Day 1 – Darwin to Nashville

Saturday 22nd. June 2013

JQ79 Darwin to Manila

Well the Philipines is all that they say – took almost 2 hours to get off the plane (first through customs) on the 24/7 FREE Shuttle service to Terminal 3 and check in. The free bus only cost 20 pesos so one can’t complain.

Breakfast time – so I pick what looks like the most worn out down market airport coffee shop and take a seat only to be told I need an invitation to eat at this salubrious dump. It’s the ANA Business Class Invitation Only Dining Club. I apologise and make my humble exit. Not even a raised eyebrow from the jaded clientele. I suspect they are more worn than the furniture.

Plenty more where they came from, so I segue right on to the next red & gold palace of poison and ask if they take VISA. Nope. Fair enough – and frankly, who needs the paperwork? Just down the corridor is the Foreign Currency Emporium. I stand at the counter for several minutes while a staffer adds up numbers from a seemingly endless receipt curled up around his feet. Cough, cough, shuffle, ahem! “We are doing the tally so come back in 15 minutes when we are open”

Back to the red & gold. Fuck this – I’m starving so I’m gonna chow down. I look at the menu and my heart sinks. Super Supreme Chicken Sandwich & Brewed Coffee is what I order. My suspicions are confirmed when I bite into what one can only describe as “sludge”. The taste is frightening, the texture suspicious. The coffee is cold – it sure ain’t delicious.

Forgot to mention, for the privilege of getting off and on a plane I got hit with an exit fee. And I’m still here! All part of the service.

Despite all the world weary bitchiness, I feel remarkably refreshed, considering barely any sleep was got. Next leg should be better. All Nippon Air is sure to be a cut above ShitStar. Ever the optimist.