10 May 2016

Abu Dhabi to Sydney ft. Mac & Cheese.

So as the plane lands from Manchester to Abu Dhabi, the heat strikes and we're told we'll need a 10 min taxi ride to the airport from where the plane had parked. Luckily as soon as we had arrived I stumbled upon a ladies room where I freshened up, although I did get some funny looks for brushing my teeth when I'd been told not to use the water for that purpose by a cleaning attendant.
The airport itself is extremely clean, diverse and modern. There's lounges everywhere for anyone's use, free unlimited wifi which was actually really fast. Handy to contact home in true E.T fashion to let them know I've made the first check point.
I then realised I hadn't prepared for any currency I may need to use during my short 2 hour stop at Abu Dhabi so I was absolutely parched and decided to go straight to my gate. This turned out to be a good move as I was one of the first ones on the plane and my god what a plane it was. It had stairs to an upper level for first class customers and I really really wanted to go and look around it. But even economy was posh enough! All the leg room in the world, what looked like PSP's for each individual seat which where removable from the touch screen televisions in front of us AND have a button on them to turn the light on above you, clothes hangers, USB outlets for charging, blanket, pillow, accessible wifi for a small fee and even the airlines own network so you can send and receive calls (if you're not saving every penny for your poor backpacking days which lie ahead of me). Who needs first class, this is enough for little me from Grimsby. I made sure I had enough out of my backpack to keep me sorted for the 14 hour flight ahead (my adult colouring book & crayons, iPad & keyboard, phone charger, phone, head phones and my hard boiled sweets to avoid the popping ears from the air pressure, that's the worst) and got myself comfortable until my potential seat neighbours arrived. And may I add that I purchased a wireless Logitech keyboard for my iPad at the Dixons Travel store back at Manchester Airport for £34.99 and it was by far the best idea I've ever had, better than my idea to have a pint of Amstel at 7AM before boarding my first flight... Big no no.

There was a lot of solo travellers like myself waiting in the gate ready for boarding and I found it strange that not one of us had the courage to take our headphones out, put down our phones and make friends. I mean, it's pretty courageous travelling alone to the other side of the world but making conversation just seemed harder.
Sat waiting in anticipation and it looks as though no one is next to me, I have the ENTIRE ROW to myself! YES! Can this be any better? 
I was then handed a package with headphones in and a separate bag which had an eye mask, ear plugs, socks and toothbrush and toothpaste.
We were fed pretty much straight away, this meal was even better than the last. It was Macaroni Cheese with garlic breadcrumbs (and I don't usually like Mac & Cheese), warm bread, chocolate mousse, and tuc crackers with soft cheese. The one thing I would fault is the lack of drinks. 11 hours into the flight and although I've slept for 8 and half of those, I'd like to just have someone to ask for a glass of water when I woke. I watched The Intern and went to sleep almost solidly for the rest of the flight until we had 3 and half hours left when I decided to stay awake, watch Spectre (yet skip the first 30 mins because I cannot stand that god awful Sam Smith song), freshen up in the bathroom amongst the turbulence, which by the way were very nice, write this blog and try to avoid the inevitable jet lag. I mean I was absolutely knackered but local time in Sydney was 2.30PM and so I was already out of sorts. 

At this point we had travelled 6843 miles out of a total of 8734. That's a lot isn't it.
Well, all was going well until my starving self was faced with a 'veg chilli' only to open it and it appears to be meat. So I asked "Is this vegetarian?" To be replied to with "No, we only have one option and that option is lamb." WTF?! Etihad you are seriously overshadowed all positive things previously said, Why give your passengers the option online to choose their meal to be told it's eat meat or go hungry. I'd been on the flight for 13 hours at this point, it's safe to say I was extremely ready for food. And so guess what I had... MAC & CHEESE... AGAIN. I mean, I was thankful for something but bloody hell if I see Macaroni any time in the next year it'll be too soon.

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