I really, really enjoy being on a plane.

Mind you, the feel-good feeling only starts after I buckle my seat belt. Packing is tedious, saying goodbye hurts, airports are overpriced and soulless, and passenger security screening is annoying, not to mention that buying a plane ticket is a headache if you’re not fluent in dynamic pricing and fine print.

But once the plane takes off, it’s bliss. I don’t have to do anything yet I’m going somewhere. As opposed to regular life where I spent my time doing things and seemingly going nowhere.

The going nowhere part is a big problem right now. Do you also have this nagging feeling you’re running around in circles?

I do.

No matter how hard I work, life is getting more and more expensive and dreams more and more unreachable. The world is more difficult to navigate. It’s hard to tell who is right and who is wrong, who is wise and who is the evil dude with an agenda.

Frankly, the world is exhausting right now.

But I stop caring the minute we take off. I’m offline, for a start. It helps a lot. And once I land, I’m a new person with new missions.

I had a few things to do in France this fall, so I looked for plane tickets and I discovered the new Air France non-stop flight between Ottawa and Paris was much, much more affordable than when it started in late June. It’s low season, I guess.

I was actually excited to fly with Air France. I’m not particularly patriotic but I always go for the cheapest option, and I’m getting tired of low-cost airlines with barebone services and reliability. Air Transat, Flair Airlines or Avianca are anything but fancy, and Air Canada is so bad it feels like a budget airline.

Flying out of Ottawa was the cherry on the cake. “YOW” isn’t exactly a major hub—there’s only a handful of direct international flights, mostly to the US and to “sun destinations” like Punta Cana or Montego Bay. If you drive to the airport and make a spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a ticket on the next flight, you’re more likely to end up in Halifax, Thunder Bay or Iqaluit than halfway around the world.

On Monday, Feng and Mark drove me to the airport and we said goodbye, again.

I did enjoy the flight—it’s just a bit more comfortable, with free blankets and pillows, better food, nicer service, a vast movie selection, and other small perks.

Looking out the window at takeoff was quite a unique experience—I had never seen Ottawa from above so clearly, and we flew right above the house and the park where Mark was playing right when I was flying!

Landing in Paris at 6:30 a.m. was weird. It was still pitch dark outside and everybody seemed to be half asleep. I was lucky, despite the current very high terrorism threat level, everything went smoothly and I boarded my flight to Nantes on time.

I was lucky, actually. The day after and today again, many airports in France were evacuated for security reasons.

Now, time to get things done in France!

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (not mine, but apparently a big thing before flyign these days...)
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (not mine, but apparently a big thing before flyign these days…)
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, AF 327 Ottawa-Paris
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, AF 327 Ottawa-Paris
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, AF 327 Ottawa-Paris
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, AF 327 Ottawa-Paris
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, AF 327 Ottawa-Paris
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, AF 327 Ottawa-Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa… actually literally above where we live and above the park where Mark was playing right when I was taking off!
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa... actually literally above where we live and above the park where Mark was playing right when I was taking off!
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa… actually literally above where we live and above the park where Mark was playing right when I was taking off!
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa... actually literally above where we live and above the park where Mark was playing right when I was taking off!
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa… actually literally above where we live and above the park where Mark was playing right when I was taking off!
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, above Ottawa
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, landing in Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, landing in Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, landing in Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, landing in Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, landing in Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, landing in Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, landing in Paris
AF 327 Ottawa-Paris, landing in Paris
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), 6:30 a.m.
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), 6:30 a.m.
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), 6:30 a.m.
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), 6:30 a.m.
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), 6:30 a.m.
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), 6:30 a.m.
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), 6:30 a.m. (French priorities!)
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), gate 56, terminl 2F, waiting to board the flight to Nantes
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), gate 56, terminl 2F, waiting to board the flight to Nantes
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), gate 56, terminl 2F, waiting to board the flight to Nantes
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), gate 56, terminl 2F, waiting to board the flight to Nantes
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), gate 56, terminl 2F, waiting to board the flight to Nantes
Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), gate 56, terminl 2F, waiting to board the flight to Nantes
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
AF 7500 Paris to Nantes, above Nantes region
Finally in the bus from the airport to downtown Nantes!
Finally in the bus from the airport to downtown Nantes!
 

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7 Comments

  1. Lexie October 19, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    Enjoy the trip ! Do you have to face administration again ?

    Reply
    1. Zhu October 19, 2023 at 8:30 pm

      How did you guess? 😆

      Reply
  2. Martin Penwald October 24, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    Tiens, j’ai jeté un œil, et il n’y a pas l’air d’y avoir d’offre TGVAir pour aller à Nantes. Bon, le trajet, c’est minimum 3 heures en train, donc bon, mais après ça dépend d’où se trouve la gare et l’aéroport à Nantes. C’est ce qui est pratique quand on va sur Lille, la gare TGV a un code qu’on peut entrer directement dans le champ d’arrivée (c’est XDB, comme YOW c’est Ottawa et CDG c’est Roissy-mongénéral).
    D’ailleurs, détail rigolo, j’ai régulièrement eu des prix moins chers pour faire Canada-XDB que pour faire Canada-CDG avec Air France, alors même que le vol est exactement le même.

    Reply
    1. Zhu October 25, 2023 at 7:19 pm

      En règle général, je préfère largement prendre le train que l’avion pour les petits trajets. En fait, ça m’arrive très rarement, soit c’est Air Transat direct Montréal-Nantes, soit on arrive à Paris et on prend le train. De mémoire, j’ai seulement fait Paris-Nantes en avion quand Mark était bébé, et une fois quand j’étais enceinte avec un vol qui passait par Amsterdam. Là, en fait, c’était bizarrement le même prix pour Ottawa-Nantes et Ottawa-Paris, donc vu que le TGV n’est pas gratuit, ben j’ai fait ma connasse qui fait un vol d’une heure.

      Je ne connais pas le code XDB. C’est du patois local, l’inspiration?

      Reply
      1. Martin Penwald October 25, 2023 at 10:21 pm

        Ah, je me suis mal exprimé. XDB, c’est le code aéroport pour la gare Lille-Europe, comme YOW est le code aéroport pour Ottawa, même si c’est pas un aéroport, qu’on peut choisir comme destination sur le site d’Air France.

        Reply
        1. Zhu October 26, 2023 at 9:08 pm

          Non, je crois que c’est juste ma blague de merde, je trouvais le code XDB assez “cryptic” 😉

          Le savais-tu? BUM est le code aéroport de Butler, USA et FUK celui de Fukuoka au Japon. Et j’ai pris une fois un vol pour “HEL” (Helsinki).

          Reply
  3. Pingback: 5 Aspects of Life in France in October I’m Rediscovering

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