The middle

Have I told you how much I love travelling?

The packing is definitely the best part and the worst, excitement and frustration city; organising the taxi to the airport on your smartphone app and following it on the map to your door; putting your watch and shoes back on after going through the metal detectors; and finally, finding a seat in the airline lounge. But the flight is a different story.

Right now, as I’m writing this blog post, I’m about to fly to Melbourne. More accurately, I’m sitting in the middle seat of three, in what seems like a plane that is going to be full. And it’s not looking good.

There’s only so many times you can will everyone to ‘just keep walking’, ‘just keep walking’, when you spot someone with an ‘I have found my seat’ expression right next to you… and it’s all over. The painful realisation at the demise of the hope to have an open seat beside you, hovering in the artificial air above, pumped in especially – just for today.

I get over it pretty quickly and decide to make a try for both armrests. That’s the rule, isn’t it? The people sitting in the middle generally have first dibs, don’t they?

It’s my own fault really. I expected to have more choice when checking in. But it was this seat or an exit-row middle, and I always feel awkward having to grab all of my hand luggage from the overhead locker at the end of the flight, when everyone is waiting right behind me.

I notice that the guy on my right takes my armrest. He doesn’t know the rule.

And then the loudspeaker comes on. “We will be serving [Choice A] and [Choice B] today… Cold drinks are complementary.” He said, a longer-than-usual pause straight after. “Beer and wine are also complementary.”

Smarty pants.

But we’re only in the air for 45 until we start our descent.

You see, Melbourne has become one of my top-two favourite cities in Australia. Perhaps it also belongs in my Top 10 of cities worldwide. I can’t get enough of the French-style cafes along its lane-ways, tucked away in surprising corners; the richness of festivals and unmistakable energy of culture and art; and everything gourmet… Until the four seasons we know and expect during certain times of the year, show up at once, just like Finn said. (I know that I’ve just described Adelaide on a bigger scale, but one can love more than one city almost-equally. And Adelaide’s weather is a bit more predictable too)

I am relieved that I have distracted myself long enough and the plane touches down, the brakes doing their best to prevent the rear from wagging its tail more than a couple of times in a zigzag formation, working against the momentum of such a heavy vehicle, until straightening up.

We’re here.

Soon I will be able to meet my husband who had driven across by himself during the day and who is waiting for me somewhere on Russell Street.

Thanks for keeping me company.
I’ll have to go.
They’re gearing up behind me.

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