Saturday, February 12, 2011

Auckland Airport

Note: Here on in commences the sad lack of internet. I couldn’t for the life of me get onto a wireless network in the Auckland airport, so here –belatedly- is the post I wrote during my 7 hour lay-over. 


By the time I got off my 12 hour flight from L.A. to Auckland, I felt like I had been beaten with a stick, except I suspect I’d prefer the stick because at least it doesn’t make the entire world feel lumpy, achy, and oxygen-deprived.

Pro tip #1: If your fabulous doctor friend says she’ll write you a prescription for Ambien so you can sleep on the plane, TAKE IT.  

I was able to sleep, but in funny bits and bursts, so it feels like I’ve been away for days already.
Oh wait. It has been days, because IT’S FRIDAY HERE. Guh. 

Okay, complaining done. The flight actually wasn’t too too bad; I just started losing it at the end there, if only because everyone around me was slightly grumpy (and old) and I think I was starting to dehydrate. My seat was in the back of the plane, second to last row, and thankfully an aisle, though I would’ve loved a window seat. I sat next to a nice couple in their 50s-ish who were from Melbourne and on their way to some other city in New Zealand, having come from a cruise in the Caribbean. I sat next to the wife, who was quite nice, and she showed me how to put the seat back, adjust the headrest, and use the built-in tv thingy. Said tv-thingy is located in the seat in front of you, and with a pair of headphones and this rather odd remote, you can watch movies (70 titles, both recent and classic), tv shows, music videos, or just listen to music (including music specifically by Kiwis –aka, New Zealanders). Melbourne-Lady grumbled that they were the exact same movies available three weeks ago when they flew to L.A. (I guess they were used to being pampered, considering she said they had paid for first class but got bumped back into economy because it was full….), but I was excited because I got to watch The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (not the best choice before trying to sleep  >_<.) and Scott Pilgrim Versus The World (which was AWESOME), and a third of The Social Project (which hopefully I’ll finish on the way to Perth -edit: Sadly, I didn't get to see the rest of it because it wasn't an offered movie on my Auckland-Perth flight. I did watch this severely weird claymation movie about a young ugly girl from Melbourne being penpals with an old New York Jewish guy with Asbergers Syndrome o.o). 

We were served supper (chicken with mushroom gravy/sauce, mashed potatoes, a surprisingly yummy salad, a dinner roll, and pineapple-carrot cake for dessert) an hour or two into the flight, and breakfast (assorted fruit, yogurt, muffin, orange juice) an hour or two before we landed, and drinks sporadically throughout. I really loved the tiny plastic orange tea cup we got with each meal, but I settled for “accidentally” ferreting away an even more adorable plastic tea spoon since that’d not be missed as easily. ^^;

Pro tip #2: Putting bags in overhead bins that are not actually over your own head sucks. My backpack, aka my LIFE right now, didn’t fit under the seat in front of me, so I had to shove it into an overhead bin across the aisle and ahead of me three rows. At some point after my first nap, my lips went dry, I ran out of water, and my mouth tasted foul, but I didn’t feel like I could get my backpack out. I wasn’t sure I was tall enough to do it without dropping it on someone’s head, much less invading their personal space. Thank god the guy sitting beneath my backpack finally got up to get something from his own bag and I was able to leap in and grab my chapstick and gum (and a nice guy on his way back to his seat from the bathroom helped shove my bag back in –those damn bins are too tall!). 

We landed in Auckland in the dark, so I got to watch the lights of the city out the window across the aisle. It was gorgeous; all these little islands/peninsulas speckled with lights interspersed with the darkness of the water. I would’ve taken a picture if I’d been in a window seat, but it’s just as well, since someone else nearby did take a flash picture and get yelled at for it. It was very green and misty out the window at dawn. After landing, the first thing I did was to find this lovely spot in front of huge windows and brush my hair (and braid rather adorable pigtails, something I haven’t done in a long time) while I watched the sunrise.
Sunrise at Auckland Airport

The lounge I am in now is beautiful, with this huge lit-up statue/lamp/art/ceiling thing;  it changes colors, has glowy-light shadow puppet things, and plays music/sounds. When it’s blue, you hear waves, and these lights in the shape of schools of fish and manta rays glide over the surface. When it’s green, you hear birds and waterfalls, and see kiwis dance across. I’ve also seen stars and a moving moon, leaves and the sound of wind instruments, and clouds with strange bird shapes. It’s incredible how much better I felt with just some bright light and soothing sounds. 
This picture doesn't do it justice...

So, after cleaning up a bit and eating some stashed plane food, I pulled out my laptop to skype. My laptop would not turn on. I thought “Whateves, I probably drained the battery on that long flight over.” I meandered until I found a place to sit next to a wall charger (not easy); I plugged it in. My laptop would not turn on.

Cue gut-wrenching dread. 

I texted my dad with my American phone (god knows how much that roaming cost >_<) to let him know I wouldn’t make our skype appointment but that I was safe. I figured it was worth the money for dad to not stay up the whole night freaking out. Then I sat there for like an hour trying to figure out what to do. I finally worked up the courage to go to the Help desk and ask if there is anyone who might know more about computers to help me. The lady there directed me to the Electronics duty-free store. I asked the guy behind the desk. He pointed me to a younger guy on the floor. Younger guy told me to go to a different duty-free store that sells laptops. I explain my situation to the older Chinese guy there. He tried to turn it on (just like I did), then looked baffled (like I did). So he called over a younger Indian guy. Dear Indian guy, you saved me from having a heart attack. He told me that the little power light in front of my trackpad should turn on when it’s plugged in, regardless of other problems, so (since the little light didn’t turn on, even when plugged in) it sounded like maybe a charger issue, which at least slowed down my adrenaline. He said to try charging it some more. So I went back to my little spot, and plugged it in. This time I realized the little light on the charger adaptor itself wasn’t going on, so it must not be getting power at all….

This is when I realized there is a switch to turn on the wall plug. 

Cue epic relief, followed promptly by a facepalm.

Humbling moments like these are good for your character, right? Because damn, I’m not sure if my poor ticker can take too many more of those…..


  1. Oh god. I would've freaked as well. Glad it ended up just being something that was overlooked. Those things happen!

  2. LOl! awwwwwwwwwwwww HUGS!!! airport sounds beautiful! and I'm super glad laptop got figured out... heartstopping moments of dread like that... happen. (Like when I lost my wallet...)>.<