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journey home

March 13, 2005

Nightmare. Snow was so bad that driving from Connecticut to Boston took 5 hours instead of three and I just missed the flight. Option was to fly to NY immediately at a cost of $220. Ok, I’ll do that. Got marked and selected for special security search. Plane delayed. Finally got to NY – ran down/up two sets of escalators and took a monorail to next terminal. Gashed my hand somehow in the mad dash. Got to check-in. Guess what? They wouldn’t let me on the flight from NY to Heathrow despite the fact that I was flying Upper Class and the gate was still open. Oh, I forgot – as they ignored me they decided to let Jeremy Irons on to the same flight at the same grade even though he hadn’t pre-checked in AND I HAD!!!

At this point, as you can imagine I was rather cross. I was treated with such disdain by the ugly supervisor who was more interested in fawning over la Jeremy that it was almost comical. I actually thought I had mysteriously died and gone to hell as the whole situation was so extraordinary. I’ve never been spoken to so rudely in my life. They ignored me as I implored them politely and then just stared at them with tears streaming down my face. No, the gate was still open but I couldn’t get on the plane but Jeremy can…..

It was pointless and they spun it out for a further 45 mins until the gate closed. My only option was to fly from Newark the next morning at 08:00. It was now midnight and I was in New York. I did crack at this point and asked them where the fuck New fucking Jersey was? About an hours drive but all the buses stopped two hours ago.

I booked it anyway and went down to arrivals where there were all sorts of reprobates hanging around. One kept following me asking if I wanted to go where he was going. In a fit of peak I told him I was going effing nowhere so eff off! Went to information and pre-booked myself into the Sheraton Newark Airport hotel for another $200. The only other option was fleapit motel Newark $30. No thanks.

I then got into a yellow cab. The booker gave me a piece of paper telling me that it would be $90. This was hellcab. Creaky, dark and no handles to get out. The driver then told me that the prices went up yesterday and that it would actually be $120. At this point I just saw red. I really laid into him and told him that he will regret saying that to mje and that he had made my bad day just so very much worse. So go ahead I said, rip me off, I don’t care about anything anymore. I was very stressed. He looked really pissed off and we travelled in terrible silence. The cab felt like it was going to breakdown any minute. For no reason, he turned off the freeway and into the darkest, dankest most desolate industrial wasteland and started slowing down. I really thought that was it. I had visions of me being cut up and put in a dumpster. I thought of my family waking up at home thinking I was landing but in fact I was no where near it and was soon never going to get home. I got out my phone and pretended to make a call. He then went back onto the freeway and carried on to Newark. Bad.

He missed the exit and we went on a 25 minute detour. Newark is a shithole and the hotel was full of weird slimy American pilots. Internal flight crew in America really are odious looking creatures. I had three hours sleep and finally made it onto the plane next morning. I almost cried with relief and especially as everyone was so nice to me.

I don’t think I like America very much – I never really have except for bits here and there. There was an unbelievably repulsive and morbidly obese middle-aged couple waddling to the airport bus in Boston. They were complaining about having to walk anywhere and were both carrying identical red baskets on wheels with see-through mesh at the front. Inside each basket were two minute little terriers with red bows on their heads. The contrast was stark – two galumphing, wobbling mesomorphs carrying tiny little shivering dogs that were squeaking and whining in a frail, sad way. Maybe they were frightened of being squashed by their massive, ungainly owners.

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