Flying to Hanoi

Baggage ach! So much baggage! 😕

My flight was delayed by an hour. I must have decided to make my way to the boarding gate just as they marked it open. I’m not sure how this happened but I was the first one on the plane for the first time in my life!

I was in a kind of dazed stupor I’m going to call the “Changi airport chill out factor” due to the gentle jazz, smooth, quiet efficiency, prevalent greenery, lovely air conditioning and comfortable furnishings of Singapore’s extraordinary airport. My inexperience with domestic flights shows. I marvel at the ease and simplicity of it all. (Although Singapore is a different country from Vietnam, this 3 hour flight definitely has the laid back feel of a domestic one).

Despite Shiv’s excellent help with reducing my baggage contents, it was still over 2kg more than it should’ve been (9kg instead of 7kg), so I asked the check in desk lady “What can I do?” Another moment of vulnerability faced, owned and acted upon. (It’s all good practice for me!) The cost of putting my bag in the hold was only £20. I wished I’d just booked it in in the first place.

I have one more flight on this part of my trip but my attempts to navigate the booking systems of Air Asia to change my baggage allowance have been futile. I’ll just hope I can pay at the airport again as I did this time.

This is one of the things I’ll not miss about flying. Though once my backpack was checked in I did feel remarkably free and easy with just my shoulder bag. This was how I’d imagined it would be!

Baggage. We carry so much of it these days. One is not immune from accumulating ridiculous amounts of material stuff just because one is a vicar. Being conscious of the huge gaping vortex of consumerism waiting to suck us all in and spit us out is a good first step to living more simply, but it’s not enough. I think the only thing to do is to really try to practise not accruing stuff. I have to say, although I still brought too much stuff, it has been quite releasing to live with fewer clothes and possessions around me.

I like this cartoon by Michael Leunig that we have on our loo wall at home:

I notice this flight is far from full. They’ve probably got room for 50 bags the size of mine in the lockers and another 50 in the seats. (I’m wondering whether there’s enough people on board to stop us from flying off into the ether! Maybe other people voted with their feet when the flight was delayed by an hour? Or maybe this is normal for VietJet? Of which, worryingly, Shiv and Jamie had never heard. I think I might be travelling on the Vietnamese equivalent of Aeroflot!) But anyway, that’s beside the point. Just because you can fit so much stuff into your bag doesn’t mean you need to cram it in to the hilt. And yet we do, don’t we? Hmmm.

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