I arrived in plenty of time for my flight and pretty quickly worked out that this place was organised! Arrivals, Departures, and more importantly changes in departures were being announced constantly over the public address system.
Feeling like a seasoned traveller I made my way to the lounge and waited for the other passengers to show up. Well I was early!
First to show up was a charming young lady toting a voluminous white wedding gown and a ton of hand luggage. And I had sweated to get under the 5 kg limit! Maybe she knew something I didn't. No.... they'd have to be strict on luggage weight surely. I mean to carry 1 kilogram of luggage 20,000 kilometres would burn about... ummm..... anyway a lot of kerosene, I was sure of that. The train on her wedding dress alone must have weighed in at 5 kilos.
It turned out that she was heading off to Morroco to get married. The charming gentlemen accomanying her was not her husband to be but her father. She had met a Morrocan boxer during the Sydney Olympics 2000. How romantic! A great story!
The next to arrive was a young woman studying English Literature. She was off to China to rendezvous with the boyfriend and then to teach English in a quite remote Chinese Village. I've forgotten her name so let's call her "Madame X".
Departure was set at 2120 hours (9.20 p.m.) At 8.50 only 21 or so passengers had fronted.
By 9.00 there was no sign of the boarding staff of other passengers. Nothing to worry about, I reassured my co-travellers. I must have some leadership charm because nobody outright panicked. A few shifted uneasily in their seats. "Any changes of departure gate will be announced", I said confidently.
I knew this for a fact as I had been an international traveller all of ... mmm... 60 minutes or so. At about 2115 "Madama X" came back breathlessly from a recce -
"They've changed the gate - it's 2 gates along!"
Wedding dress and related tackle was swooped up and we flew breathlessly over to the new gate and straight on to the plane. Not even time to stop and berate the airport staff!
Ahem... live and learn. Obviously the old "eternal vigilance" was going to be necesary to survive in the airport jungle. He he he - the adventure had started and I wasn't off the ground yet!