Monday, October 23, 2006

I am so impressed of late with Ben’s musings, I have decided to post. I just don’t know how to compete, but I will give it a bash. Not the bash, but a bash. At least. At the very least. A little nudge maybe.

Travelling for work – I mean, the novelty is well over. Well over. I am more over it than I am over the cricketer, and that is saying something. There is the suggestion there may be a bit of mana attached to travelling for work, and of course I have the odd perk, like building my airpoints etc, but after this week, I am not not happy. Not. Happy. At. All. And. Over. It. Last week: case in point.

Where I work in Sydney is out in the Eastern suburbs, (Parramatta, aka Boganvillia) and due to last minute nature of trip last week, the place I normally stay at on such business trips had no accommodation available.

Now, I didn’t realise this til until then, but I actually rather like Quest. Sterile, yes, but sparkling white clean with minibar, free soaps and moisturiser, clean crisp sheets, and lovely spa bath. I always get the same room service, (fillet steak) I know what to have for breakfast, (fruit compote thingee) I know where the gym is, (no I do use it, really) etc.

Travelodge, on the other hand, is a totally new experience in my sphere, and might I add I have been backpacking. Stressed out attendants, spartan lounge area, warm bread masquerading as toast and there was dust in my room. Wholly not impressed. I turned off all the lights, pretended I was in Quest and watched Superman Returns. Bed was on plastic wheels, and springs of cheap mattress quite discernable by my back.

I then had to fly back Virgin which is fine but the departure lounges at Kingsford Smith are truly truly vile with remnants of kebabs, Big Macs and boost juice cups. Euuugh. Then of course I go to board the plane, and fall down the steps to the tarmac which was fun. The (not wholly unattractive) middle aged business man who witnessed the whole thing made a point of walking about 2 inches behind me the rest of the way to the plane just in case he ‘had to catch me again’. So was not in the mood for a flirt, especially considering I now had a sore ankle to complement the sore back.

“Good day then?’ asked me, clearly trying to look down my shirt but trying to make it look surreptitious.
“Strangely enough, no” I answered, trying to look hoity toity, even though I had just given him an impression of a bimbette on Chapel St at 3am outside Revolver.
“Why’s that?'
"Well I stayed at a horrible place last night had sheedloads of work today and I am shitty about it."
“Oh, I had to stay at the Hilton last night – it was horrible. The penthouse"
“Oh my heart bleeds," I said sarcastically. I didn’t like where this conversation was going.

Fortunately Bronya (no, seriously), Virgin Blue flight chick, then warmly welcomed me to the sardine can, and I went to find my seat.

Of course, I was on a window (one bonus) but of course there were already two people sitting down in the B & C seats. Of course, they were a newly married Indian couple, lovingly caressing each other, already quite comfortable in their seats. It was obviously of course asking a little too much for either of them to do the courteous thing and actually get up and let me in. No, they both made a nonchalant attempt to pull their legs up, so I literally had to dive over their laps, propelling myself, my work folder, my coke zero and my handbag into my seat.

But my troubles did not end there, oh no. In my attempts to ignore the curry canoodling which was threatening to invade my personal bubble, the chair infront of me was already reclined, prior to takeoff. This meant of course I had minimal personal space to do any work or do the sudoku puzlles book I had bought at newslink.

“Wanker,” I thought. “Doesn’t he know you’re not allowed to put your seat back until we are in the air?"

Very nearly knocking my knees on the back of the chair, (and might I add, I have short legs) I was relieved to see the trolley dolley coming along to do their final safety check thing.

“Can you put your seat into the upright position please sir?’
“Erm, no, I can’t. I think it’s broken.”
“Oh yes, 22a, that one is broken. Don’t worry then.’

So while the gentleman infront of me had a comfortable relcining lazeeboy to himself for the next hour 20 mins, I was stuck between a window, a sickening sari’ed couple and a chair. My back began to hurt again. Had anyone actually identified 23A as a torture cell before?

Actually, I am convinced work is scrimping on me at the moment. I mean, the Travelodge, and then Virgin Blue? Could they BE any more cheap? Did work call Virgin and say ‘look, we are kind of short on our Michelle budget this month, can you please make sure she is squashed between a couple, which we know she hates, and behind that horrible 22a chair which is like a banana lunge? Yeah, hey thanks for that, and if you can’t manage that, the screaming vomiting baby in the next seat will be fine.”

Grrr. At work in Melbourne all this week, thank goodness. NZ next week, wang.