The Much Dreaded Part of Travel


FLYING PART
I used to love flying. I was around eight years old when my parents introduced me to aeroplane. I remember how I kept looking to the window and kept asking my papa about the clouds. Eight years old didn’t quite realize how dangerous it was to fight gravitation. Look what happened to Icarus or Amelia Earhardt. Human does not meant to fly or else God would bestowed upon us mortals, a pair of wings (preferably the folded one since I don’t think it would be possible walking around with a pair of wings on your back).

I even enjoyed flying after the teacher taught me about Newton and his apple back then in elementary school. I had a blast while flew with Lufthansa eight years ago. But now…now is a different time. Not just the millenia, it is also something to do with the fact that ALL of Indonesian airline companies are not following the standard safety of international flight. Even Garuda (the only one allegedly safe airline in Indonesia) was banned to fly to Europe. Do I need to say more about “the others”? Slipping plane, crashing plane, miss-landed plane, burning plane. Hundred of cases and still they are allowed to fly in that orange-painted-should-be-a-carcass-by-now planes. Yet Indonesians (or middle class Indonesian, that is) don’t have much option. Either “the others” or Garuda which has a relatively expensive rates. I feel like playing poker with Death everytime I enter a plane (which is quite often since I have to go back and forth from one island to another one).

This time I flew with Emirates. I found my plebeian seat decorated with in flight entertainment screen and couldn’t help but beaming cheerfully from then on. The plane was full with one of the good thing Indonesia actually can export to another country, women workers. Most faces looked anxious. Most women perhaps never even fly before. While I touched my petit screen to tried out everything, they were still fumbling with the safety belt like two twenty-something ladies beside me . I showed them how to did it and I couldn’t help but thinking to myself, asking them in silent. What kind of courage you must have inside you to work in a country so far from home, daunted with paranoia that you could be hurted, raped or murdered. Even worse is the hard truth that your government perhaps couldn’t (wouldn’t?) help you. You are on your own, my brave country women.

One and a half hour later I landed safely (phew) on Changi. One hour transit then a seven hour flight to Dubai. I hardly had time to say “Singapore” when they called us back to boarding the plane. Oh I almost failed to mention the long queue to check boarding pass and privacy violation. Thanks to terrorist attempt of using liquid bomb, I couldn’t practice my beauty ritual for the next twenty hours. Seven hours to Dubai was spent in half-awake, half dreaming state of mind. I remembered vaguely about Sandra Bullock tried hard to safe her husband in a movie.

I was woken up by a light touch from my neighbor. “Almost landed”, she said. I bid them good night, and good luck when we arrived in Dubai. They would need a lot of luck. And so… Dubai. Five hours transit. My backpack started to made me feel like Atlas and so after found out where should I be for the next flight to Dusseldorf, I tried to find some place where this poor legs could rest. I smelled coffee and there was Costa Café which at that time seemed like an oasis for caffeine thirst traveler like me.

I tried to look back and what popped up in my caffeine poisoned brain about Dubai International Airport was how cosmopolitan it was. So many faces, so many culture, so many destination. The computerized flight schedule screens kept shifting every few second. I read so many city names until I gave up about in which country were it accurately located. I looked at the huge clock and decided I could continue my gazing people activity in the waiting room.

After picked up few magazines, I went standing in the linear escalator. Suddenly it was occurred to me how bizarre was Dubai International Airport. I never seen so many people from I don’t know which country, slept so carelessly. When I said many, it means not few but hundreds along the way. It was morning and I saw some of them started to stirred up. A couple was sleeping peacefully inside their own sleeping bag, hugging each other. A businessman in suit spent three chairs to laid down his worn out body. An Arab with Yasser Arafat head scarf snored and nodded accordingly. It was surreal. They didn’t seem to care.

All along the way I couldn’t help but noticed how extravagant the décor was. There was an enormous mural painting on wall, depicting few Arabian and their rested camels. There was gold pleated (or was it merely gold painted?) décor on top of the columns along the way. I knew Burj Al Arab was quite something but the airport? Hmmm…

The meals was almost delicious. It was warm and smelled good. I washed them down with wine and so close to forgot that it was in a box instead of on a plate. I arrived in Dusseldorf seven hours later. I did not let myself to even took a peek on the reflection of the mirror. Better not. Who would look good after almost a day trip across the globe?

I arrived safely, no worth mentioning tremors in the plane. My Aunt and Uncle kindly picked me up in the airport. I thought I saw her winced a bit when I gave her cheek kisses. But then again it could also just me imagining things. Self-conciousness, get lost!

Next blog: COLOGNE.

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Hello! I’m Eve Tedja

I have been a professional writer for four years.


During that time, I have worked as a permanent contributor for Let’s eat! Magazine, Hello Bali, epicure, and published my articles in several other magazines like Venture, Panorama, Bravacasa, and Bali & Beyond.


Words, sentences, stories... these are my passion. I love to take new challenges in writing for various format and media. I create contents for websites, blogs, and communication materials. I’ve also worked as a copywriter, translator, coffee book editor, social media coordinator, media consultant, and even writing for a specialty coffee packaging.


Interior design, travel, environment, culinary, culture, history, and social issues are some of the themes that I have worked with in the past. I love getting involves with individuals, companies, organizations, and communities with stories to tell.


I am available for assignment worldwide. Reach me at eve(dot)tedja(at)gmail(dot)com.

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