Apr 09

After a very enjoyable and relaxing vacation, I’m now back home in Finland. I left Melbourne on Sunday the 4th, traveled by plane to Sydney, where I embarked on the flight to London. After 8 hours of sitting next to two young, loud and every which way obnoxious German ladies the flight stopped in Bangkok. The second leg of the flight was underway about an hour later.

The cabin of the plane was quite hot, about +28C I’d guess. I had to take off my shoes and socks and roll up my jeans as much as I could without blocking circulation. I still felt too hot though, so I decided to find some metal parts under the seats which would feel cool to the touch. They provided temporary relief at best.

With some 8-9 hours of flight time left I actually felt that my head would explode in the cramped window seat. I do have a mild case of (self-diagnosed) claustrophobia, which manifests itself in tight spaces with no immediate exit, and it didn’t make matters any better. It was a night flight, so the people next to me were trying to sleep, so I didn’t want to disturb them either.

I of course tried to sleep multiple times, but soon after I closed my eyes, I felt even more disturbed about my cramped surroundings. So I decided to watch an in-flight movie – Dial ‘M’ for Murder, which I already knew to be excellent. I still couldn’t sleep after the movie was finished, so I proceeded to listen to the podcasts I had wisely stored on my iPod before the flight.

At one gracious moment, I finally fell asleep. I only slept for about half an hour though, but it really felt like a true blessing. It lifted my spirits tremendously, and I knew that I could get through the rest of the flight more easily.

Lesson learned – the economy class seats are cheap for a reason. Next time pay more for a better seat, preferably in premium economy or even business class. If all else fails, at least get an aisle seat so that you can stand up and have a walk without the neighbouring passengers having to crawl out of their seats twice for you.

Finally the flight arrived at London in the morning of the 5th of April. I had to wait for the connecting flight to Helsinki for about three hours. I grabbed the DVD box of Ashes to Ashes season 2 from the HMV outlet at the Heathrow terminal. I have to say that the DVD’s are about 1/2-1/3 the price in the UK as compared to Australia, which is quite astonishing. Then again, I have long bought all my books and DVD’s/Blu-rays from the UK, so I’m not too aware of the price levels of these products anywhere else.

When I boarded the plane to Helsinki, I heard someone speak Finnish to me in person the first time in a month, when the flight attendant said “huomenta”. The other staff were Finnish as well, and being close to my own people was truly heartwarming after the unusually horrific flight from Sydney to London.

All in all, Australia matched my high expectations, and it’s obvious that I will be back there, hopefully sooner than later. Already when I arrived there, I knew it wasn’t going to be my last time down under.

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