We left Abu Dhabi International Airport, at eight am local time. Before we boarded, we were rushed rather hastily through the airport.
Off the plane, into a long winding queue where staff yelled at travellers in harsh tones. Eyes peered through Niqab’s, at the Westerners wandering through. Most of us in disarray, unsure exactly where to stand.
‘London. London. Through here.’ A man yells, as he opens a queuing rope to a new security gate, bypassing well over fifty other travellers. We ushered in, and removed our belts, and electronics from our persons.
‘Shoes!’ Another man yells at me, as I attempt to walk through the metal detector. I pace back to the conveyor belt to quickly remove my boots, before returning to the man with a stern look upon his face. No alarm bells, that’s a positive. And, even though I carry nothing which should have been detected, a feeling of relief still washes over me. As if, I expected something unexpected. I attempt to recoup my belongings, but, as I approach the conveyor belt my backpack is picked up by a customs staff member – also with a stern, and concerning look upon his face.
‘Excuse me, that’s my bag…’ No communication is returned to my vocal protest, directed at anyone who would listen. Not a set of eyes is turned in my direction. I try to put my boots back on, whilst collecting my coat, and belt. Before spotting my bag, back on the conveyor belt, and slowly but surely, coming towards me. Without another word spoken about the item, I grab it, and run off with the rest of my possessions in hand, attempting to return them to their rightful locations upon my body.
Coat, shoes, belt, and bag hanging from me, reasonably comfortably, I relocate with my travel acquaintances on the other side of customs. Regathered, and intact, we realise that we have ten minutes to get to our gate. We run.
This sandpit world experience, I am sure, is something akin to what a celestial alien would feel like, should they have a short-quick-dash through an exoplanet. With no invitation, knowledge, or understanding of what exactly they were going to encounter, within that short hour inside an intergalactic spaceport. Maddening; staring out at all those aircrafts being blasted with sand, as the wind gusts. A world so far from Aus, and yet there I was being rushed onto another aircraft, with absolutely no time to educate myself on whose home I had a just bound through.
Then we were off, and I was cramped into another economy seat. This time, I decided any attempt at sleep would be futile. So, as soon as the opportunity presented its self, I asked for a beer. Knowing that I was entitled to free alcohol, for the final part of my twenty-two-hour journey across the globe, was mildly comforting.
Perhaps, I should outline what lead me to be sitting on this plane, just four rows from a sweaty-little-angry-man, who pushed past us as we departed our last aircraft. This parasitic creature, spent the entire fourteen-hour flight from Brisbane either snoring, or staring directly at me from the aisle behind; before charging down the narrow walkway as we exited the aircraft.
A year or so ago, I drew to the conclusion that I was bored, and unamused by my homeland and city, of Brisbane, Australia. While I still hold nostalgic sentiments for where I have grown into the man I am today. I had for the most part, spent the last seven years somewhat unfulfilled. And, for whatever misguided reason, I decided that leaving everything I knew behind would bring me – at least a little – closer to the fulfillment that I was searching for. Given, all I really wanted to do – when you strip away all the bullshit that I tend to spew at any opportunity – was to bail-out from what I saw as a planned future.
My peers whom I lived amongst back home were busy planning their immediate futures, compromised of 10% deposits for mortgages, which they will never repay. Picking out their next car to finance to marginally lower their mediocre taxable incomes. And, deciding when, and where to begin their married lives drowning in their collective arbitrary debt from their “borrowed” degrees, and financed “assets”. A multiple choice, if you will, for the Australian Dream laid out before us. So, we can sit happily behind our white picket fence, to rot in our lifelong debt. Perhaps, that is a tad pessimistic… It could be the free airline beer talking; regardless, life in Aus seemed to be a bore, and I wasn’t yet prepared to submit to something so uninspired – not at a time like this… Or, perhaps, not ever.
So, despite having little interest in visiting – let alone living – in London, or the UK. I jumped on board without thought to consequence, at the first opportunity presented to me, to flee this life of uninspired debt… So, now I sit aboard this flight destined for my own uncertain future. The difference between myself, and the simpletons, which I speak of so endearingly, is: I carry no formal education, nor some unlimited credit, or funds in which to fulfil an indefinite journey across the planet. All I carry, is a $360 laptop, a mildly impressive, and inflated CV in management, and somewhat of an ability to string together words upon a blank page. Yet, I sit optimistic – despite how deluded that optimism may be – that I will land in the UK, and find that fulfillment, in this land of misery.