I can remember several years ago when I shared a house in Camperdown with two gorgeous young things, who educated me about the world through Sex in the City, yes really, amongst other things.
I was working at the time at Trinity Grammar School, and was really looking forward to going out one night to see a play that the drama students were putting on. At the time, I didn’t own a car, and hadn’t yet discovered Goget. It was one of those really stormy Sydney nights, so I was waiting for a taxi to get me to the school. I got ready, and kept an ear and eye out while perched on the sofa, watching a documentary about the new A380 Airbus. I was enthralled. The designers needed to make a plane whose wingspan didn’t take up any more width than the current runways would allow, but at the same time be quiet and have more carrying capacity than any other aircraft ever built. I was really impressed, however more than a little skeptical.
When I moved to Summer Hill, I had the pleasure of getting up close, and personal with most airline’s aircraft as their take-off flight path included my apartment. I could always tell an A380 was coming. Their engine sounds much quieter and slightly higher pitched than other aircraft. Having always loved watching planes fly, and stopping in my tracks just to behold them, I’d test myself out by running to my back porch or a window just to make sure I had detected the right sound. I have now travelled on three flights in these planes, and I’d have to say they are fantastic.
After taking in some traditional Korean music played by a quartet of musicians (the singer/gayageum player reminding me more than a little of Saraswati, minus the swan) I ambled to my gate over an hour early. I plugged my technology in and set to work writing. Meanwhile, just outside the window, the large pastel blue foreheaded A380 sat patiently waiting for it’s passengers to assemble.
I am lucky that my time can pass fairly quickly because I always have lots of writing to do, however on this occasion we were plied with sweet peanuts and orange juice as we were delayed with take off. I whipped out my aptly chosen postcard of Ganesha to encourage removal of the obstacles (apparently busy Chinese airspace), and we did eventually get flying after a 45 minute delay. You will note my journal and peeping morning pages notebook – yes, they’re still with me. Although I think I’ll need to purchase another part-way through the walk.
The ride in one of these aircraft is extremely comfortable, and the quietest of any flight. To add to either your panic or exhilaration, you can choose to watch from front, downwards or back tail camera. The latter makes one feel quite like a bird I found.
PS: yes it did feel like a movie, when on landing at Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport, the lovely Korean woman (who it turns is a piano teacher and travelling with her husband), and I started singing Les Champs-Elysées and Edith Piaf. It seems I am not the only one completely besotted with France.