Monday, September 10, 2007

On Travelling

On Travelling

I hate air travel.

This from somebody who has travelled round the world and back as part of his job as boy reporter to the world’s most excellent broadcaster.

I hate airports.

I hate flying, especially - as is the case on this trip - if your plane has propellers to make it go.

I hate all the sitting around, bored out of my skull with only CNN for company.

I hate having to ask for a receipt for everything.

And I hate taxi drivers who make me want to commit murder.

The trouble is that my body knows I hate duty trips, and comes out in sympathy. Not my whole body – just one vitally important part. You know which one it is.

My bottom.

It knows. It bides its time. And then, on the day I am travelling, it strikes.

You can guarantee that come the morning of a trip to the airport I will be squitting through the eye of a needle; and my chalfonts, otherwise benign and gentle creatures, light up like a traffic signal.

They know I will be spending the next twelve hours parked on top of them, and of course, the king-size bucket of Anusol is buried at the bottom of my suitcase.

As soon as I arrive – not a peep. I can eat barely-cooked meat from at least one named animal purchased from even the seediest of street vendors and my innards will behave impeccably. Then, a week later, as I queue for the baggage check-in for the homeward flight, they bubble up and the departure hall is exposed to an explosion of epic proportions.

I would, at this point, like to apologise to the cleaners at Amman’s King Wossname Airport. I’m certain I didn’t eat that much while I was in your country, and I was especially surprised at the tomatoes and the sweet corn. You could have simply varnished over the whole mess and claimed the walls were pebble-dashed. Sorry.

At least I got my money’s worth out of the airport departure tax, and the receipt went to good use once the paper ran out.

I know why my bottom does this. It is evil. It is hoping beyond hope that the day will come when I will be pulled to one side at the Nothing to Declare gate, as some uniformed Nazi with a knowing smile on his face snaps on the latex gloves for a bit of recreational cavity searching.

And woe upon that day, for there will be no winners.

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