Sunday, January 5, 2014


Before we even made it through the gates our plastic free travel attempt was a fail. All my home made potions (toothpaste, hair treatments, coconut oil, essential oils etc) had to go in snap lock bags. This was super annoying, but in truth it's lucky because some did leak. I had my toothpaste and my dandruff potion in the same bag during the flight. Before touchdown I went to freshen up and brush my teeth. Something had leaked and I assumed it was my toothpaste, and so as not to waste any I scooped it up from the bottom of the bag. Of course it was my dandruff potion. Fail 1. Yuck. 

The rest of the journey was just as bad. I knew it would be. It was actually atrocious. All our food was wrapped in plastic, even the bread roll. Thinking we were doing the right thing we refrained from opening all the little packages hoping they would be saved for another traveller. In this process we realised that two of our three bamboo sporks were still at home in our kitchen draw. Fail 2. I was curious to know if our efforts to not open things were worth it, so I asked the staff. Alas EVERYTHING, opened or unopened, gets chucked after each meal. Sporkless and dejected we opened all of our meals, at least we were not wasting the food now. 

We also could not resist the lollies on take off and landing. Fail 3. 

We did have some wins though. Quincey turned down two Sponge Bob kids activity packs. I was very proud of him. He was impressed enough with unlimited access to screens. 


We also found it useful to ask staff to fill our stainless steel water bottles to avoid their plastic disposable ones. We refused the tea/coffee stirring pack - it occurred to me that you could BYO milk powder if you can stand the camping tea taste. This would avoid the tiny UHT milk packs. 

Our final fail was self imposed. We were tired, confused and exhausted. Hence the bottle of gin, complete with foam non breaky thing and an enormous snap lock bag. Things can only get better. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hello Qatar, goodbye Qatar

After a ten hour flight we we are about to touch down in Qatar. I don't even really know where Qatar is. I mean I've looked it up on a map - it's a gulf state, but that's all I know about it. Yet the pilot is welcoming us. Looking out over the city the lights look like some weird luminous mother board. I can't make out what the lights might be. Maybe they the are of mine sites or perhaps residential compounds. But what is more mysterious is the black space in between the lights. Maybe that is where Qatar's unique culture dwels, modest and timeless. Where the lights are sparse they could be stars. Hang on. Sink back in the seat. Breath. Stars are up, lights and land below. The truth is that this country is as unknown to me as the rest of the universe. I feel struck by this. Maybe it's because we are such seldom travellers I think it's strange to be so transient. Does all this travel we enjoy today really facilitate cultural exchange? Not for us and Qatar. Hello, goodbye. I like your shiny airport.