Our posts are late because since she arrived back from Australia, Dollissa has been in a crumpled heap somewhere on the East Coast. She has not made it back to HQ, but we found this journal in her drafts.
Hour 1: The plane is full. Planes usually are. The first flight is scheduled to be 15 hours. I take a deep breath, buckle my seat belt as shown in the probably unnecessary demonstration of how to buckle your seat belt, and settle in. I mean not really, there’s no room to settle.
Hour 2: We were already given drinks. I’m afraid to drink it because I’ll have to use the bathroom, but I do anyway so that I don’t die of dehydration. It’s water.
Hour 3: I’ve been scolded twice for trying to use my phone on the plane. Apparently it’s a Chinese rule that you can’t use mobile devices on an aircraft, which is contrary to any flight I’ve ever been on. Goodbye, Spotify.
Hour 4: My notebook isn’t writing in itself, so I put it in my lap with the pen. It’s time to try to nod off angrily, but I can’t sleep unless my head is slammed into something and my hands are in little fists. I eat a minuscule airplane meal and try again.
Hour 5: None of that worked. I pull down my tray table and slam my head into that instead. It’s a little better.
Hour 6: The internet works on my laptop, but heavily censored re: China. I can’t access Facebook, Gmail, or LastPass somehow. Because I can’t access Gmail or LastPass I basically can’t use anything except Discord and Slack. Hello stabb and work friends.
Hour 7: I have already reached out to everyone online and complained to them that the internet sucks. That’s the only thing that was available to me online, so I try the TV built into the seat in front of me. There are 4 tv shows available, 2 in English. There are a lot more movies, so I try those first. I start with A Street Cat Named Bob which is very adorable and a true story about a homeless man who befriends a cat. The real cat stars in the movie as itself! Way to go, Bob!
Hour 8: They provide us with a meal that almost makes me vomit. Not because it’s weird plane food generally, but because the sausage is somehow liquid. I manage to not throw up, even though that’s my best skill.
Hour 9: I only cried once during Bob. They came around with drinks again and I chose beer. Is this the worst idea I’ve ever had?
Hour 10: I watched the movie Masterminds, starring Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig. They are funny people but it was very, very bad. My legs are swollen.
Hour 11: I regret watching that previous movie and try another idiotic one to wash it off of myself. Oh no, it’s even worse. Don’t watch Why Him? You’ll never figure out why.
Hour 12: Slamming my head back down onto the tray table. Life is misery.
Hour 13: I put on Baby Driver, which is infinitely more satisfying than the other things I watched. Great movie, but the tinnitus sounds make me anxious since I already have that.
Hour 14: Both my mom and sister wake up and say “that couldn’t have been 13 hours! I thought the flight was longer than that.” It’s hard to contain myself and I confirm that it has definitely, absolutely been that long.
Hour 15: About two hours before landing, a cascade of announcements starts, which prevents me from finishing Baby Driver. There’s about 9 announcements in a row, including a note that long flights can be damaging and you should exercise. Nice timing. Also, announcements that we’re eventually going to land, landing soon, fill out your customs form, sorry we’re out of customs forms, hey don’t forget that we’re landing, do you want some duty free liquor, we’re totally landing this time, and hey make sure you are ready for landing.
Hour 16-21: We go to a lounge for the layover in China. The lounge offers free wifi. I ask at the reception desk how to connect and they can’t help me. I get a little sassy, but they direct me to a kiosk to get a login. I walk what feels like 30 miles but is probably a few dozen feet to a kiosk that is definitely broken. When I arrive back to the lounge, I get a little shouty that I can’t access the internet that they’re offering to me. Suddenly, they’re able to help me log in.
Hour 22: Another plane. This one has the same TV and movies, which is both great and awful. At least I get to finish Baby Driver, an amazing movie still. Good from start to finish.
Hour 23: I start my new distraction method which is to watch all 7 available episodes of Chicago Fire. I have never seen this show before and it starts me off randomly in some season, and the episodes are not consecutive, or even in order.
Hour 24: Another tiny meal. I wish the meal was 4 times bigger. I also wish I could be facedown somehow.
Hour 25: Is Chicago Fire designed to make you cry? I have cried at both episodes so far.
Hour 26: Fully and completely sobbing.
Hour 27: I’m almost out of episodes of Chicago Fire. My hip hurts a lot and I’m jittery. I drink some more water while I cry.
Hour 28: There are no more episodes. By my count, I cried during 5 out of the 7 I watched. I’m never going to watch this show again. (Yes I will.)
Hour 29: I keep trying to rest my head on the tray table, then sitting back up, then trying again. I feel very antsy and everything hurts. Did I ever put my chair back? Would that help? Halp.
Hour 30: Hnnnghghhh
Hour 31: Please just kill me please kill me please just do it now.
Hour 32: An announcement is made that it’s required to spray the inside of the aircraft with insecticide. They seem to pronounce it as “incest spray” and I laugh. Then they say that if we have any reactions to sprays to cover our mouths. Wait, WHAT.
Hour 33: I’m never traveling again. I’m not even going home. The moment I land I’m cancelling the return trip and staying in Australia until teleportation is developed.
Hour 34: They’re out of customs forms on this plane too. Now I think they don’t plan to carry enough on purpose. Everything is making me paranoid. The guy across the aisle definitely is staring at me.
Hour 35: We land. Australia is beautiful and the flight was totally fine, sure. I guess I’ll go home at the end of my trip. I want to watch Baby Driver again.