FLAN: I’ve never been a plane-spotter but…

I’ve never been a plane-spotter, train-spotter or for that matter a crane spotter.  However, now that we can fly to Wuhan China and Hong Kong from the Gold Coast, I’ve become all 3.

I’ve even thought mildly bad thoughts about “spotters” of all different kinds over the years.

Daggy was the first thing to come to mind when I thought about train-spotters particularly.


Crane-spotting I can cop. There’s a fair few cranes on the Gold Coast skyline and that means work for local tradies. Good thing.

I’d love to see stage 2 of the light rail finished so in one sense I am becoming a train spotter.

Maybe Johnathon Thurston could ask Malcolm Turnbull to complete stage 2 of the light rail while he’s on a roll.

However, plane-spotting I understand.

Watching a flying aluminium sausage take-off is nothing short of a miracle.


I’m excited because about 3 years ago I overcame a shocking fear of flying and I’ve been loving travelling by plane ever since.  It really set me free.

We’ve been whipping down to Canberra to see grandparents, Sydney to go see my outlaws.

I’m really looking forward to going to Hawaii to stay with mates and I wouldn’t have done any of that in my 30’s.

I used to drive those journeys (with the exception of Hawaii) out of a combination of morbid fear and genuinely loving driving holidays.

I always thought I’d attempt the drive to Hawaii; all I needed was to replace the seals on my car windows and get a snorkel for my carburettor 3 miles high.

However, I saw footage of a bloke in a 4WD on a beach who attempted to drive into the water in the direction of Hawaii to escape the police and he got all of 3 metres east of Australia.

Point is, my attitude to flying has changed and I now see it as a great opportunity.

I can’t wait to go to Wuhan, China and Hong Kong and leave from the Gold Coast Airport; there’s just something about that drive back from Brizzie to the Gold Coast after a flight home that I can’t cop.


Over the last few years watching the Gold Coast Airport team operate at close quarters has made me realise that an airport really is an economic engine. It’s the ship’s harbour of two hundred years ago transformed.

I lived in Hong Kong when I was first went to school and I really want to go back soon. I remember seeing things that my young eyes thought utterly strange but they soon became the norm and now they’re amongst my most comforting memories.

Things like a whole suburb of people living on boats called junks with live pigs in baskets on their deck, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, happy shoes, Chinese food, my god my favourite cuisine, and everywhere you looked were bicycles and ducks, more ducks than an Aussies ashes tour.


Besides Barnaby Joyce, I just can’t imagine someone down at Robina selling a live pig in a basket.

It was great to witness history as the first flight arrived at Coolangatta from China and it made me think of all the strange and wonderful things I saw in Asia.

Then I thought the first thing the Chinese people will see when they step off this plane from Wuhan will be a bloke from Currumbin wildlife sanctuary with a snake wrapped around his neck.

They’re going to go home to China and say “Aussies really do dress like Steve Irwin only on formal occasions they wear snakes as ties!  You gotta go check em out, they’re full on weird.”

You can catch Flan & Emily Jade for Breakfast on 1029 Hot Tomato every weekday morning from 5am.

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