Monday, May 24, 2010

Things to do with 13 hours

I am flying to a writing conference in the USA. (By the time you read this I will already be there)
Flight time from Brisbane to LA is 13 hours. (interestingly- it is 13 hours and 50 minutes on the return leg)

Last time I did this flight I had a 12 month old. My baby boy didn't sleep. He did, however, vomit on me and throw a three hour fit on the last leg of the flight. And I was alone. My husband had a business contract to finish up in Denver, so I was flying home to Australia. By MYSELF.
I haven't forgive him. I'm joking. Of course I have :)
(I may or may not bring this up at times when I don't want to change a diaper- but I digress)

This time I am flying solo. No kids. No husband. Just me. Solo. And thirteen hours.

At first I was excited. 13 hours. Think of the books that can be read. The movies that can be watched and the time to think uninterrupted things... And that will take about 7 or 8 hours.
I mean, how many books can one girl possible carry onto a plane? And how many movies can I watch or thoughts can I think without going cross-eyed?

So what the heck should I do with 13 hours?

Here's a quick list of things I won't do, but kinda wish I could.

1/ Sleep. The ENTIRE trip. Bliss.... It'll never happen.

2/ Box. Yeah. I know. Not going to happen either.  But some passengers annoy the crap out of me. How many times can that lady with the blue hair need me to get up and move so she can  the toilet? And no I don't want dinner at 2 am in the morning thank you lovely Air-Hostess-with-the-Mostess. I just want to go the heck back to sleep. (See number one) And turn the damn lights out... please.

3/ Chat to the pilot. You know, how long has he been flying?What's the most interesting place he's ever been? Worst passenger? Has he ever crashed a plane? ... second thoughts, I don't want to know.


5/ Lie prostrate in the isle. Really. I seriously consider doing this on every long distance flight I take. I think there all passengers should get a turn to just stretch out in the isle. And sleep. (See number one)

6/ Order fish and chips. I HATE plane food. I just want some good ole fashioned fish, chips and a cold beer, if you don't mind. I could care less about the 'Braised Chicken in Creamy Blah Blah Blah with Baked Whatever the Heck on the Side.' Seriously. You reheated it people. It sucks! You know it and I know it.

7/ Tell the guy beside me to shut up. No, I don't want to talk. I don't care how many times he goes to the gym. I don't care how much beer he drank last weekend. And I especially don't care that he is single. Can't the dude see the wedding ring on my finger? And here, let me show you some pictures of my kids.

8/  Smash the map that flashes up on the TV screen with the little plane showing how far we've come, how far we've got to go, how fast we are flying, air temperature etc etc. This could be fun for everyone. Kind of like a pinata. We could all take turns. Maybe candy will spill out... I can dream!

9/ Use a real knife to cut my food. Pass on the plastic. Honestly. How many would be hijackers get on planes and go, "Oh damn, they only have plastic knifes and forks! Now all our plans are thwarted."

10/ Start up Karaoke. After ten hours I won even care how off key the woman with blue hair sings. I won't care if the man in the Hawaiian shirt wants to do his version of Elvis. And I won't care if the pilot wants to join in... okay, maybe I will.

What about you? Would you fly with me? :)
What is the furthest you have gone for a writing conference?
What do you wish you could do on planes? (keep it clean people)


  1. yes I would! I've always wanted to do something entirely different on long flights - I like the lying in the aisle idea though it might be a bit unhygenic (ooh is that how that is spelled?) I think they should pass out a long song cycle like one of Wagner's or Fame and everyone has to figure out their parts and join in or be tossed out. Or you could hold interest meetings in different parts of the plane. "Everyone who likes boxing meet in the centre aisle three rows down - gardening in cold climates is in the left aisle at the back and accordion techniques behind the attendents' station." yep.

  2. Yes! I'd fly with you... we could sit there... sleep there ... in silence together!
    And then I'd be up for a little Karaoke!!
    perhaps you needed to take 200 books with you in an e-book reader

  3. 20+ hours from Boston to Melbourne with stops in San Francisco, Honolulu, and somewhere in NZ before go faster these days, and direct from LA thank goodness. Oh, and 11 hours to Japan from Boston. No writer's conferences at the end though...Hmmm, though forcing myself to write 1000 words an hour would accomplish something while in flight...OK how about 500 words an hour?

  4. You could write blog posts!

    Never had a flight that long. Hope the trip is going well!

  5. Welcome to the USA! Since you've landed in LA and are into the morning now, I hope you had a good flight. I'm okay with long-haul flights until about the last hour, when I'm sick of mags and videos and feel stiff and icky and just want to Be There. By the way, I loved the conversation with your son in the previous post. He's also as cute as can be!

  6. I am taking my first long flight in two weeks. What do you think about organizing an impromptu Yoga session?

  7. A conference...a plane....*shudder*. I still wear them. Hope yours is better. Flew to Paris once. That was the longest flight. REALLY long. And I was pregnant. A lot of trips up the aisle to the bathroom. Oh well )

    Have fun!

  8. My worst flight ever was the home flight from Australia. Didn't sleep. Couldn't concentrate on books or movies. Screaming children. Oy. I would love to fly with you because I love the way your mind works. Karaoke is a great idea on a plane. What fun that would be.

  9. What fun you will have, how wonderfully adventurous! Wishing you a perfect flight and lots of conference inspiration.

  10. My trick is ear plugs, bright orange ones that send the distinct message, DO NOT TALK TO ME!

  11. Too funny! I have never been to a writer's conference but I've flown over 18 hours at a time!!

    I can totally relate to the telling peope to shut up. And oh my gosh the "Oh damn, they only have plastic knives and forks!" comment still has me laughing!

    There is only so much reading one can do. And the little plane on the map?'s fun at first. Not so much after 5 hours!

    Have fun!

  12. PS: Jan, I love your idea about the different group meetings!

  13. I really wish you would do some of those things. It would make for an interesting story later. :) Have a wonderful time!

  14. Awesome, awesome list. :) I hope you have a blast at the conference. I am so with you on getting decent food and stretching out in the aisles. Safe traveling!

  15. Tab....PLEASE don't say stuff like #4 when I am drinking Diet Coke. Okay? LOL!

    The furthest I have gone for a writing conference is about a mile, but I HAVE flown from the USA to the Philippines. And back, obviously. I've also flown from here to London, and it took longer flying west than flying east for me, too.

    In 13 hours I bet I could get one of those $#@*& bags of airline peanuts open, just before we land.

  16. I'd love to have a panic attack just to freak out the guy next to me, but only if he starts acting like a jerk.

  17. I vote for karoake!!!

    My favorite thing to do is watch movies.

  18. I flew about 2000 miles for a conference. Worth every moment, except that the experience/excitement exhausted me. My plane was delayed leaving Baltimore and I was tired, spent, had no more patience to wait. Even a drink didn't calm me.

    I think I'd sleep as much as possible on a 13 hours flight. Enjoy the conference.

  19. I've lost count of the number of times I've flown Sydney to LA and back. It requires a lot of patience.

    I would totally fly with you Tabitha. You've no idea how many pictures of my kids I've got to show... not. But we could write a story together!

  20. You're hilarious, Tab! Hope you have a safe trip! And please tell us all about your writing conference when you have the chance.

  21. It's nice to see you're keeping your sense of humor - or is it just jet lag? I'd fly with you in a heartbeat. So excited to hear about the conference.

  22. Hope you have a fabulous time! I flew to the Philippines for an editor's conference last year, I think that was about an eight or nine hour flight. Like you, I thought it would be wonderful "me" time - except the bloke in front of me had his chair reclined the WHOLE TIME so I felt very squished ... on the way home I had an upset tummy after my time in Asia so it wasn't much fun either!

    PS missed you at the Footprints meeting on Saturday!