Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Either way it's a winner

Okay so it's not as bad as it sounds. Yes I have technically shelled out an additional and arguably somewhat indulgent sum of money I don't entirely possess on flights for my Perth to London and back again jaunt. Yes one of the compelling reasons behind doing so may or may not have been the fact that the move allows me to avoid the horrors of a dry flight but, wait, before you judge me, please, allow me to explain.

On various planes at various times in my life I have drunkenly had a bit of a cry, fallen asleep, probably drooling, on the shoulder of a complete stranger for Quite Some Time and been creepily chatted up by someone I was then forced to sit next to for the following 15ish hours. (You scoff but if you had to try to avoid physical contact with a fleshy neighbour for that long while sharing an armrest you too would consider, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, gnawing off your arm below the elbow).

Of course then there was the time I wound up lost, alone and ticketless in Singapore airport en route to China, the day I turned up 24 hours late for my flight to New York and the time I arrived (on time) for my flight from London to Perth with two years worth of accrued baggage… without my ticket.

To summarise: I am a useless traveller. I fuck up dates and times and forget to collect crucial documents like tickets and visas. I get bored sitting in those cramped little seats and I can almost never sleep. I dread being seated next to people who Won't Shut Up but am then secretly disappointed when the chatty cutie I met in line ends up sitting ten rows away.

This pattern of stupidity on my part shows no sign of abating. To misquote Graham Greene I am too old and too tired to change now – as with the duff shoulder for which I refuse to do the simple exercises required to prevent the regular onset of crippling pain, my policy is medication, not prevention. And for my medicine I choose booze. Little, handy-sized bottles of booze delivered straight to my tray table, if you want to get into specifics.

Pour enough of it down my throat and I will still miss flights and get seated next to lecherous bores. And, yes, okay, it may even increase the chance that I will doze (albeit in what I fancy is a fairly friendly fashion) on my neighbour's shoulder. The only difference is that I don't care. The people around me do, of course, but who are they? Gormless fellow commuters I will never meet again who, if they had half my sense, would be getting very drunk very quickly too, thus enabling them to deal with all of the above in addition to my hysterical giggles at whatever deliciously trashy 'novel' I've bought for the trip.

Put all of this context and I think you'll find that even a siezable sum of money (and if I convert it into pounds it's only… um, you know, less) for the reassurance of something more than warm orange juice in my glass is a bargain. Plus – and perhaps I should have mentioned this earlier – the changes also mean I wind up with two extra days in London. Oh, yes, and my fucking travel agent somehow "forgot" to save my seat (???) on the cheap arse dry flight because she's actually just some bullshit student who just works there on Saturdays and (fair enough) couldn't give two shits about the job, so my penny-saving flight is not even an option anymore. Still, I think I've come out on top in the deal. One way or another. Or I'm just too drunk to care.


Dave said...

I rubbed shoulders with an obese American man on an eight hour flight back from Tokyo once. He was on the plane with his wife and two adult children, all of whom were also obese. His leg was so fat that the arm rest between me and him didn't go down all the way. It was my first flight on a 747. I don't like 747s anymore.

my name is kate said...

hahaha. I also have SUCH a pet hate of people who tip their seats back all the way. I mean I know it's ALLOWED and all but I had a huge man in front of me once who spent the entire flight with his seat back as far as it could go. That was a long fucking 15 hours...