…but thirty-six hours of cramped airplane rides and long layovers? Really? People, are we ANY closer to figuring out how to beam ourselves somewhere?? This cross-Atlantic travel is getting old, especially when traveling with an active four year old and a bad back.
One and a half hours from Boston to JFK. Six hours layover. Five hours to Vancouver to refuel. Fifteen more hours to Hong Kong. Another four hours layover. Four and a half hours to Bali. One hour car ride to our Bali home.
Cathay Pacific. The disparity between first class and coach is astounding. The thing is, you walk through first class and you’re excited because it’s so exquisite. Then business class and you think you can actually do the long flight. You see the really cool headsets on the chairs of the premium economy class and you swoon. Then you get to your seats. The real coach seats. Seats with, no lie, three inches of leg room in front of you, so when the person in front of you reclines, the back of his seat is in your mouth. C’mon. Cheap headsets that barely work. Food that is barely edible. Twenty hours of saying to each other, “If we can get through this we can get through anything.”
We survived by letting the kid watch movies through the night. And I took heavy drugs.
Finally, in Bali, we were met at the airport by Agung, our host and driver for the month. He drove us an hour from Denpasar to our bungalow in the rice fields, on the edge of the traditional Balinese town of Pejeng (just a two miles outside of Ubud, Bali’s hopping artisan town in the rice fields). Our daughter finally crashed in the car ride, and when we arrived at what would be our home for the next month, she awoke and unleashed everything that she held in the previous 36 hours (she was an angel on the plane, bless her soul). Agung’s family met our screaming child at the same time that we realized that one of our bags was missing. Agung and Megan turned right around for another hour drive back to the airport to hopefully retrieve the luggage while I struggled to settle our child in an unfamiliar place. The last straw was when I asked Kai to try one bite of the Indonesian noodles prepared for us. She bravely did as asked and then proceeded to vomit all over the table.
Needless to say, we weren’t able to take in anything that night. Not the welcome tropical drinks that Agung’s wife had waiting for us. Not the fabulous satay and nasi goreng meal. Not our new home. Not our surroundings. When Megan finally got home (with bag, thankfully), we vented, holding back tears, about our respective challenges and then crashed HARD.
What a journey.