It’s been 29 hours since we left Auckland Airport, and we now are somewhere in the dizzyingly complex airport maze of Frankfurt, waiting for our final connecting flight.
Frankfurt Airport is a far cry from Changi, like the 747 delivering us here, everything is kitted out in uniform shades of grey, milteristic airport controllers bark instructions in German, and all comfort is kept to a strict minimum. Not even a water fountain graces the endless cheerless corridors.
Our flight from Changi was equally bland. I decided to abandon my time deprivation experiment, opting to instead engage in a sleep deprivation experiment. Our German airliner fully supported me with my new research assignment. Cabin size was cramped, there were no entertainment screens, and my brief venture into the exciting world of non-vegetarianism came to an abrupt stop as I bravely ventured for the beef in-flight meal. In what can only be described as burnt dog droppings sitting on a large bed of sticky freshly passed tape worm, it was enough to even make the hardest of meat-lovers think twice. A daring taste test confirmed my assumptions. Following our meal it was lights off and passengers were expected to sleep, or at least pretend to sleep. But, the cramped confinement ensured there was no sleep to be had. With only images of my in-flight meal flashing through my mind, I sought distraction in my book. On came the reading light, but I anxiously kept looking over my shoulder half expecting one of the stewards to instruct me to put my book away and go back to ‘sleep’.
I finished my book optimally timed with the completion of the second leg of our flight.
Having been awake now for well over 30 hours, I feel surprisingly refreshed. My experiment is going well and I feel could give Jack Bauer a run for his money.
Inflight meals, and airport blandness aside, our journey is now nearly over. We depart shortly for Oslo as soon as the officials find our plane, which apparently has arrived, but seems to be at the wrong gate, or missing, or something (Frankfurt Airport is astonishingly massive, and would appear to be one of the central hubs servicing most of Europe).
We are still on schedule to arrive bright and early for Summer Solstice in Oslo. I just told Brian we will have to stay up until midnight, to fully embrace the local celebrations.
He laughed at me.