sixteen hours of my life: walk, bus, train, tube, plane, car

british airways
(c) – jonezi06

The 7:16 AM to 12:05 AM ‘walk-bus-train-tube-plane-road-trip…’

7:16 AM

Fuck. Already? Shut up!! ZzZZz… Snooze button one more… Time. Ugh, here we go…

My email to Rob at 9:12

“So I woke up this morning to some whistling, banging and even more frightening (correction made here…), the sound of labour being put to good use. In other words, someone came and washed our staircase, including a complete garbage run.

Initially I thought that some bum was bathing in the riches of others, but to be honest, once I saw (correction – saw not was) Aunt Jemima busting out the Mr. Clean and the super sized bucket, I was sold.

On the train to Marylbone now, catching the rush hour buzz with Dr. Prakash and his many minions slash clones.”

9:30 AM

Chiltern Railways has just introduced a new ticketing system that allows customers to exploit the infrastructure we all refer to by its first name: technology. About time, (insert rolling hills comment here – but after the next station). I purchase my e-ticket online and Chiltern sends me an SMS with a link to a website. The matrix barcode that is found on that website then gets scanned by a man wearing a highly fluorescent suit, who says he works for ‘them.’ Notwithstanding morals, the effect of having your blackberry scanned by ‘Mr. InSharge’ is rather impressive. Did everyone just get off? Or did they just moved away from my spatial presence?

12:05 PM

London Underground. British entertainment is awful in general, but the exception to this rule is their love-affair with this midget-sized-human-carrying-loaf-like buggy, that they baptized the ‘tube.’ Common courtesy needs not be adhered to when riding the rails. Shove, contain, pick, tickle, stare, yawn, poke, cajole and if you can’t muster enough courage to contain your mischievous side, entertain a local favourite and discard a-la-open-air, a fart.

And now I must continue to nurse the gratest-good-for-the-greatest-nunber-myopian-horseraddish-served-chilled-and-on-a-vidictive-broodje bullshit, inter alia, otherwise to be referred to, from now on, as the bump on my head that I got while peace-keeping a wild game of undress the genetically modified pony in South Kensington.

2:04 PM

The exhaustion is obviously starting to set in. I asked a man if (and if, where) a Pret-a-Manger exists at Heathrow T4 and he surprisingly managed to process my nonplussed babble and output a reply. “Yes, just make your way down that hall and turn left at WHSmith.” I followed his directions religiously, but my atheist nature still circumvented my one and only chance at lunch. I got lost, in an acorn shell, only to find myself face to face with a Pret employee, condescendingly and contemptuously staring him down. I am adamant about my gastro-intestinal preference for Posh Cheddar and there was no way on planet Francaise that I was to forego such digestive pleasures.

Initially, I went in search for food due to hunger. That however, and much to my surprise, did not last long. After I had to tisk-tisk this woman at the self-check-in counter, who was waiting for Summer to come around before selecting a seat she would be comfortable in (note to woman: economy class discriminates equally), I lost it. Anger does wonderful things to human beings – including accentuating my pre-hunger to the extent that it became starvation.

I almost forgot about security. What motherless inferior thought that neurons are best fired in the wrong direction(s), and invented a ‘body scanning device?’ The hell is a ‘body scanning DEVICE’ (Insert a further analogy here, an additional digression, on human relationships, sex and body scanners)? What really worries me is that the now archaic ‘scanning’ devices, left to rot in the underbelly of the Tate Modern, were also intended to explicitly ‘scan,’ implicitly ‘a body.’ I don’t want to talk about anachronisms, but such is technology; giddy to go to the park, but when it gets there, none of the kids want to play with it, or even worse, call it ugly. But enough about the Western imperative.

(Allow for the ingestion of a Venti Latte with an extra shot, here).

4:31 PM

A stuffy bus. British Airways, I hereby declare war. Let me start with the unacceptable first. You simply do not smile and say ‘Right this way,’ before you ask two hundred of your most loyal (and paying) customers to board a bus that will (naturally) take us to a plane that still requires fuel, a crew and a final baggage check. I understand your impatience, but please accept the reality that my patience lacks discipline and that the next time you keep me locked up in a bus, like a gladiator before a scrap, I will unleash my pugilistic proclivities…period.

Secondly, the clapping of my hands right now is an act of acknowledgment. By upgrading the Iranian family that was sitting next to me, to business class, I managed to escape being subjected to the limited English lexicon, of the patriarch sitting to my right. ‘My bag,’ repeated every other four seconds, does not only compel a mind numbing stupor, but it also allows for the summoning of gentle but insidious voices, in my head, telling me to create a positive space around my intentions or else unleash the seventeen legged virus and be done with it. Ah, life [with(out] for now…) geriatrics!

8:27 PM

I absolutely hate being stuck in a sardine can for this long. There are benefits, however. Firstly, the sunset I just experienced is angelic (and I don’t even subscribe to The Religious Times). Secondly, you can watch people sleep, which, I won’t lie, is quite scary. Seat 35D had some slobbering, while 37A, a neighbour, looked more like a pretentious warrior princes from the 16th century than the 33-ish year old man that he was (or still is rather). It is comforting to realize that the lower-back pain, that is imposed on you when you are cleared to fly, can be temporarily relieved with a little wishful thinking (see chapter one, page three of book seven, entitled ‘on my way to the washroom, at 30,000 feet) and some red vino (which the two girls who are sitting 20 degrees and 41 degrees east of me respectively, seem to have fallen in love with). Actually, on that last thought, I’m going to ask one of them what else she has fallen in love with over the duration of this flight; I might even get an opportunity to finish ‘on my way to the washroom’). We’ll see…

8:40 PM

Blah, blah, blargh. I feel like an enslaved camel awaiting emancipation via an Ottoman Letter of Intent. Ewan McKendick’s ‘Contract Law’ is positioned right in front of me, ripe for picking, but it looks like the only person who didn’t eat enough is my neighbour. She’s from Mauritius.

10:51 PM

We’re landing in 30 minutes. I have managed to keep myself on the road for almost 16 hours, covering terra firma by foot, surface rails, underground rails, bus, plane and…that’s it actually.

The descent has now begun and everyone is overcoming their anxiousness with the reality that in a few more minutes, Toronto will be scraping the bottom of their feet. As for myself, I’m exhausted. The amount of work that I have to keep myself preoccupied with over the break, seems rather overwhelming but not impossible. Focus, keep focused.

Customs and baggage: I don’t want to talk about it. Fucking moppets. Anyway, I’m tired, irritated and out of energy. We’ll confabulate later and further discuss the intricacies of public transport in a market economy.

Ah, it’s good to be back, but I’m not sure that this place can still be called home…

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange.


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Filed under airport, british airways, bus, car, labels, plane, story, symbols, trademarks, train, trip, tube, walk

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