Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Good Omen

Red called half an hour before I was to leave for the airport to let me know traffic was chaos – I cancelled my pre-booked taxi and asked them to come straight away.

Whisked off to the domestic terminal with the taxi groaning under the weight of my bags, I arrived in record time.  No traffic jams, no queues at Qantas and a small warning for being over weight.   A good omen indeed Red assured me.

I prefer to fly aisle seat, I like to be able to get in and out when I please.   British Airways offer a choice of seat if you pay – so I paid.

However for the London to Paris leg, the Good Omen was still at work.  It is many years since I have flown into Charles de Gaulle and it is snowing, therefore I would like a window seat.  

The Qantas check in lady exclaimed they already have you on a window seat for that leg!  We both smiled and I felt an overwhelming feeling of emotion sweep over me and thought, now is not the time to burst into tears at the check in counter.

As she handed me my boarding passes, she smiled, ‘have a lovely Christmas in Paris’.

It is Christmas day tomorrow and I am going to Paris with my fur draped over my arm, my new Mac Air with its new Gelaskin to protect it and an ample supply of antibiotics and nasal spray from the recent cold I have developed.

As I sit here waiting to board with my fur and my carry on baggage next to a plastic seeing-eye dog – I feel like I am already in Paris with pup at my side!

The flight was delayed which meant a scramble to get the flight from Sydney to Singapore and no time to collect tax for my recent purchases.

I didn’t realise at the time, how grateful I would be later to have had a shower at Singapore airport and to have brought a change of clothes.

Did you know that Malaysian mouse deer is at its most tastiest, fried?

This is what I learned, while I had a foot and leg massage and a shower during my stop over.

The short flight from Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle didn’t disappoint, not only did I get that window seat but I was on the right side of the plane which meant I had magnificent sweeping views of a very White Christmas Paris, The Eiffel Tower pointing up in all its glory along with the giant La Defènse arch, tears started stinging my eyes again as I fought to hold them back.  What is it about Paris that makes me so emotional?  Maybe it is just everything.

After waiting an hour and not long before the conveyer belt stopped, I had a sinking feeling that myself and a couple of people left at the carousel were not going to have bags today. 

My biggest fear was the driver with the key to my apartment would only wait half an hour after the flight as specified, it seemed the good omen had done its dash.

But it hadn’t the baggage is lost but the driver waited.  I am not sure if he realised how grateful I was.

Ted my Polish driver was watching the time as he was due to have Christmas Lunch with his family.   When the key didn’t fit in the door after we had both read the instructions for the 10th time I could sense he also was about to unravel.  Neither of us noticed we were in the wrong apartment block, phew.

We got in, I gave him my complimentary bottle of French red wine to share with his family to offer my thanks.

I did joke if a fur coat and a smile would suffice, at the moment, it will have to, as that is all I have.

But, after all, I do have Paris.


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