Thursday, June 11, 2009
So I fly to Istanbul tomorrow night. Via London.
It’s going to one of those torturous journeys involving:
1) Sleep-induced spittle (Mine. I may not pooh, but I do drool when I sleep.)
2) Inflatable neck cushion
3) Cankles the size of the Ottomon Empire
4) 11 hours to London, stopover for 2 hours, and then another 4 hours to Istanbul
Rock and roll. I’m seriously going to be over reclining seats by the time I reach the airport smelling like a…plane person.
I’m cold. I’m grumpy. I shaved my legs for the first time in a month last night.
I’m also starting to get seriouuuuuusly excited. Hence the celebratory legshave.
The whole journey – and I feel like a Voortrekker – will be 17 hours. I’ve instructed my colleagues who arrive hours, days, weeks, before me, to have a cocktail on the ready at the rooftop pool terrace of our hotel.
Dad got me a bit scared last night.
He flies, loves it, and his vomit comet is only for those with balls of steel. But he’s been following Air France crash forums to the point where he knows every single detail of what might’ve gone wrong on that flight.
He said plane crashes happen usually as a result of at least two things going wrong.
Also because France sent troops to Afghanistan recently, one of the theories floating around is a terrorism attack. But surely that’s unlikely – terrorists wouldn’t be so quiet. When they do shit, they go big. They send a message loud and clear, publicity is their bag.
And let’s be honest, France would’ve surrendered by now.
He told me to ask the air hostess to tell the captain to fly around any thunderstorms, because now that planes are trying to cut costs, they fly through storms they would otherwise avoid if there wasn’t an economic crisis.
I know maybe only one plane seems to crash a year on average, say. But surely my personal probability rises if I were to say, take, 16 flights a year? (Which is what I did last year).
You also wonder, then, how many times you flown when you were close to crashing but you never realised it. Maybe only one thing went wrong, but how close were you to death? You get off, reckon it was a pretty turbulent flight, but it’s all good. When really, at some point, during the night, it maybe wasn’t?
I’m not a nervous flyer, that is until the plane suddenly lurches when being thrown around by desert thermals.
Then everyone's a nervous flyer, come on.
Take off, landing, is different: I grip the armrests, but more because I get the feeling pilots seem to enjoy double bouncing down a runway.
Also with regards to dodgy people on planes – touch wood the dodgiest situation I saw involved a cocaine smuggler being shunted off the plane from Buenos Aires by security cops in Cape Town.
He was sitting in front of me, charfing the air hostess in the obnoxious fashion that is both tiresome and pitiful, and next thing ‘Passport please’ and off he went, never to be seen again.
Will calm down by tomorrow.