Things what I writ

I sometimes write nonsense about things to try and sound clever

travelogue 20

travelogue 20
travelogue 20 by Tim Caynes

I’ve got twitchy leg stuck up british middle class paranoid delusional brain hammers going on. which means we’re only over Greenland and I already need to walk up and down the aisle of this cantankerous 747, bashing people’s nasty open-plan headsets into their chicken or beef, just to get the blood clot to move down to my foot where I can stamp around on it a bit to make it less apocalyptic. but I don’t want to disturb the plebs in the aisle or center seats next to me. british. so I’ll have to wait until they have a bladder moment and haul themselves like cattle to the folding door in the sky, at which point I’ll climb over their piles of tangled useless electronica and blankets, snagging my walkman around the throat of the person in front of me who has reclined their seat into my pelvis and accidentally ripping their head off in my haste. I can’t even keep me seat upright, but I’m tensing up my whole body for 10 hours so that it doesn’t move backwards unnecessarily. you, person in front, however, took a mere 17 minutes to push the button marked “Push here to be extremely annoying. Please ensure that you push back real hard on the seat back, so that the person behind you who is bending over his tray table, filling out his visa waiver dilligently, will lose a couple of layers of skin from his forehead. Anyway you can’t really see anything on these seat back videos, so let’s get that their viewing angle down to about 45 degrees. How annoying would you like to be today? BA can help”. after I’ve extracted myself from the window seat – which I demanded, of course, notwithstanding the pain I now cause myself but I’m british that’s what being british is all about – I’ll stand by the toilets, stretching out my legs like I know what stretches will make a difference and then wait 5 minutes each time a person comes up to use the toilet before I tell them that I’m not actually in the queue. I love that game.

I’ll go back to my seat in a minute and prepare for the next 5 hours by shaking the seat in front of me really hard as I try to manoevere into my seat and then wonder why someone sitting next to their 5 year old would nonchalently watch The Departed, not really looking, while their child is wondering why the man that looks like the devil is smashing the other mans arm with a hammer or something and mummy, is he dead eeuw, what’s that brains guts high calibre firearms graphic and prolonged violent scenes I’m not sure sweetie are you hungry THE VIEWING ANGLE IS JUST FINE IF YOU’RE SITTING IN THE SEAT RIGHT NEXT TO YOU, YOU CAN SEE ALL THAT STUFF PERFECTLY, THAT’S YOUR CHILD RIGHT? AND PUT THE BLOODY SEAT UP.

I’m not compelled to watch anything this trip. I can’t really be bothered to get the julian clary book out of my bag. I’ll just listen to the bloc party album 8 times and take pictures of ice until I dissolve.

travelogue 19

travelogue 19
travelogue 19 by Tim Caynes

not to bore you with the details of the previous day and night’s travel but suffice to say that the 727 did what it does and dumped me at heathrow central bus station whereupon you search for a hotel hoppa to take you to the radisson only to find the stop, but to step on the H7 which takes you to the sheraton so nah mate, you want the H2 innit that’s the other one. that’s not embarrassing. anyway, arrival at the edwardian means being greeted at the desk with “yis, we’re having a wedding tonight so you are on six floor no smoking good” and dispatched to the lifts where you have to stick your room keycard in the wall before it goes anywhere. bing! 4th floor. 72 indian party goers and a pachyderm pile in “on their way to wedding. floor 6 please”. that’s not good. as I wheel myself into 607 I hear what sounds like the birdy song in urdu or something so I lock the door sharpish behind me and watch match of the day until I start dribbling on myself and then I have to work out where the extra 17 cushions go before I can get into bed.

it wasn’t that bad really. hoppa man clutched me from reception at 8am and expelled me at terminal 2. or 1. I dunno. everything looks the same at Heathrow. hang on. I need BA check in desks. I mean, I’ve already checked in online of course, but I need to go and join the longest queue in the entire airport – the one marked “fast bag drop”. oh, I should be in terminal 1. I expect there’s a handy elevator or something to take me there. or maybe a shuttle. what? whaddayoumean I have to WALK? VIA TERMINAL 3? I remember why I hate this horrible place. it’s then I remember that I’m not flying to Denver on a nice clean plane. I’m flying to San Francisco, so we get the rickety old 747 from 1997 with the seat that never stays upright. arse. gloom.

“29K sir. you have a window seat today sir”. “I know”

someone is in my seat. they’re there on purpose. there’s 2 of them and they’re leaving the seat in the middle empty to try and get 3 seats to themselves. “hi. 29K, er, I think that’s me, by the window”. “Oh, really? I though HJK went the other way round”. “No. K is by the window, definitely”. humph. much consternation at having to relocate 1 sat to the left. I smile a smile that says I’M PAYING HUNDREDS OF POUNDS FOR THAT SPECIFIC SEAT WHICH IS TWICE AS MUCH IN DOLLARS AND IF YOU THINK I’M NOT GOING TO ACTUALLY SIT IN THE WINDOW SEAT THAT I HAVE EMBEDDED IN MY TRAVEL PROFILE AT ROSENBLUTH THEN YOU MUST THINK I CAN’T EVEN COUNT TO K and prepare not to move any limbs for 10 hours by just kind of stretching a bit. oh. my seat doesn’t stay up. that’ll be nice.

it’s a morning flight so we’ll be in daylight for the whole journey, meaning I’ve got my camera strapped to me like some appendage in case I snap a near miss or a volcano or something but will probably end up just taking 37 pictures of a wing that you can’t really see because the windows are 17 years old and covered in ice and scratches.

ooh! a glacier!

travelogue 11

travelogue 11
travelogue 11 by Tim Caynes

that’s it, its time I was going, so back in the suzuki geriatric and we’ll head down the toll road to the airport where I might even get my trainers shined up by those guys by the stairwell before getting a double scoop of artichoke and onion and syrup of figs ice cream from errol who plainly doesn’t want to be there serving me so my lame english jokes about tubs and cones and traffic go down like a lead balloon but I’m past caring by this stage because I’m never going to see these people again and in 2 hours I’ll be dribbling into an all day breakfast that comes in a cardboard box at dinnertime while the lights are going out all around me and the seat in front is tilted so far back that I’m licking the lcd screen in the seatback everytime I try and take a bite of this nondescript food thing which is just dropping stuff all over my trousers which I can’t see anyway so who cares but it’s the principle even though its cheap BA class I want to be able to move a leg from time to time.

in the end I strike lucky on the journey back like I did back in november and there’s 2 spare seats in the whole plane and they’re both next to me in the row of 3 so as soon as the seat belt sign goes off I’m shifting to the middle, putting all the armrests up, making myself 5 feet wide and sprinkling unsavory looking items from my hand luggage around the place so it looks a bit of a slum. mind you, having a row of 3 seats to myself in world traveller plus is about as exciting and comfortable as having a row of 3 upturned crates in a row in a dark cupboard if you’re over 6 feet tall/long and so try as I might to lie down during the 9 hours flight I just end up sitting upright in the middle falling in and out of consciousness but just aware enough to know that I’m regularly snorting myself awake with a horrible ad hoc snore and my head is nodding like a deranged donkey on speed and so by the time we’re taxiing up to the terminal I have stretch armstrong neck and my head is wobbling all over the place.

only security to go now though. oh, and I have to walk through the labyrith of the heathrow airport connectiong tunnels for about 30 minutes. and then take a 4 hour bus ride back home. nice. at least we’re going to the pub tonight when I get home by which time I’ll probably have been up for about 3 days and so I’ll have a gin and tonic and go mental and lose all my friends. looking forward to the next time already

travelogue 3

travelogue 3
travelogue 3 by Tim Caynes

wake up. you’re there. humph. shuffle. so I’ll just stand here stooped under this overhead locker while you all dither around detaching your armstraps and dropping your duty frees on the heads of unsuspecting latvians who are wrestling their super-sized carry-on bags out of the seat in front of them as a million blankets cascade from the aisles and an armful of BA headsets careen up the aisle as backpacked 7 year-olds push through to the exits past the world traveller plus and the nice ladies in club world who are picking up 17 discarded newspapers from each reclined seat as my large russian friend is pulling what looks like a sack of potatos from the space over our heads with a look on her face that says she’s not really very pleased with having spent 9 and a half hours squeezed between 2 armrests with buttons on she’s doesn’t know how to use and all this goes on for about 30 minutes because we’ve stopped taxiing about 50 metres short of the terminal building because the plane the should have already been taking off has still got a pipe sticking out of it and hasn’t made room for flight ba219 so we’re just stuck in this neverland trying not to catch each other’s eye while self-consciously fiddling with the loose change in our pockets that we can’t use in this country anyway and we didn’t put it all in one of those charity envelopes so I guess we’ll just set off some kind of security alarm instead when all we really want to do is get through security and use a proper toilet that doesn’t move around when you’re trying to use it

40 minutes later we’re on the avis bus to the rental car pickup where I let them know I’m a preferred customer and so my car will be ready for me and as usual they can’t find caynes timmr on their palmtop until I point out its with a c and not a k and also its a y not and i and an n not an m and its tim, not timmr which is just a concatenation of tim and mr (ahh! I see!) and anyway sir, we don’t seem to have a car ready for you like they never do for some reason and so I check in with the rental station after being hoofed off the bus and actually, they do have a car for me in slot N9 have a nice day. so this looks like me, the one between all the enormous suvs that have been hired out for a colorado weekend and are about 10 feet tall with full beams on in the parking lot just to let you know just how big and impressive they are, the one that says ‘suzuki’ on it and has done about 38000 miles with the pedal to the floor and never got past 50 miles an hour and its a lovely grey with a name like a ‘gerona’ or a ‘genoa’ or something but its got a walnut dash, so it must be good. righto, let’s hit the toll road and we’ll be at the renaissance in about 30 minutes, which we are, because the toll road is alway completely empty save for the poor souls who man the tolls in the middle of winter and have to deal with the english and their $20 bills and fumbling around in their laptop bags and getting receipts and all that but then you still have a nice day so everything’s alright thankyou sir no problem you drive safely etc.

after picking up 17 complimentary breakfast coupons, 500 free marriot points for standing up straight in the restaurant, free internet access because nobody else is using it right now and a letter about how there really won’t be much inconvenience when we start doing building work on the roof tomorrow morning I’m up to the 7th floor and turning the wrong way out of the lift until I get all the way to the end of the wrong wing of the hotel and consider just hitting the fire escace and getting back in the suzuki and straight back to the airport but instead turn back and hike across the wilderness of the horrible patterned carpet until we’re at 730 and the key works and I’m in and they’ve folded the corners down on everything which is nice so lets think about the rest of the day. ooh, I’d like some of that water, I’ve not really had any for a few hours and that looks nice. $4.50? dammit. where’s the vending machine, ah, down the corridor. right. 2 dollar bills? I spent those of the toll road. dammit. right. where’s the bar?

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