Monday, December 01, 2008

Report From 14,555km Out Of Singapore

Flying over Manitoba. It's 15 hours into the flight. I can’t open the shade to look out as the sun is blasting right at my window and would stream like an amazing movie effect across the other people who are trying to sleep or watch movies. The Flight-Info screen has this cool shot, one I've not seen before, demonstrating the flight path tracking over the North Pole on the edge of the globe, from Singapore right on the equator, to Newark half way up on the other side.

And then it doesn't. The screen goes blank for a few seconds, maybe 5 to 10. Then a little sign saying 'Digital Signal' comes up… Looks like the TV is losing the signal. Trust me to get a KrisWorld screen with a loose wire somewhere.

This has been happening all through my movies too -

1: Ghost Town (swearing edited out) - Sixth Sense meets Office meets Extras - theme: love conquers all.

2: Love Actually (tits and bums and swearing unedited) - just to hear Bill Nighey's classic line about drugs - theme: love conquers all.

3: In The Valley of Elah - (tits and bums and swearing unedited) - don’t start me on the American flag motif - Tommy Lee Jones doing his one-trick acting act again - themes: war is hell, these kids get fucked up in the head they ain't the men we used to be, we orn'tna be in that Eyeraq, paternal love can’t conquer squat.

4: Death Defying Acts - (no nudity, no swearing) Houdini had a mother complex and Catherine Zeta-Jones is the psychic fetish object - theme: love conquers a lot, but it can’t cure a ruptured appendix.

After watching Ricky Gervais in the first named movie do his usual whiney but lovable schtick as a misanthropic, depressed dentist, I had a crisis of conscience about complaining and so I decided to just hit a few buttons on the handle, or whack the screen lightly with my shoe-heel and eventually it would come back up...

I'm not sure if my actions actually had any effect, but hey...

NEWS FLASH -- Shorted out TV blamed for fire which engulfs SIA Airbus 340-500 as it lands in Newark. "Why didn't someone tell us the Entertainment System was faulty? We would have turned back immediately," says severely injured but still gorgeous stewardess Monica Flewinsky from her hospital bed in New Jersey. Only the crew survived. All the passengers died, she says, because their business class seats were so comfortable they didn’t want to leave the burning wreckage.


Oops, here's Stewardess Flewinsky now, to offer me another diet coke just as I am typing this, so, what the heck, I tell her about the problem with the screen. She waits for a minute or two - of course the screen behaves itself while she is watching! She offers to reset the system, but I say don't worry. She says she will tell the engineer. What a great guy I am! What a nice customer! Saved a plane (3/4) full of business travellers. The screen blanks again.


Wow, shit almighty! I nearly slept in yesterday morning and missed my midday flight to New York for the connection to Chicago! Ironically I was out with some friends till about 3 or so at Howl @ The Moon, the new pick-up joint for 50' Zombie Divorcees (i.e. single-again white females) in Singapore. Scary place for a guy used to seeing loads of darker hued, shorter, more trim-buttocked females as the predominant sexual life-form. I suppose it's good (and ironic like I said) to adjust my eyeballs for the broader arse of Western women as I'll be heading to the Chicago H@TM sometime this week most certainly, AND probably get home about the same o'clock (US Central Time) from there too.

So, yeah this Saturday morning, I woke at 9:45 (Singapore time). I hadn’t packed, was supposed to be at the airport in 25 minutes. Shit. Throw things into my medium sized hard-shelled bag (the one that Emirates lost last week). Whoops, this is not going to work: a) warmer clothes take up more space, b) I am too hung-over/still-pissed to fold my shirts properly, even FIND my shirts. So I went out to the storeroom and grabbed my old fold-up suit-bag from the top shelf, nearly falling off the ladder in the process.

Love that bag. It was a gift from the people at my old company when I left Australia to join their Hong Kong team. I used it for almost exclusively for the first few years, then went for a hard-shelled Samsonite one as I needed more space for gym and swimming gear (trying to lose weight back then too), plus The Mouse would fold all my shirts nicely, so it was no big deal. As the bag was handed to me at the farewell party in North Sydney (somewhere trendy, we never stinted in those heady days) one of the girls said, "You'll be an expert in travel accessories soon enough." Very prescient of her.

Fuck folding shirts this morning, as I said, no time. I put my grey suit in, three shirts (plus I'd wear one), my jocks, a jumper. All the other stuff was stuffed in the suit-free suitcase, meds, toiletries, extra shoes.

I called the taxi. Closed the suitcase and locked it. Then I unlocked and opened it. I searched in the drawers for my leather gloves, scarf and cap, threw them in. Locked the suitcase. Handkerchiefs, ties? Fuck. I put them in the other bag.

I slipped the briefcase over the handle of the suitcase and went to roll them into the lounge. I bent over to grab the suit-bag… and the handle broke off in my hand.

Clean snap. Plastic does NOT last forever.

The taxi is here.

There is no way to HOLD the suit-bag. It used to have a shoulder strap, where the fuck is that? There are no air-conditioners running in my house, btw. My hair has started to sweat. I found the shoulder strap in the first place I looked, thankfully, snap it on and head to the lift. I am projectile sweating by the time I get into the taxi. The stun level air-con in most taxis is not strong enough for me anymore, I didn't dry out on the ride to the airport. (This sweating is, I guess, caused by the Cymbalta. Or the humidity. Or pneumonia.)

At check-in the clerk has nowhere firm to affix the flight dockets for the suit-bag. She sticks them around the shoulder strap. It looks a little flimsy, what? Shit. I just know they are going to loose my suit-bag in transit. As I'm in business for this leg, I should have carried the suit-bag on and checked it in only at Newark.

Let's see if I am prescient, psychic, or merely whiney but loveable.

[NB: We have travelled nearly a thousand kilometers in the time it has taken to compose the first draft of this entry.]



Dick Headley said...

ricky gervais yeah, whiny but lovable, I like it. Not seen Ghosttown yet but it's on the list.

expat@large said...

Hope you get to see the version with the correct lip-synching to the swear words!

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