This I Know I Think
Life on the verge of understanding
March 30, 2015 Categories: travel. 1 Comment on The joy of travel

I’ve been in Kathmandu for the last few days, on business. My flight back to London is via Doha, on Qatar Airways. The scheduled time out of KTM was 12:45p. Having been up since just after 6a that morning, I eventually found myself at the airport about 45 minutes before boarding was due to begin.
Boarding opened on time, and I soon found myself in the business class lounge. I was surprised to find two colleagues still sitting in the lounge, because my understanding from when we had left after dinner the previous evening was that they were on relatively early flights to their respective destinations. Weather problems, apparently, and that soon became the order of the day. One after another flights were delayed, or inbound aircraft diverted, until it became very apparent that my flight had also joined the list of casualties and that it would not take off on time after all.
Eventually the local Qatar rep came round and advised that the flight would now take off at 16:20. That completely scuppered my chances of catching my connecting flight at Doha to London, and so I messaged F to tell her the news and ask her to try to find out the time of the next connecting flight from Doha to London. That turned out to be 01:40 Tuesday morning, arriving LHR at 07:05a. So, unlikely that I’ll be in the office on Tuesday, which means rearranging the meetings that I have scheduled for the day.
The 16:20 departure time has come and gone. It now seems that we are to take off at 18:15. That completely wrecks my chances of catching my connecting flight at Doha so the 01:20a flight on Tuesday morning it is.
The wait in the lounge is made much easier by a number of things. Brian B and I are almost the only ones drinking red wine, and so the small bar has yet to run out. We’ve also met a very interesting young couple, Anna and Tom, who have been in India and Nepal touring. Tom is an aspiring musician, and from the songs that he plays to us in the lounge, a talented one. We pass the time talking about all sorts of things, and listening to Tom play.
Finally we board, and the flight takes off. We make it to Doha with only (!) four hours to wait for the connection. I’m in the business lounge, but have promised to do what I can to get Tom and Anna into it if possible. As it turns out Anna gets signed in by another one of the passengers we met at KTM, and finds me. I try to get Tom in but my grade of membership of Qatar frequent flyers club isn’t enough, and it seems that Tom and Anna will have to spend the wait time in the public area. Then the resourceful Anna takes action, and manages to persuade a complete stranger to sign Tom in and they are home free. I settle down to catch up with email, do a few other bits and pieces of work and listen to some music. Tom and Anna head for the restaurant and, later, tell me that they are now officially stuffed! They then settle down on one of the lounging seats until boarding time.
We are one hour late getting into LHR, and I eventually get back home just after 10a. All hope of getting into the office in time for the two meetings I have in the morning have now gone, and I decide to stay at home and try to catch up on sleep. The joy of travel.

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it was surreal – I’d do it all over again. Let’s hope Tom makes it into the big time – and gets us special seats one day.

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