Day 50, 51: Farewell Xian, for now (Sat 17 and Sun 18 December)

The long trip home commenced with a fairly streamlined checkout and departure process. We were all packed and ready to go when Allison and the hospital car came to collect us and take us to the airport.

Despite my exhaustion I only slept for an hour last night.

The plane ride through to Hong Kong was pretty easy but we were very disappointed with the quality of the expensive airport hotel. We stayed there so we wouldn’t have to travel in a cab at the crack of dawn to get our plane the following day. The last time I stayed at the airport hotel in HK was in 2002 and to me it hadn’t had a touch of TLC since then. Great location – poor quality and grossly overpriced.

I flaked out in the hotel on Saturday night while Brad navigated public transport to find the Catholic Church in Kowloon. The post-HiFU pain started so the night wasn’t very comfortable.

Cathay Pacific looked after me very well at check in when I was really starting to struggle post HiFU. I was offered a wheelchair and an escort and so the emigration process was far better than I could have hoped. I was very grateful.

We got the same excellent treatment when we arrived at Changi in Singapore. It took seven, yes count them, seven minutes between getting off the plane, going through customs and migration and getting into a cab to see some friends for our five hour stopover. What amazing service. Thank you Changi.

It was great to meet up with Jules, Matt, Elaine, Tamara, Paul and Jany during our short visit to Singapore. Thanks everyone for coming out to see us – we really appreciated it.

I was very uncomfortable on the flight from Singapore to Perth but at least it was short. Not short enough for me not to get annoyed though… Business class was about 90% men, a couple of women and a screaming baby. I was made to feel oh, so special when the hosts on Qantas introduced themselves to all the blokes on the plane then later asked Mr Nordstrom, Mr Smith, Mr Maguire etc etc what they would like for dinner. After the hostess took Brad’s order she said, “and….” at which time she looked at me blankly. So perhaps I had become invisible and had lost my name as well. Unbelievable. Later on it happened again, and Brad said, my partner’s name is Jaye. We’re not sure if the point was lost on her or not.

Of course it got even better when we arrived at Perth airport in the wee hours. I might as well have asked for a tooth extraction mid-flight as much as a wheelchair – it really looked like I was putting the staff out. Finally they brought me a wheelchair, got me off the plane and parked me at the top of the walkway. Then the assistant told me to wait there (in the chair) because she had to get another wheelchair and another passenger? What? How exactly was she supposed to push both of us? Brad agreed to push me just to get out of there which was fine until we got to picking up our baggage. Noone was interested in helping so Brad piled all the bags on a trolley and pushed it with one hand and me with the other. It was a total joke. Finally one young woman who was a Qantas employee offered assistance. It was quite obvious it wasn’t part of her job description but she cared and wanted to do the right thing. As always, it only takes one person to make change and have impact. She did – thank you. Ordinarily I would have asked for her name and sent a letter of commendation but at nearly 2am and overcome with pain I couldn’t do it.

It was great to see Dad when he picked me up and I cried most of the way home.

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3 Responses to Day 50, 51: Farewell Xian, for now (Sat 17 and Sun 18 December)

  1. Carly says:

    I had the same problem getting my kids through passport control at the Perth airport – I had to push the trolley of suitcases with one hand, and my younger son in the stroller with the other hand, as well as keep an eye on my elder son and make sure he didn’t get up to mischief. It was not easy, to say the least!

  2. Dee says:

    My sincerest codolences to Jaye’s loved ones. So sorry to hear of the sad passing of Jaye. Although I had never met her I enjoyed her blog updates immensely – such an intelligent, courageous and spirited woman. Jaye, may you rest in peace, free from pain and get on with organising a thing or two upstairs.

  3. Former Labor MP Jaye Radisich has lost her long battle with cancer.
    She passed away today at the Bendat Family Comprehensive Cancer Centre at St John of God Hospital in Subiaco, surrounded by her family and partner Brad Maguire.
    She was the youngest woman elected to State Parliament and would have turned 36 later this month.

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