of wine – Chardonnay or Riesling. The red is not an option because it will be 100% guaranteed toxic piss. And I will have a headache and I checked my 100-pack of nurofen with my baggage.
Strategising the next 7 hours, I'm going to tackle Arundhati Roy's Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Hopefully I can finish it by Singapore – a big ask but we'll see. Then I might kwatch Power Rangers. Or some of the excellent HBO loaded onto this flight. The calibre of entertainment here is great – I wonder if this is a Singapore Airlines thing (because Etihad was pretty lame on this front).
Will check in later.
8:41pm (Australia time), halfway over Indonesia
We're two and a half hours out of Singapore. I'm standing at the moment because sitting is savage. I love flights this long. It's weird – like you're in a cocoon transforming into a foreign butterfly. Or perhaps more accurately a hideous moth, given the state you're in when you get off the plane.
For the last hour I've been playing Civilisation V (vastly superior to its sequel). I am Egypt, located around Central America. To the north, the Arabs, who are trying to spread Islam into my empire. Obviously this is obnoxious, since my own faith – Massive Dynamic – is pushing out faster than Australia is secularising. To the south, the Catholic Brazilians. They just asked me for 750 gold and I obliged because my economy is the envy of the world. Across the ocean, somewhere north of china, sits Caesar, with whom I have an embassy exchange. He is the most powerful military force in the world. And more technologically advanced than I…for now. We won't allow this to stand for long. I bide my time. Let these other petty powers fight their wars, and leave me to grow in the light of reason. I am a bit sick of having to convert Singapore (in game) to my religion though. Pricks.
Two hours and a bit to go, then we land and I eat. Maybe send this to the internet.
The cabin is dark. People are trying to sleep. Idiots. Sleep is for the second, longer, more savage leg.
12:55am, Singapore time
We are at this airport, waiting to leave. The smokers area was a sweaty furnace full of toxic fumes and strange red plants. I bought an iced coffee. I need to stay awake for 5 more hours into the next flight so that I am marginally less tired when we get to Heathrow.
Boarding in ten. Expect less updates.