Thursday, 1 December 2005

Day Nineteen/Twenty etc.. - October 22nd onwards

European Vacation over.. Now that it’s historically archived we can forget it ever happened

Who knows what day it is anymore? Not me, that’s for sure. It was Saturday afternoon in London, the middle of the night in Dubai and afternoon some other day in Singapore. At the time of writing we are 30000 feet high and staying quite steady on the way to Melbourne. It was a wrench to leave London, and my decision not to stay an extra day was exposed as a farce when I checked the Wimbledon score on the net in Singapore Airport and found out they’d won. Pah.

The first leg of the trip was a complete dud. You could tell it was going to be a long 6 hours right off the bat when I found myself spit roasted in a middle seat between a surly Australian male of approximately 50 years who was bitter and twisted when I asked to get past him and sit in my seat, and some old bastard who randomly reached over and started touching up my TV. When I asked him if I could help him with his fingering of my screen he gave me some half arsed explanation about helping me turn it off. Peanut. You just knew the whole thing was going to be a shambles when the woman at the check-in desk tells you they’ve merged the flight with something that’s going to Bangladesh and all the good seats are subsequently taken. I’d already read every magazine of interest and consumed two books with no hope of finding another one that would get me all the way. A 20hr in-flight Tetris Marathon was the only logical conclusion to save me. And lovely it would have been too had it actually worked. Unfortunately the game section of the ‘entertainment’ died in the arse five minutes after take off and we were left with 5hrs, 55 minutes of the same tired TV/video lineup we’d suffered through three weeks earlier. Had I been interested in yachting, or deformed enough to mark out for Everybody Loves Raymond on tap I would been in heaven. Sadly I wasn’t dropped on my head as a child and it did nothing for me.

What a disasterous trip. Bogan male and I were hostile to each other all throughout the flight. Even when Peter The Phantom Pusher and I had reconciled I was still worrying about copping elbows from the bastard on the other side. The whole place was packed with kids running around screeching and their parents doing nothing but making baby talk at them and discussing amongst themselves how the other kid had shit himself. All class in the skies. It’s a wonder that with free booze - of which bogan male was going wild for - that I don’t ask them to bring a bottle of scotch, a straw and a bag of sleeping pills. Given that there was twenty plus hours of this in prospect, and my only meaningful chance of sleep would be due to death, things were looking grim.

Would downgrading from a 777-300 to a 777-200 (or is that an upgrade? How the fuck should I know?) at Dubai reverse my ailing fortunes and spur on a great victory? Would it what! The shambles family took their screaming brats and crappy nappies and pissed off to a connecting flight to Perth, and bogan male disappeared to another flight. Probably to connect to a sex tour in Bangkok or something. In a “where have you been all my life?” moment Emirates redeemed themselves after their earlier disgraces by FINALLY giving us their real entertainment system. Might not be important to many, but for me it was a life saver. If you can knock out an entire leg by sleeping you’ll have the time of your life, but for those of us who are no chance it’s imperative. Shows on demand rather than a 3hr cycle, and with the rubbish radio stations thrown out the door and replaced by a pick the song/album system instead. Sweet as. I would have lost it if I’d had to spend any longer on that other plane. Even better I ended up on the aisle of the middle section after my seat allocation for the 2nd flight mysteriously changed. I hereby claim that it’s because I was accepting of my fate when the initial check-in woman initially told me I’d been dropped in the coffin seat. I’m fairly sure that after I left it was “accidentally” altered for the 2nd leg. Good work. I broke my all-time in-flight record and slept for a grand total of seven minutes. Didn’t help the situation, and I’d started to really lose the plot at this point.

One person on that second flight concerned me. She looked like the sort of old crone who would piss herself laughing at Kath and Kim, unaware that it’s actually mocking her, and write letters to the Herald Sun demanding that all muslims are deported and she was wearing a t-shirt ten sizes too big for her with a giant middle finger on the back and UP YOURS WE WON THE ASHES written on it. I assumed she was English and was going for a bold “fuck you” arrival in Australia but she turned out to be a local. How embarassing. The fact that I didn’t have to sit next to her made me face Mecca and pray. Thanks to Emirates for continually pointing out exactly what direction Mecca was in. I would have jumped out of the emergency exit at 25000 feet and caused explosive decompression if I’d had to sit there for twelve hours listening to the best of Boganry, and how great a man John Laws was.

Eventually we landed in Melbourne. Back to life, back to reality as Soul II Soul once so accurately noted. The guy on the customs desk tried to recruit me, and unlike at least one other person on my flight I made it through Quarantine without having my bag pulled open and groped like a pissed schoolgirl. And that.. was.. it. The end. No great finale, no epic finish. Just a crushing return to normality. Fuck it.

ADDITIONAL BONUS (Additional? Where were the others?)

For putting up with this self indulgent toss for the last month I present you with a free copyright defying copy of the song that absolutely DOMINATED my time in Britain. Every radio station, every second video on the music stations, being played in stores, having people sing it etc.. In fact I was the one singing it most of the time. Ladies and gentlemen I present you arguably the best British song of the last year and a bit and one of the finest of the decade so far,

Download: Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot (3.6mb)

It makes me want to leap around like a knob and sing it. Nothing else they’ve done has come close yet. The only thing that can possibly rival it for first place is Apply Some Pressure by Maximo Park.

No comments: