Friday, 29 March 2013


Okay, so the more perceptive among you may notice that I am writing and uploading this blog post while I am supposed to be in the air, somewhere between Cairns and Tokyo. The reason I am bending time and space like this, is because I am not actually in the air. SURPRISE! We got up at 3.45 this morning, and Mum drove myself, Dad and Marnie to the airport where we met Margaret. We checked our baggage and bought some breakfast and waved goodbye to Mum and then snoozed on and off on the three hour plane flight to Cairns, which went more or less uneventfully all things considered. When we got to Cairns, we had the smallest of dramas with some nail scissors packed in our checked luggage, but all was resolved within ten minutes. We then spent a pleasant few hours in the terminal, browsing shops and chatting and eating morning tea. We had to be at our gate at 11.35am to board our flight, which was leaving at 12.05. I called Sean and Mum to say a last goodbye because I won't have my Australian SIM over in Japan.

At 11.35 on the dot, the announcement came over the terminal - our flight was cancelled due to maintenance issues and was delayed until 6am the following morning. An 18 hour delay. I sort of had one of those out-of-body experiences while the announcement was being said. We all sat still and listened, wondering if it was a joke, or some kind of mutual group aural hallucination. Apparently it was not, and we followed an absolutely enormous pack of people down to baggage claim to recollect our bags. Now, we were so organised and efficient this morning, that we were among the first people to check our baggage. We were rewarded for this by being the last people to collect our bags, as everyone else's luggage was piled on top of ours. During the distribution of baggage, the carousel broke. Twice. About a year later, we made our way back through to where we originally checked in and then proceeded to wait another couple of centuries, at the very back of the line, to find out where we're staying the night. I could feel pieces of my brain falling away like a wet cake (thank you for the analogy, Black Books), but we eventually got on a mini bus that took us to the Cairns Colonial Club. We queued for a bit longer, before a nice man told us just to go eat something, and then he would bus us to our ACTUAL hotel (which is the Palm Royale Cairns).

It's hot in Cairns. Hot and sticky and humid and this is weather I did not pack for. So I am currently sitting in the hotel lobby on their wifi without my shoes because all I have are thick socks and walking boots. AND THEY HAVE A BEAUTIFUL TROPICAL POOL HERE AND GUESS WHO DIDN'T PACK BATHERS. Our room is nice though. Dad and Marnie and Margaret have gone into Cairns, but I'm too tired, so I'm going to finish this blog and sit by the pool with my (white, white) legs in the water.

Oh, and we have a 2.45am wake-up call tomorrow. In order to catch the 3.15am bus to the airport, and check-in at 4am. Never mind. Hopefully we'll all be so steamrollered by exhaustion that we'll sleep all the way to Narita. It's nowhere near as bad as it could have been, and I'd much rather be on a safe flight, free of maintenance issues, but by golly it's not how I pictured starting the holiday. Dad is a superstar and has sorted the hotel and the phones and the friend that we were going to catch up with tomorrow and let them all know. I guess we're also extremely lucky because we are English speakers. There are a lot of Japanese people stranded, and not all of them have good English skills, and it would be terribly confusing for them. But it's heartening - not once have I seen a passenger get rude or aggressive to staff. It would be a douchey thing to do, but I somewhat expected it, and it's not the poor staff's fault that the plane is broken.

Hopefully, (crossing all appendages), the next time I blog will be from Tokyo!

Our Cairns hotel room

Beautiful pool I can't swim in!

I'm guess skinny-dipping's always an option...

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