Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, your flight is ready for boarding

On 17 December, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first ‘heavier-than-air’ human flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville Wright was heard to say: “We came down here for wind and sand, and we have got them." This was recorded rather than Wilbur’s: “This is going to shit all over Fred’s (the lesser known brother) chrisy present to Mum.”

Thus began the joy of flight.

Four days later, in Hand-felt-upon-bum, Hertfordshire, God invented Cecil and Gladus Smith.

Thus began the pain of flight.

Six days later, Lucifer invented Samsonite ‘rolling bags’.
Thus began the pain of checking in.

This combination is the real terrorism threat. I remember once I got on a plane from Boston to LA and over the intercom a message sounded: “Could these people please come to the check in desk for random searches? Mohammed Alzaha, Naheem Poojesi, Bartholomew Nash, Altaq….”, damn it, I was the random Anglo Saxon. Why none of these measures for old people? Maybe not a random search, but a quick 10 minute tutorial!

Now this is a belated rant, but I have been busy with other things, so it’s taken a while. Why, like a super market check in, do I get trapped behind these old farts? And I don’t mean to generalise, but it's the older person who has no idea what is going on in check in. Yes, you need a passport. No, if it says you can only bring in 4 litres of alcohol that is all you can bring in. Just because you are an octogenarian does not mean you have special entitlements other that riding on the bus for free. Any fucker can live to 80 with the right diet and exercise – live to 80 smoking, drinking, watching TV and refusing to floss – then I’ll be impressed.

What gets me is that many of the older generation wait to be asked something. They get to passport control and stare blankly into customs eyes waiting for the request. I think it’s because they want to tell as story. “My passport? Well I remember when they were called papers and they cost a shilling at the local…”.

Now I usually have time for our ancestors – they are the only ones who will listen to my stories. You should see me in a retirement home; it’s like story ping pong. I keep them going until they can’t take anymore and I win – or I stand on their colostomy bag if they are proving a challenge. Either way, I win.

But anyway, enough of my complaining. That’s the last long haul flight I have to do for a while so that’s it for me. However I will miss the Dubai-London flight. What a great flight! On one leg I got the pleasure of meeting Noha and hearing all the funny stories that go on behind closed doors at Emirates (and hopefully have a couch to stay on and a tour guide if I’m ever in the UAE – Noha??) and on the flight back I met South African Betina who came out with everyone that night for Australia Day, and managed to get me free drinks from guys all night (you’ve got competition Cat!).

Although the flights are always okay, it’s the check in and customs that really is the killer. Dubai tends to be okay, as does flying a Middle Eastern airline as they don’t have a need to do those random people searches like the US airlines. Hence, I was surprised when I heard: “Could these people please come to the check in desk for random tutorials – Florence Jones, Cecil and Gladus Smith, Bartholomew Nash,” Oh for fucks sake – token youngster!!!!!!

Now, introducing a new feature! Bookmark it, add it to your favourites, make it your start up page, tattoo it across your damn forehead, because now you can also see all the travel photos and videos on one handy site

Ladies and gents in London – be afraid!


At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are still alive. Take time out to call your mother

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous LaLa said...

You done been told. Call your Mother Bart.

I am not sre what your issue is with wheelie suitcases, I think you have wheelie suitcase envy.

I love them.

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