Things what I writ

I sometimes write nonsense about things to try and sound clever

travelogue 2

travelogue 2
travelogue 2 by Tim Caynes

back though the underworld tunnel and out into the swirling mass that’s terminal 4 concourse on a rainy sunday lunchtime where I’m already on the wrong floor so I’m pressing all the buttons on the elevator again to see where I come out which is thankfully right next to WHSmiths where I need to buy 17 litres of spring water just to make sure I don’t get a flaky nose by the time I’ve coated my face with everyone else’s breath passed through a chlorine filter that has probably come from the swimming pool in greenwich and makes me look like pete burns by the time I’ve landed in Denver and all the indians start wailing at me as I pass them over the walkway that connects BA to CO via TSA and FBI.

so I’ve checked in online and I’m 2 hours early which is a contradiction that BA can’t really deal with, so I proceed to the bag drop to be told that I’m checked in alright but I’ll actually have to drop my bag somewhere completely different like off a cliff or something so follow me and I’ll get that taken care of for you except you don’t know where you’re going do you? still, the bag passed onto the conveyor at the back of the check in area and my confidence in ever seeing it again dropped to somewhere below zero which was rather worrying as I’d packed the tadpole and so all the work I needed to do was in there and never mind you’ve had a wasted trip sir – couldn’t you just do your presentations without the pictures you drew in them? without the pictures? are you mad? they are the presentation. you’re not in marketing are you? anyway, if I never see my bag again, I’m remembering your name, er, steve, and I’ll hold you personally responsible for its safe return. ok, calm down and zip up everything that moves to progress through the security screening and then on to wander aimlessly around the rubbish terminal 4 shopping and almost buy a shirt from pinks for no reason probably. I might just get a ridiculous sandwch from starbucks that takes me about 30 mintues to undo the packaging.

wait up. that’s surely not the queue to get through security. I’m surely not going to have to stand next to this annoying wailing family for half an hour listening to that insidious little twerp rattling on about the computers. excuse me! full body scan! me! me! oh, right, they’re doing the full body scan. I expect it will show up that alien growing inside you. shuffle. nice shoes. shuffle. nice hair. shuffle. you don’t really need a carry on bag that size mate. shuffle. ooh, you’re nice, I hope I sit next to you. shuffle. aah. not you. shuffle. etc. in the end its pretty painless and after putting all my clothes back on and applying some of the cream they kindly gave me, I’m sauntering into the safe haven of a stateless environment, only cluttered up by the loons on their way to paris, oman, brussels, new york, wherever.

godammit, get me on that plane. I’ve been to the bathroom and so I’m ready for my window seat. I hope 29H and 29J had some kind of passport problem and won’t be boarding today so that I can have these 3 seats to myself and move my leg at least 15 degrees off-centre to get some movement in them. oh, hang on. hello enormous russian lady who will be sitting next to me for 9 and a half hours. is that your friend? oh, no, just some unrelated wiry looking black jumpered snippy little man who probably will get his laptop out in a minute. right, so everything set now. perfect. let’s get the sony walkman out and start with maximo park to see me through the first tedious stretch…

as we are a few hours into the flight, we go north just far enough to dip out of the daylight and into the twilight to the point were they meet in the middle and everything goes purple. I was expecting this to happen which is why I had planted myself by a window, but I didn’t really know that everything would look quite so other-wordly as we passed over Iceland in a kind of drug-fuelled luminarium, which is how I like to think of the whole Iceland experience anyway so it was appropriate. as my forehead stuck to the window, I just kind of fazed out for a moment – like I do on conference calls about portal architectures and globalization business models requiring platform enhancements that I hadn’t included in the original brd in 2003 – until everything went blank with my camera whirring in the background and mrs seatanahalfakov dribbling over some story about a tractor factory in the newspaper while mr beaky played poker online via satallite with a young woman called brandy from ohio who was really big dave from east ham but it didn’t really matter becasue we were all playing with complimentary lemon fresh tissues

wake up dammit

19 hours of travelling and I’m sat in front a tv that’s 5 feet off the ground trying to focus on re-runs of CSI or something that’s got loads of earnest looking americans picking up suspicious objects from the floor of smoky warehouses in slowmotion and then cross fading to a train that goes over your head like what it does in the French Connection until some words or other slide into the frame and then just as I get it the adverts cut in and there’s a massive Nissan Globalwarmer driving across a desert with a boat in the back of it and a caption comes up at the bottom saying ‘professional driver in a simulated desert thats not real so dont do this at home in wisconsin because itll be all your fault when the chassis falls to bits and a flying camshaft takes out Mrs. Pantiles at number 47’. I must be dead in Colorado.

7 years ago all this was fields, well, probably a golf course, but now it’s full of hotels that you can see from 17 miles away but apparently I can’t find the entrance to without driving the wrong way up highway 36 and then taking a turning onto Interlocken and then realizing every turning here is called Interlocken so I’m no closer to my bed than I was 18 hours ago when I got out of it at 7 in the morning and said goodbye to my family like it was a trip across antartica but they actually were still asleep and just kind of said ‘yeah, er, bye’. in between then and now, which seems like about 5 fat tires and 2 bar meals in the tap room talking to Brad about cutting your thumb and listening to Tom going on about wine which is just a bit warm, but definitely not corked, I managed to squeeze in a bus a plane and a chevy cheapskate. oh, and a taxi to the bus station, where Ron dropped me off as we saw a couple kissing each other goodbye and he said ‘youre not getting one of those mate!’ and he was right, even if I offered him double the fare. I usually stay in a rubbish hotel in the heathrow flight path the night before flying out, well its practically on the runway, just at the point where they dump 10 hours worth waste over berkshire, but the flight to denver leaves at 15:50, so rather than taking 2 weekends out I decided to take the bus in the morning to the airport, because the bus isn’t that bad really. unless it’s sunday morning at 7 oclock and the driver has obviously just had a row about eggs with his wife and will happily call the IT specialist an ‘arsehole’ who just put his bag in the luggage compartment marked in his head as ‘gatwick’ instead of the secret one called ‘heathrow’. that was the longest 4 hour bus journey ever. so I get to heathrow about 4 hours before I need to and because I’ve checked in online, I can’t check in yet and so I have to sit in the pre-departures ‘seating area’ which is like finding a dry piece of newspaper to sit on at glastonbury – funny for 2 seconds. 2 hours later I can check in, but that’s alright, because my online check-in means I ‘beat the queues’. apart from the queue that is everybody who has checked in online for British Airways, which is the longest queue of all queues in this collection of queues that is a check in area at heathrow airport.

anyway, as Patricia says, BA’s service onboard is impeccable, even thought the 777 I’m sat in is pants compared to a 747-400 and I’m damned if I can work out when Hotel Rwanda is going to start, so I end up watching Hide and Seek instead which has that 6th sense twist that you kick yourself for not seeing an hour before and then de niro goes all cape fear/tribble, which just isn’t so good at 60, especially when you can see him in Meet the Fockers on channel 16 on the screen on the seat next door. kind of takes the tension out of it when he’s simultaneously wielding a blood-spattered spade and rescuing a toy dog from a toilet . still, dakota fanning was a great dark-haired miseryguts. I managed to squeeze in another film I’ve already completely forgotten about before we landed and no sooner had I stepped off the Avis shuttle bus than I realized I probably couldn’t find my way out of airport in the chevy preferredaccount without at least breathing some real air. I stopped for a while in the car lot and remembered that last time I came here with Chris, Air Force 1 was just landing and we watched it taxi up to the gate where will smith and tommy lee jones appeared from a range rover and we got whisked away to the marriot in Boulder.

having eventually negotiated InterlockenEverywhere I was checked into the Omni and there I sat on the end of the the bed, after a couple of swift ones in the tap room talking with a nice woman from StorageTek about Malcolm Glazer and bikes, flicking through the interactive services menu to see if the bar bill was already on my online statement which it wasn’t which I though was interesting but actually soon realized that just meant I should go to bed and stop being so sad. for some reason I woke up on the hour, every hour, until it was time to get up again. I can’t explain that, but I’ll probably not try and program the radio alarm clock and the p800 and the tv and wake up service all at the same time tonight.