Anatomy of a 16 Hour Plane Ride

By Calista Kusuma


  • Hour 1: You walk through the crowded aisles and get settled into your seat to prepare yourself for the long haul.  You have a quick browse of the in-flight entertainment guide, only to find that they have the same three episodes of Modern Family again. The stewardess hands you a hot towel and you feel somewhat refreshed as you hand it back to her, while the sound of the classic safety video comes to life. “Keep your seat upright for takeoff and landing, keep your window shades down”, same old, same old. You chuck your earphones on and quickly try to download some episodes of Stranger Things while you have a minuscule connection to the free airport wifi, only to no avail- the stewardess tells you that all devices must be turned off for take off and you give her a somber smile and “sorry”, only to put your phone on airplane mode and play “I Believe I Can Fly” on full blast until you find yourself looking out the window to the sight of the beautiful cloud-filled sky.
  • Hour 2: Food time! You keep your eye on the food cart and try to listen out for what’s on the menu. “Chicken or Fish?”- what a surprise. Your eyes flicker between the food cart and the Modern Family pilot for a solid 10 minutes until you realise that it’s gonna be a while until it reaches you. When it finally does you pick the chicken, but let’s face it, you’re probably not going to finish any airplane food, so you just eat the fruit on the side.


  • Hour 4: You’ve finished your food and your tv episodes. What else is there to do? You spend a couple of minutes taking some photos of the pretty sky to post on Instagram later (as we all do). You then scroll through the entertainment guide aimlessly and settle on watching Marley and Me.
  • Hour 5: Bad choice, Marley and Me is only good if you want the people in the seats next to you judging you as you cry for half an hour. You dry your eyes after it finishes and hop up to get to the bathroom- ah the dreaded, awkward passage from your seat near the window to the aisle. You say your sorry’s to the passengers next to you as they groan while you squeeze through the little leg space and cover their tvs. You then do it again when you get back from the bathroom and take a deep breath as you settle back into your seat- I swear bathrooms are worst on planes.
  • Hour 9: You’ve just awakened from a long nap and you’re halfway there. You do the bathroom routine again and decide to spend some time catching up on some mid semester holiday readings as you sit back down. Pulling out your laptop from your Fjall Raven backpack under the seat in front of you, you open the small tray table and find your laptop just managing to balance on it. You first hook yourself onto the plane wifi 100MB free trial, but upon accidentally downloading the Playconomics Game, it finishes. You groan to yourself and have to settle for reading the free online PDF and get your study going- when the Adobe PDF Reader highlighters come out, you know that this student is serious about their study.


  • Hour 12: Textbook readings and practice questions are done, and there’s still six more hours to go. The food cart is coming around again, just in time. You choose fish this time, but order some free ice cream on the side as a little treat to yourself for making it through twelve long hours. You crack open a comedy on the tv and relax as you enjoy the taste of the forever Australian, Weiss Mango Bar, and for a while you feel like you’re back home sitting on your couch on a Friday night.
  • Hour 14: The person in front of you has leaned back their chair close enough that the back of their chair is approximately 10cm from your face. So you follow suit and lean back for another small nap. As you close your eyes, you think about how much you miss home, but you also get excited for the new adventure that you’re about to embark on. You think of all the sights that you’ve been dreaming of seeing, and how you’ll finally get to see them. You think of the new people you’re going to meet and the new food that you’ll get to try. You think of napping in a hotel bed, rather than some random airplane seat.
  • Hour 16: You open your eyes to the sound of the seatbelt sign being turned off and everyone standing up to get their luggage. You stand up and stretch your arms and legs nice and wide. You pull out your backpack and sling it across your back- ready to get off this plane, and most importantly, ready to begin your new journey.


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