M and the kids got on a plane to Tokyo this morning (just barely!). That was all much harder than it should have been but they should be in the air on the way from Abu Dhabi to Tokyo now.
It's been a remarkably stressful week.
It started last weekend with me noticing that S had chicken pox just days before they were all due to fly. He actually had spots one or two days before that but I thought they were insect bites (R had insect bites aplenty). We thought we might be able to fly anyway given the timing and the official policies of airlines but the doctor said we couldn't (and if he had not still been contagious, S would have been horrible to fly with on Thursday). So now we're into insurance claims. We were lucky that managed to rebook at about the same price. It seems that not so many people want to fly Etihad via Abu Dhabi on 9/11. Any other airline or Etihad on any other day was 800e more! Virgin Atlantic take bikes for free, Etihad charge them as excess baggage (45e/kg * 20kg = 900e!). So I'm left with an enormous cardboard box with half-assembled bikes in it.
Next up was finding out at the start of the week that my original Tokyo transfer plan has been scuppered by company-wide changes in staffing. I can either wait and see with no guarantees or start down a different path. So now I'm starting down a different path. Also wondering whether I should start dusting off my CV.
Finally today, for no very good reason we barely made check-in at the airport. It didn't help that it was terminal 2 which neither of us had ever been in and, as they say, mistakes were made. It ended with my heading to oversized baggage while M took the kids up to the security queue. Oversized baggage was broken in some way and had a queue of about 30 people with golf bags when I got there. I headed to the top of the queue and explained that they had made special phone calls about our luggage at the desk and that my wife and kids were running for the flight. Once the system was working again, the nice man took our stuff. By the time I got upstairs they were gone.
With about 4 hours sleep and a major dose of adrenalin at the airport this morning I have been completely unsettled all day. I'm supposed to be tidying the house but my stomach is still spinning and doing something useful seems impossible. I wonder would I feel better if I had managed to say goodbye properly. Do the "sad goodbye" chemicals cancel out the "run for your life" chemicals? It was weird feeling like this all day. It reminds me of taking exams or sitting outside the principal's office but that's usually quite quick. Having had it for about 12 hours now, I can totally understand how people give themselves up to the police after they've committed a crime.