Friday, 11 October 2013

Your exits are here, here and here

"You couldn't make it up, could you". This was the phrase uttered by the rather incredulous taxi driver who met me at the airport yesterday evening after my day-trip to Belgium.

Well - in the interests of full disclosure Mr taxi driver - I have a very wild imagination and definitely could make it up. If I had made it up, however, I most certainly would have cast myself as a bit more stoic and a bit less grey and wobbly.

Let me explain.

Yesterday morning I flew to Belgium for a meeting. Flight was due to take off at 8.30 but was postponed due to bad weather. An hour later things were looking better though and the pilot took his seat in the cockpit. He got himself comfy and switched on the tannoy to make his announcement. I was expecting something along the lines of: "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I'm your pilot David Wallington-Smyth, etc, etc". What I got was: "Morning ladies and gents. I'm your pilot, Dave". Unexpected, but not too off-putting as it was a fairly small plane and I felt sure Dave would be able to wing us across the ocean with few problems.

As it turned out, the weather had different ideas. Within 10 minutes of bumping around in the air I was reminded of how awful travel sickness is. I started taking some deep breaths and tried hard to look vaguely normal so as not alarm the man next to me too much. The plane steadied out a bit, I started feeling better and the stewardess brought some drinks round.

Just as everyone had their hot coffee (mine was a water which under the circumstances proved to be a godsend) the plane started lurching again. In fact, it started dropping. Over and over again. Coffee's were spilt over laps, two ladies behind me started screaming (bit of an excessive reaction - but I could see where they were coming from!), and a few minutes later the lady sitting across the aisle started making good use of her sick bag. I'd given up all pretence of not feeling violently ill and my knuckles were turning white from holding onto the armrest so hard. When I turned to give a watery apology to the man next to me he looked so pale I figured I'd just keep schtum!

The journey did improve slightly meaning that I managed to get away with keeping my stomach contents, but by the time we reached Antwerp it was all I could do to wobble off the plane and thump down unceremoniously on the nearest bit of solid ground!

So my long-standing dream of one day being able to disembark from a plane looking as though I've "just stepped out of a salon" wasn't to be realised yesterday (how do people do it?!). Not to worry though - there's another trip at the end of the month so perhaps it'll happen then!