AARRGH!

I am so irritated and frustrated!

Seriously, why can’t anything be easy around here?

Beware – this is long and ranty!

Yesterday I had to get some passport pictures for V for his (2015!) school admissions form.  At the place I usually go to, you don’t get the pictures for an hour.  So I went somewhere else – where they ADVERTISE outside that it takes 90 seconds for passport photos.  Great!  This is where I needed to be.

When we went in to pay, I asked the lady how long it would take (just to double-check) and she said ten minutes.  I decided we’d wait.  It wasn’t long.  TWENTY minutes later, I went up to the counter to ask what was going on.  V was, by this time, hanging off my leg demanding to go home and I still had to go to two supermarkets to get a few things.  The lady said it would be another couple of minutes and that there’s a backlog of jobs.  Fine.  I waited five more minutes.  Then I was told there was a network error and they couldn’t print my pictures.  I FREAKED out.  I told them that if there is a delay, that’s fine.  I understand.  These things happen.  But at least f****** tell me.  Then I could have gone to the supermarkets and come back to collect the pictures!

I left and went to the supermarkets.  Got everything I needed in the first.  Apart from one thing – which I knew I’d get in the second.  My mil told me to buy gidamri.  I’ve never bought gidamri before.  I don’t know what it looks like.  And I had no idea what I was looking for.  On the way to the supermarket, I rang a friend and asked her.  She told me they definitely have it at the supermarket and to just ask any of the girls working there – they all know it, and that it looks like black toffee.  I asked her if she knew the English word for it (gidamri is Sindhi).  She said no.

Right.

So in I went.  I looked at the shelves where they have all the spices and seeds.  Nothing was labelled ‘Gidamri’.  So I asked one of the ladies.  She had no idea what I was talking about.  She picked up a packet off the shelf, showed it to me and said, ‘Is it this one?’  It wasn’t.  When I said no, she said, ‘We don’t have it.’  I asked her, ‘You don’t have it?  Or you don’t know what it is?’  She admitted to not knowing what it was.  So I asked her to call somebody who DOES know.  Honestly, the way she sucked her teeth before shuffling off…!  Don’t forget I still had V with me.  And I still had to go back to pick up the pictures.  AND he was whining to go home.  A second lady arrived and had no idea what I was on about.  One of the Indian men came and didn’t know what I was talking about.  I suddenly spotted something – unlabelled – on the top of a shelf that looked like black toffee.  I bought it and hoped it was correct.

It was correct.  And the English word for gidamri is tamarind!  You learn something new every day!

We pulled into our driveway (after collecting the pictures that were finally ready) and I realised I’d forgotten to buy V’s milk.  So off we went again to get that.  As we were getting into the car LagosDad called and said to get his passport and pick him up so we could go get some work done at the bank.

FFS.  All I really wanted to do was have a lie down!

I dropped V off at home first and went to get LagosDad.  One of the problems we have is with our PIN.  Before you can use the card you have to change the PIN from the one they give you.  We’ve tried several times to do this – but it just won’t happen (this has been going on for several years).  Other things we had to do was: transfer some money, register for Internet banking and order a cheque book.

That’s four things, yes?  We had to go to FOUR different counters to do this!  Regarding the PIN, the account manager said there may have been a network error (what the hell is it with this place and network errors??) when I tried changing the PIN last and to go down and try it again.  I went to do that (it didn’t work) while LagosDad went to get forms to order the cheque book and to do the money transfer, etc.

He went downstairs to get the Internet banking sorted while I waited for the money transfer to happen.  He had already given the teller the slip.  This guy sat there, chewing on a toothpick, staring at this slip of paper.  He pressed about two keys on his computer and another guy rocked up.  This second man was filling out a form and needed help.  He stood next to me and he and teller started having a (very loud) conversation about exchange rates or whatever.  I stood there for five minutes waiting.  I cleared my throat.  I drummed my fingers on the counter, I tutted and I sighed loudly.  Both those f****** ignored me.  After ten minutes, I finally said, “Excuse me.  Please can he just finish my work before you continue your conversation?  I’ve been waiting a long time.”  They both just stared at me.  The man filling out the form finally said, “No problem”.  As though HE was doing ME a favour!  Stupid b******.

Today I went to buy V’s birthday present from my in-laws.  Mil and I had already been to the store and chosen  the tricycle.  I only had to go back to pick it up and have it wrapped.

Before I go any further, let me just tell you that there are three ladies working in the store.  And the ‘madam’ (their boss) is away until next week.

Ok, so I asked them if they would gift-wrap it.

Yes.

Is it free to gift-wrap?

Yes.

Did they have the box or a carton to put it in (just to make wrapping easier)?

They didn’t have the box for *that* tricycle, but they’d look for another one.

One of the ladies wandered off to look for a box – and came back (ten minutes later) with one which was about a third of the size of the tricycle.  FFS!  I told her I didn’t think it would fit and let’s just use wrapping paper.

While they ran about the store looking for scissors and sellotape, I spotted a whole lot of bits of wrapping paper.  You know, the off cuts from other presents they’d wrapped.  They were all different patterns and sizes and most of them had sellotape hanging off them.  I wondered if they were planning to use those to wrap my gift, but then figured it wasn’t possible.  They wouldn’t.  Would they?

It turns out…  They would!  I told them that there was no way they could wrap my gift with those papers.  They spent ages choosing different paper and then spent another ten minutes trying to figure out the best way to wrap it.

They tried laying the tricycle on its side.  Then upside down.  I had to intervene and advise them on what I felt was the right way.

The problem is – they used double-sided tape to tape it altogether.  So each time something touched the gift-wrap, it would get stuck.  By the time I got it home, the wrapping paper was all torn to bits.

Now I know I didn’t have to get it wrapped.  And that it probably didn’t make any sense to do it.  But that’s not really the point, is it?

I’ve just tied a ribbon around it now.

I just don’t understand…  You go to any bank in the UK and the tellers aren’t all chewing on toothpicks or yapping away to each other or to their customers.  You also don’t have to go to five different counters to get five different things done!  And, in addition, where else in the world do other people just go up to a counter at the bank while someone is standing there?!

I’ve been here SO many years, and I still can’t get over the way some things are handled.

Why is it like this?  Why can’t some people work efficiently and/or professionally?  Is it because they’re not expected to?  Do they know what’s expected of them?  Are management not keeping on top of it?  Is it the training?  Or lack of training?  Poor pay?

As far as I’m concerned, I’m a client/customer and I expect good customer service.  Is it too much to ask?

Am I looking at the whole situation from the wrong angle?  Am I missing something (apart from a few marbles)?

 

Emirates – Love/Hate

Regardless of whether I have a toddler with me or not, I find travelling a stressful experience. 

It might be because of the whole checking-in process in Lagos (you know, the opening of every suitcase, rummaging through them all and then being asked ‘what of me?’).  

I actually don’t think it matters where I fly to or from, until I’m on that airplane, I can’t relax.

Yesterday’s flight, however was a different story altogether.  Some things made me furious, but other things made it all better.  I don’t know how to feel about Emirates any more!

So – here’s what pissed me off.

My meal choices were a) Nigerian chicken stew (typical Nigerian chicken dish cooked in spicy tomato sauce, accompanied with plain local rice, sauteed local spinach with onions and fried plantain).  Or b) Fried croaker fish fillet (on a bed of tomato sauce, accompanied with jollof rice with sauteed green peas and plantain cubes, garnished with fried onions).

Now if either of those meals are to your taste – that’s just great.  For you.  If they aren’t to your taste, well…  There’s not much I can say.  Personally, they’re not for me. And I don’t eat fish anyway.  What’s so wrong with making one of the dishes a Nigerian dish and the other something else?  This is actually the second time this has happened flying Emirates.  I suppose I should have known better and booked a special meal for myself?  At least I wouldn’t have had to wait three hours until after take-off for something to eat or drink.  Or maybe I should just fly Business Class all the time (poor LagosDad!)?

Another thing which the airline definitely needs to look at is their children’s meals.  I have flown Qatar Airways in Business Class and in Economy and although Vinay has refused to eat the food (being so fussy and all), it’s actually looked and tasted appealing.  Mini burgers, French fries, etc.  Actual children’s food!  I could not believe it when I saw his meal yesterday.  It was a big hunk of deep fried fish.  With a couple of tasteless potato wedges and boiled carrots.  It looked awful.  I don’t know anyone who would eat that.

V was hungry and had a bite of everything – but wasn’t impressed and ate no more.  

About thirty minutes after they cleared the meals, V started throwing up.  All over the blankets, himself, everywhere.  

He couldn’t be changed into his spare clothes as one of his bottles leaked in his bag and wet all his clothes.  All I will say on that subject is that I didn’t pack that bag.

Cabin crew were aware of what had happened as I’d gone to the galley to get rid of all the blankets, etc.

After V had thrown up enough times for me to need more airsick bags, I pressed the call button.

It took forty minutes for someone to come and see what was going on.  FORTY MINUTES.  And I kept pressing the button so that it made the ‘ding’ sound.  But still.  Forty minutes.  I’m not impressed.

Once I eventually got more bags, he was a bit better.  He was thirsty though and everytime he had some water, he’d throw up again.

Meanwhile one of the crew had come to check on him, and took some details (how many times had he been sick, what had he eaten, medication, etc.).  They contacted a medical team on the ground and I was told we had to wait until everyone else disembarked before we could see someone.

When we FINALLY landed and everyone else had gone, we went to First Class where the medics were waiting.  They asked a whole bunch of questions, checked V’s temperature (normal) and told me I could go with them to the medical centre and see a doctor right away or see my own doctor.  

Vinay was fine.  He was chatting to the head of the flight crew and was excited about finally having landed.  And I decided we’d just go home and see how he did.  I really thought it was probably just air sickness.  

And then he threw up again.  All over the First Class seats.  Haha!

I changed my mind and we went to the medical centre.  The medics drove us on one of the golf buggy thingies and Vinay was so excited about the siren, the horn and the speed!

We saw a doctor who prescribed some medication to settle his stomach.  He said it couldn’t be air sickness as it would have started when he was younger and earlier on in the flight and was probably just a gastro issue.

We finally got home at about 4 am.  And Vinay is fine.  

Thank God.

So – Emirates definitely need to rethink their meal options.  Also, I know the crew are always busy on flights, but if you can repeatedly hear the call bell – go and see what the hell is going on!!

The Emirates staff were very efficient when it came to V needing medical attention.  In the air and on the ground.  I was impressed.

 

Security

I received an email a couple of days ago.  I receive similar emails quite regularly, so I don’t know why this one scared the hell out of me.  I’ve copied and pasted it below (without correcting any grammar!)

 

Date : 21/9/12

 

Dear Friends ,

 

There has been a steady rise in reported crimes within Lagos and Ogun

States and other parts of Nigeria. Security incidents previously

largely confined to the mainland areas have become a daily occurrence

in Lagos Island, Ikoyi, V.Island and Lekki and now in Ota – Ogun

State . There is also a noticeable spike in kidnap and ransom (K&R)

cases, attacks at ATM points, cyber crimes, carjacking and residential

robberies. The majority of the incidents have mainly occurred at

night; however daytime occurrences of criminal attack are on the rise.

 

As usual every year in the past , The trend seems to be an increase in

crime rates during the Nov/ Dec months (period leading to Christmas

and New Year celebrations). The Indian High Commission is extending

all their efforts for implementing more measures to tighten the

security aspects for the citizens and giving support to all our

community members . However our members are advised to be more

vigilant about personal security to ensure safety at work and at home

.

General Security Tipss : for a kidnap situation

 

Victim as well as for Family members of Victims :

 

Please read below the tips :

 

Kidnap Situation Tips

 

If you are a kidnap victim:

 

· Try to stay calm – comply with the kidnappers. They are generally

after your material goods not life.

 

· Do give them the number of someone to call – try to have at least

one number memorized.

 

· Do not aggravate the kidnappers.

 

· Do not try to negotiate your own release.

 

· Do not make promises.

 

· Do not try anything foolhardy, for example attacking the kidnappers

(or aggravating them). Be judicious and stay alive.

 

· Be patient.

 

· Be assured – there are people working to have you released.

 

· Be aware – if you have an automated system from the bank which

shows your balance after a withdrawal via an sms to your mobile – they

may see this

 

 

If a family member or colleague is kidnapped:

 

· Stay calm

 

· Notify to your Office

 

· Notify the nearest Nigeria Police station.

 

· Wait, be prepared for a telephone call

 

o Try to write down or remember exactly what they say on the call

 

o Do not make promises to the kidnappers

 

o Do not mention any figures of cash to the kidnappers.

 

Security Advice/Tips

 

The following are helpful guidelines to reduce exposure to security incidents:

 

· Try to avoid night movements

 

· Vary routes and times of movements as much as possible.

 

· Avoid displaying signs of wealth (cash, bags/brief cases,

jewellery, laptop, bank documents especially in cars etc)

 

· Avoid using ATMs in public places.

 

· Do not take cabs or commercial motorbikes within bank premises.

 

· While in traffic, lock the doors and keep windows up.

 

· Increase vigilance especially when arriving/departing regularly

visited locations such as home, work, Church/Temple / Mosque, petrol

stations etc.

 

· Look back before the last turning of the street before entering

your residence Gate , to know and confirm sombody is not following

your car . If you find any suspicion then you should not enter the

residence gate and direct your driver to take the car to some other

safe place where ever you feel far from that place or drag the

journey some more time to confirm and ensure nobody is following you.

 

· Review your residential security and apply hardening measures

(procedure, equipment and trained security personnel) to your

estate/individual residences).

 

· Watch out for motorbikes (okada riders) and heighten your alertness

at all times for them.

 

· Don’t linger around after a social event, church or mosque service.

 

· Limit the number of people that know your personal details and

travelling arrangements.

 

· Do not enter into any argument in public over sensitive /

controversial matters

 

· Brief your family on what to do if you or somebody from the family

is kidnapped.

 

· Be aware of people observing you or your family. If at all

suspicious inform the Police or the Security Department straight away.

 

In case of any problem or if you have any information to share, please

contact Indian High Commission at Abuja/Lagos at the following

co-ordinates:

ETC.

I know it is for our own safety – but how are we meant to live normal, everyday lives like this?  What about ‘quality of life’?

Don’t go out at night?

Don’t use ATMs in public places?  Surely a secluded ATM is just a dangerous?

Vary routes and times of movements?  How are you meant to get to and from work/school at different times everyday?

How long are we meant to watch our backs for?  A month?  Two?  Forever?

Who EVER thought they’d read an email about how to deal with kidnappings and kidnappers?!

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how careful you are – if you’re the chosen target, that’s it.

Going Home

My flight back to Lagos is in about twenty-five hours.  And if all goes according to schedule, I should be home at approximately nine o’clock on Monday morning.

NEVER before have I counted the hours to go back.  The thought of leaving London usually fills me with dread.  But this time, I can’t wait to go home.

I have enjoyed being in London.  And I achieved almost everything on my list of things to do!

The things I *didn’t* do: Find shoes for Vinay or myself.  And to be honest, I didn’t even look.

And I didn’t buy any clothes for myself either.  Again, I barely looked.  Trying on jeans was too depressing for words – so I decided not to put myself through that in multiple stores!

I arrived in London thinking about how relaxing it would be.  I would watch TV shows, I would sleep for as long as I wanted and I would just chill out (between various appointments).  I wouldn’t have to worry about not having electricity, the generator breaking-down or buying diesel. 

I caught-up on TV shows.  I’m all up-to-date with 90210 and White Collar; and started watching New Girl as well as season 2 of Hawaii 5-0.

BUT – I just couldn’t sleep.  I was up at six every morning (after waking up countless times during the night) wondering about what Vinay was doing.  Did he wake up crying inconsolably during the night?  Did Hub remember to get diesel for the generator?  Would he take him to the doctor on Friday as scheduled (yes, he did)?  Is he (Vinay) eating his meals properly?  Would there be power during the day?  Who would take the dog out during the day?

It’s been a bit lonely.  My sister has been at work every day and my parents aren’t here.  I love going out and about and just walking around, but it’s something I’ve always done with my mum.

I am so lucky that I was able to come to London. 

But for the first time, I missed Lagos and can’t wait to go back!

Living In My Parents’ Home

My parents moved to Lagos permanently when I was two months old.  They had both already been here…  My maternal grandparents moved here when my mum was a child (she stayed in India and came here for holidays), and my dad had been in and out since the sixties.

When I was two, we moved house.  The house we moved into was lovely.  Master bedroom, children’s room, playroom, tv room.  And we had a huge garden in which we would play every day.  On the swings, monkey bars, slide or rocking horse.  We would play with one or all of the 14 cats (not ours, they just showed up) or with the 17 rabbits (ours – but regularly hunted by the cats!).  And later, we’d run in the garden with the dog (half Pomeranian, half Japanese Spitz called Champion).

We made many happy memories in our home.

My sister went to boarding school, followed by me in 1989 and followed my brother a few years later.  We would go back to Lagos for Easter and Christmas holidays.  And for October half-term since Diwali was usually around that time.  Coming back to Lagos was amazing.  Each holiday became more and more fun.  Once I reached my late teens, it wasn’t that much fun.  Everyone had grown up a lot and had other responsibilities, they couldn’t just hang around doing nothing all day.  

Once my brother went to school in the UK, my mum started spending more time there than in Lagos.  She spent her time between the two places, but was in London more and more.  

My dad felt lonely – but he travelled between the two places also.  He had his routine in place (I know, I’ve made him sound like a child).  He played cards, he went out to dinner, he watched his favourite TV shows, and he had a good set of friends.

When I moved back in 2004, I moved in with my dad, into my childhood home and into my old bedroom.  The white paint couldn’t hide the fact that the walls used to be purple! 

In April 2005 dad left Lagos (unforseen) and moved to London/Bombay permanently.  I refused to move too because it was half-way through the school year and I didn’t want to leave my kids.  So I stayed and lived with my cousin.  

I got engaged over the summer and since I would be living in Lagos permanently after the wedding, anyway, I came back to start my second year at school.  Again, I lived with my cousin.

In the run-up to our wedding, we decided that once we were married, we would live in my childhood home.  There was still a year left on the lease, it was empty and…  And why not?

We moved in three weeks after we came back from our honeymoon and there was stuff *everywhere*.  My mum didn’t know that her previous trip was her last (she has been for two visits since we married) and my dad left most of his belongings behind.

While I was very comfortable, surrounded by familiarity, Hub was not so happy.  He didn’t feel like it was *his* home.  Everywhere he looked there was a family photo, or other item that reminded him that it wasn’t home.

Slowly, I tried changing things.  I removed all my family photos and started putting up *our* family photos.  I had the sofa reupholstered and new curtains made.  Mum sent me new bedding and towels, etc.  We painted the walls – now instead of all of them being white, one is turquoise and another orange (don’t ask – but it works).  And moved the furniture around.

Sometimes I think we are SO lucky – we moved into a ‘ready-made’ house where *everything* was already there!  All the dishes were in the kitchen, tableware, barware, furniture, televisions, DVD players – the LOT!  We’ve saved ourselves quite a bit of money, I’d say.  And it’s *our* home now.  I love that Vinay had his first birthday party in the same garden we all had ours in.  And that his room is the same room I used to sleep in (no purple in sight!).  And I love that we have space.

What’s the downside?

Well…  My parents spent thirty years living here.  My mum is very used to how things *were* not how we have made them.

We regularly have conversations that go something like this…

Her:  You know what we used to do…?

Me:  Hmm

Her:  We used to put x, y and z like this…

Me:  But that’s not how I’m doing it.

Her:  You’re very silly.  You’re doing it wrong.

OR

Her:  I *never* did it like that (or, It never used to be like that).

Me:  Well, this is how I’ve decided to do it (or, That’s what it’s like now).

Her:  I see.  Well it sounds very silly to me.

I once mentioned that we wanted to get new furniture – a new dining table, sideboard, dining chairs, etc.  She *freaked* out.  ‘What do you mean you want new furniture?  The furniture at home is good American furniture!  You’ll never find anything like it!’  I tried to explain to her that while it was very nice furniture, it wasn’t *ours*.  And it was thirty years old (but in good condition)

But, instead of selling it and buying new stuff, we re-arranged the living room with the help of a friend.  We were all very pleased with the result – it looked fab.  I took pictures and emailed them to the family.  They all replied with compliments on how great it looked.  Apart from mum.  She replied with, ‘Why is that heavy Ganesh statue on the piano?’  And, ‘The curtains need washing.’

Don’t get me wrong, she’s actually very supportive about a lot of things.  She helps me find upholstery, bedding, appliances, etc.  Helps with V and is very hands-on.

I think she’s found it very difficult to let go.  It must be hard for her to see people living in what was *her* home and running it differently to how she would do it.  Especially since all her belongings are still here.  All her crystal and silver dishes (which I will return once they’ve settled somewhere permanently).

But it’s been nearly six years!  How much more can I take?  I have to remind her every now and then that it is now *my* home and that the way she did things doesn’t necessarily work for me!

Go on – tell me.  How selfish am I being?

 

 

Coming Back to Lagos

I wasn’t going to blog about my flight (and the events leading up to it) back to Lagos because I’d already posted about my flight to London.  I really didn’t think it could be that different.  If anything, it would be better – because it was a night flight and V would (hopefully) sleep.  More fool me…

I had to buy a new return-ticket from London to Lagos (and back to London).  The price difference between economy and premium economy was really too much – and since I wasn’t planning to take V with me, I bought an economy ticket.

When I arrived in London, I called Virgin and added Vinay to my booking and asked how much it would cost to upgrade to premium economy.  £1500.  I don’t know what I was thinking, but in a moment of madness, I told them to go ahead and upgrade me.  I gave them my card details – not from our joint account, because I already had an inkling that Hub would freak out!

Over the next day, I started feeling incredibly guilty and decided to ‘downgrade’ us to economy again.  I called Virgin.  Luckily, my bank had blocked the payment (thank you Lloyds), since it was a large one and they were able to keep us in economy.  Phew!  

So, two days later it was time to leave (the time went so quickly!).  The day was very stressful – running around Oxford St so I could do VATs, packing (yes, my fault for not starting sooner) and generally stressing myself out.  Once we (my parents came to drop V and I off) arrived at the airport, I spent forty minutes in the VAT queue.  I was so annoyed by the end of it.  While I was in the line, my mum was walking V up and down in his stroller as he was getting a bit tired, hungry and cranky.

After VAT, I went to check-in and was told “the infant hasn’t been added to your booking”.  WHAT?  Apparently this wasn’t a problem, I just had to go to the ticketing counter and pay for him.

While I was there, I asked the man about upgrading to premium.  I had my fingers and toes crossed.  It HAD to be less expensive than £1500.  It was… £314.  YES!  I handed over my card (from our joint account, this time) and smiled.  I felt so relieved.  Every little bit of space mattered.  He processed the payment and then started tapping on the keyboard.  Made a phone call and said, “I’m so sorry.  We don’t have any seats suitable for passengers with infants in premium economy for tonight’s flight.  I’m so sorry – I was looking at tomorrow night’s flight.”  WHAT?  I felt like punching him in the face, but managed to restrain myself.  Just.  It took another 10 effing minutes to refund the £314.

Went back to check-in and the man behind the counter was a cocky bastard.  He flicked through our passports, claiming he couldn’t see valid visas and we wouldn’t be allowed to fly without them (duh).  I found the relevant pages and showed him.  “Oh yes.  Perfect.”  Idiot.  We had five pieces of luggage to check-in (don’t ask).  He tagged all the bags, including the stroller.  I was very undecided as to whether I should take the stroller up to the gate or check it in.  Only because the last time we took it to the gate, it was the very last item to come out when we landed.  We landed at 5am, and we didn’t get it until about 10am.  So, it was a bit of a dilemma.  I had to take it anyway – I didn’t think I could manage a long walk to the gate with the bags, etc.  Plus my arm has been hurting a lot from carrying V so much.  While trying to sort everything out, my mum kept saying in the background, “Ask him to put an upper class tag on the buggy.  Then it will come out first.  Just ask him.”  This was extremely annoying and I did my best to ignore her.  Then she went up to the counter herself and tried to explain what she wanted him to do.  He looked at her like she’d lost a marble or two.  Dad and I were trying to get her to stop talking – but it didn’t work too well.

The last piece of luggage was V’s new car seat – it was already in a carton.  A big carton.  It didn’t fit on the belt, so we had to take it “under the escalator and leave it there”.  When I turned around, the Virgin check-in hall, which had been over-crowded when we got there was virtually empty.  HOW LONG HAD I BEEN THERE?  

V was screaming in his stroller (because we weren’t moving) when we said goodbye to my parents.  (I hate saying goodbye to them, it always makes me a bit teary.)  While we went through passport control and security, he decided it was time to take a dump.  After cleaning him up, I had to go straight to the gate.  No time for duty free 😦  I was hoping to find the handbag I didn’t find in Selfridges!

When we boarded I realised we didn’t have one of those front seats that they usually reserve for passengers with infants.  I was further back.  I didn’t have an aisle or a window seat.  I had one of those effing seats in the middle of a row of four.  WTF?  It was about 9.40pm (ish) by this time.  And V was still quite wide awake – trying to make eye contact with random people and smile at them.  We sat and I watched.  I watched each person walking down the aisle – hoping that they weren’t coming to sit next to me.

They told us to switch off our phones and fasten our seat belts.  And still no one had come to sit in the aisle seat next to me.  YES!  So we had two seats.  When V fell asleep, he lay on the next seat.

However, before he fell asleep, there was a lot of:

Walking around

Watching the two people across the aisle (that had only just met) make out

Crying

Rocking

Walking (again)

Eating Petits Filous at 2am 

I think he slept from about 3 – 5am.  And he slept through the landing.  Thank goodness.

Our luggage, including the stroller, came out pretty quickly and we were home by 7.30am 🙂

I’m still not travelling alone with him for a long time!