Hi all. I’ve been asked to kick off the blog again, even though this trip is all about being with Kirsty for the birth of baby XX. I can’t promise a blog every day, but here’s a summary of our first few days for those who are interested.
Canada 2013 – Take three
Everyone has something they just don’t like to share. For me, it’s underpants. It’s Saturday afternoon and I need to think about packing ready to head off to Canada again early tomorrow. Our fare only allows one large bag per person, so we have agreed that Nanette gets one bag, and I get what’s left in the other one after she has packed the “couple of little things” she is taking for the new baby. I look at “my” bag. It’s bulging ominously and I haven’t even put my first pair of socks in yet. “Do we really need to take all these?” Dumb move. “Of course! They don’t have Bonds in Canada. And that’s a hand knitted outfit. And you know that we couldn’t get proper baby rusks over there last time!”
I look at the sad little pile of clothes I had hoped to take. Nanette follows my gaze. “Can’t you just borrow some things when you get there?” Ok. I’ll drop out my spare shirt and second pair of socks, but I insist on taking at least one extra pair of underpants – like I said, some things you just don’t share.
… It’s morning. We’ve arrived at the airport and negotiated the check-in line, which wasn’t really a line, more of a disorganised rabble clustered around a few self-serve kiosks. I watch our two precious bags rolling away down the chute, nursing a secret fear that we didn’t apply the self-stick baggage labels properly. Ah well, someone in Uzbekistan will probably get a lot of value from those bags if they go astray. Now it’s time to go “downstairs” and run the gauntlet of security and immigration. There are large forbidding signs warning of dire consequences of trying to slip liquids or gels past the guards. I innocently ask Nanette if she has any. “Of course not!” I know I’ll be in trouble, but I also know from experience that the most surprising things can emerge from the mysterious depths of a woman’s handbag. “Er, what about lipstick? They’re classed as gels you know…” I feel vindicated (and maybe a little smug) when an assortment of lipsticks and creams are fished out and placed in the little plastic bag.
Now – stand straight – walk forward purposefully through the scanner and hope the metal in my tooth fillings doesn’t set off the alarms again. Success! I’m through. I start to relax when sirens sound and twenty guys in full body armour leap into the room. Oh no! It’s an attack! The squad leader is looking at the scanner screen and doing that little gesture that tells his team to secure the exits. It gets worse. It’s one of OUR carry-on bags that sparked the crisis. A voice like ice asks “whose bag is this?” “Er – mine?” “Madam – do you realise that Vegemite is a gel??!!?” “Are you aware what could happen if just one jar of this stuff got into the wrong hands?”
It’s our first offence so we’re let off with a severe warning. We try to keep a low profile from this point and slink over to a quiet corner near the boarding gate. We just have to make it to Auckland and then it’s all clear to Canada.
Time passes slowly. We notice that any airport staff who pass seem to point in our direction and whisper to each other “they’re the ones with the you know what.” At last, the lady at the gate makes an announcement. “At this stage we’re only boarding rows fufty sux to suxty sivin.” We have know idea what she just said, but I know I have at least one pair of fluffy socks at home, so we reckon it’s time to join the line and hit the skies.