International travel is, quite simply, a pain in the derriere.
Airports suck. Customs is a drag. Then you get crammed into cattle class with six screaming babies behind you, a spewing kid or three in front, and the snoring, drooling guy who doesn't understand personal boundaries next to you. All that agony for what feels like an eternity.
You can't have the Prime Minister putting up with that. Today he's been flying to Fiji, not in the 757 he's used to -- but in the Hercules. Like, effectively a cargo plane. It has a bucket for a bathroom. And the flight to Fiji is five hours.
I'd never been on one before today. More experienced journos decided to freak me out. Here's a picture of me before we took off.
That's a fake smile. I was very anxious.
So what's it like? Noisy. A bit cold. First class comparable? You decide:
Leg room for Africa. So much space I could swing cats off my ankles. Not that I ever would, because I love cats.
It gets a bit chilly in the old Herc' -- never fear, a lovely man from the airforce pulled down the wooden blanket they'd fashioned into a tablecloth so I could snuggle up. Bless.
Dessert = Boysenberry cheesecake. 10/10 would dine again.
Whoever made it: absolute genius. Ice Bucket down the middle. Need one for my house.
Okay, it's loud. Silver lining? You can't hear anyone speaking to you, so no one does. And you can rock out to sweet tunes in peace.
You know how I said it was a cargo plane? Well the seating is just netting. No cuddle class or snooze pods here, sorry folks. Prepare for bum numbness.
To be fair they did put a toilet seat on the bucket -- but I was still too scared to go for the entire five hours.
Once I tired of working and reading I got a bit fidgety. Here's what it resulted in -- iPad Art. You're welcome NZ.
All in all, if you can deal with the bathroom thing, I reckon you're away laughing -- although I don't see commercial airlines offering the service any time soon, unfortunately.
Maybe that's how the Defence Force could raise the $20 billion it needs for cool new stuff.