I wish I haven't maligned Qatar Airways so much as I did last week. Last weekend I was on my trip back to Melbourne - again with Qatar - and even though I'm not superstitious, I cannot ignore the bad karma that haunted me that weekend. On my flight to Germany my biggest complaint was a lack of luxury on Doha airport. This time Doha was the least of my problems.
It started in Frankfurt at the airport, where they changed the gate in the last minute which caused a little running around like a headless chicken to not miss my flight. Other than that I had no reason to complain so far. I got my window seat, an empty seat right next to me. All was well in my world.
In Doha I was actually surprised how quick I could get on the next flight to Melbourne. Only one hour transit is unusually quick. On the final flight to Melbourne I also had an empty seat right next to me. On a 14 hour flight this is irreplaceable, because there's nothing worse than rubbing your body against a stranger for such a long time. So I was happy apart from the two kids behind me constantly kicking my seat and coughing in my neck. They were even more sick than I was - so now I got a mixture of a German flue and some Arab kids virus. But this was just the tip of the iceberg. I had to pay my price for my last blog article.
After a so far uneventful flight I woke up after some hours and wanted to check the current location and the estimated arrival. I was quite surprised when I realized we were no longer flying towards Melbourne, but Perth!
Somewhere over the Gibson Desert (at the border between Western Australia and Northern Territory) a little child collapsed on the plane and needed urgent medical support. They supported the girl with some oxygen and the pilot decided to find the nearest airport for an emergency landing to give the child the necessary medical support. As much as this is quite easy in Europe, if you're over Australia it gets a little more complicated. We were three and a half hours away from Melbourne, but even Perth was two hours away. Anyway the pilot headed for Perth, since those 90 minutes can make the difference.
We didn't get further updates on how the journey would continue. Did we had to stay in Perth for the night? Would they just drop the girl and move on? At some point you realize that there's nothing you can do and you just accept your faith and get comfortable with the idea of spending a night in some hotel in Perth.
Eventually we arrived in Perth and they've asked us to stay seated. This was a good sign, since it meant that we're probably reaching Melbourne that night after all. Even though it still took them one hour to get the child off the plane and refill the plane (because they didn't had enough fuel for the detour). By the time we left Perth the sun was going down already, which means it has been dark in Melbourne for quite some time already.
We arrived in Melbourne three hours later in the middle of the night. The good thing about that is that normally immigrations and customs takes FOREVER, while this time there wasn't really a queue anywhere. My only complaint at this point was that they've raised the customs fee for importing tobacco again by $2 a pack (of tobacco). Bastards... Finding a taxi that takes me home also wasn't a problem, because there's no one at the airport except some empty taxis.
On the way home I felt a bit embarrassed, because I was smelling really bad. But the taxi drivers picking up people from the airport are probably used to it. So I was looking forward to a warm shower and going to bed soon. I knew that I had to wait for half an hour or so to get some warm water, because I pulled the fuse from the boiler when I left Australia - there's just no point heating up water for two weeks for no reason at all. So I arrived in the apartment, turned on the fuse, lights go on, the boiler starts making some gurgling noise. All is well to the point where the fuse of the boiler comes out again with a big bang. I was a bit worried, but decided to put it back in, which only resulted in it coming straight out again with a big PUFF.
There was nothing I could do that night, so I went to bed smelling like a pig. I was going to have a shower in the office the next morning. A couple of hours later on my way to the office, I felt embarrassed again on the tram for the really bad smell. I packed fresh clothes and some shower gel, but only realized at the office that I forgot my towel at home. So I had to go back again and it started to feel like a torture.
By now the boiler is working again (they had to replace a couple of pieces and I had to let the water run for about 50 minutes, because it was filled with rusty water). I don't smell that bad any more as well, but the situation with the boiler was just the cherry on top of the banana cake. And for those of you who don't know: I absolutely hate bananas!