Michael's Happenings

Getting Home from Geneva – The Standout Moments

I spent my weekend traveling to New Zealand from Geneva. While it was a long way to come, it is amazing how far you can go in a short period of time. Here’s my standout moments from the trip.

Inflexible British Airways. I love British Airways, probably because when my parents returned from Zambia in 1978, we flew on a BA 747. I was 6. It’s the first flight I remember. However, BA got a big red mark from me in Geneva. Since I had a critical connection to catch in Auckland, and had to transfer my luggage in time between the International terminal and Domestic, I took a Star Alliance Priority baggage tag from New Zealand. On check-in Geneva airport, I asked the BA check-in associate if I could attach the tag. “No,” was the answer, “it’s got nothing to do with us.” “But it doesn’t impact you at all – it only impacts Air New Zealand when I get back to NZ.” “Still no.”

The Rolling Grape. When our Air New Zealand Boeing 777 touched down in Hong Kong and the pilot put the brakes on, a grape started rolling down the aisle. I was in the front row of “middle class,” with a clear view down the “first class” aisle. The grape rolled the whole way … from middle right to the end of first. It zigzagged a bit, and I thought it was not going to make it, but it did. The hostess at the end of first class disposed of it. The lady next to me laughed and laughed.

The Lady Next to Me. There was a wedding in London last week – congrats you two – and the lady next to me had gone as part of a NZ TV crew to film and be involved. I knew that at the start of the flight, and didn’t think much more of it. But after we boarded again at Hong Kong, I made small talk and asked what she did at said TV station. “I’m a journalist, and I read the 6pm news,” she said. I laughed, and said back, “We choose not to have a TV in our home, so I have no idea who you are.” It was very funny. Other people on board knew who she was, and addressed her by her first name. Now I’ll have to add that to my other “NZ-er but,” line – “I’m a kiwi, but I don’t watch the rugby,” and now “I’m a kiwi, but I don’t know who reads the news.” She was very personable, and we shared a few good paragraphs about life and family.

The Loud Man in Seat 24D. Two passengers hit it off – big time! The loud man in seat 24D talked non-stop to the quieter man in seat 24E. My Bose noise cancelling headphones couldn’t even drown him out. After trying (and trying, and trying) to sleep through the continual conversation, I finally walked up to the hostess and said, “The man in 24D is talking very loud. Do you go and tell him to be quiet, or shall I?” Jane did … and he was 90% better from then. I know far to much about him for my liking. And the lady in the next seat commented that his language was “rather rich” earlier in the evening, and if her children had been onboard, she would have asked him to tone it down. In my opinion, he was showing the height of rudeness.

The Wellington Indoor Sports Stadium. When we landed in Wellington, and my taxi driver headed for the city, I saw the new Indoor Sports Stadium – which looks fantastic by the way. It is still under construction, and I recall seeing it sometime ago, but in a much less completed state. I realized that the last time I was in Wellington was August last year … but since then, I’ve been to Europe four times. Wow.

So … that was my weekend. It’s good to be home.

Categories: Michael's Happenings