I’m going to Canada on Tuesday, and as I can’t swim that well, I need to get on a plane.
Now, I don’t particularly like flying. I used to think I was scared of it, but I’m not. Okay, I was scared of it for a while, around the time I had a nightmare in which a booming voice said "IF YOU GO TO NEW YORK YOU WILL DIE!!!" but I’m over it from that point of view (made the trip to New York a bit twitchy though).
No, I don’t like flying because it messes me up physically (jet lag, air pressure shredding my ears, and we’ve all been in the situation where we’ve really needed to pee but the big scary dude next to you is asleep, and so the next five hours is hell at 30,000 feet). Also, it’s boring – you’re stuck in one place for hours on end with limited entertainment choices. I mean, I’ll be flying for seven hours on Tuesday, that’s about as long as I spend at work each day. Now, at work I can check my text messages at lunchtime – I do that on a plane, it’s bad mojo.
At least I’m going to Canada, which is a great country. Last time I went, I encountered the friendliest airport I’ve ever been to. Unlike one in another country I could mention that made me think I was going to get cavity searched by a big bloke called Bubba.
I’d say I can relax once I’m in a taxi on the way to the hotel, but San Francisco ended that dream. It was at the end of the holiday, and we hailed a cab to get us to the airport. And, in all fairness, the driver was a really friendly guy who talked to us like we were good friends. Okay, so the first thing he asked was if we’d pulled, because "there are many beautiful women in San Francisco!" And he knew that because he was having an affair with one of them, which he felt was justified because his wife was a hippo.
Yes, he used the word ‘hippo’.
Anyway, he’s telling us this as we’re driving along the freeway. I was in the passenger seat, which meant I had a good view of the dashboard. Now, I’m probably a nervous, over-cautious driver, but I still think I have a right to be nervous when your taxi driver indicates left but goes right. This wasn’t a mistake, oh no, this was his strategy for driving on the freeway – "drive like a a-hole!" I don’t think any of the other drivers appreciated it much, judging from the number of beeping horns. It didn’t matter though, all he did was flash his hazard warning lights at them.
And as if this wasn’t suicidal enough, he drove towards a sharp bend at what appeared to be lightspeed. I swear I had flashbacks at this point (Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, nothing, Paul McGann, nothing, Chris Eccleston…). We didn’t die, however, because I think he realised he was in the wrong lane, so he just cut up some poor dude who only wanted to escape Grand Theft Auto SF. And again with the hazard warning lights.
So think of me on Tuesday. I’m sure I’ll blog about it all, assuming there’s no lasting psychological trauma…