Saturday, 9 December 2006

Escape from Paris

For those of you that know me, I am socially inept outside of my comfort zone, for those of you that don't, well, you know now. If I'm with friends, I'm fine, if I'm not then I become utterly self conscious and turn into Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man. Even though I might be wearing an awesome ensemble of well chosen clothing, I imagine myself to be wearing a stained raincoat like Columbo, have slumped shoulders, a face tick and drool. My personal self image in times of crisis needs working on.

So when my flight from La Coruna to heathrow was turned away due to adverse weather conditions, and had to land in Paris, then realised my mate Bry was going to get a cab to try and catch a connecting flight to his meeting in Copenhagen, the idiot savant inside me swelled till I was overcome with uselessness.

They ushered us into an airport restaurant where they served us our prison nosh of a piece of meat and a dollop of mash. I plucked up my courage and asked three spanish people whether I could join their table for four, and they of course welcomed me, I wasn't the shambling monstrosity I imagined myself to be and they treated me like a human. Luckily, one of them was an English teacher, so I spoke to him and avoided the spanish dude opposite who had sideburns much more lush than mine, the bastard. He also had a stunning adidas retro zip up track top, black with orange stripes, the bastard. But I was happy with the fact he had a side parting and looked like a twat. But then I thought, what if his side parting was an ironic fashion statement? Maybe this was deliberate and not something his mum had brushed over for him? I tried to tackle this quandry in my mind. Oh, the shallowness of vanity, the teetering balance between success and failure in hair combing. I rarely comb mine, I tell people its because I want to look like a french film director, but my other half told me I looked like a tramp the other day....

I digress, so then on to the hotel they had booked for us overnight, I knew it would be an awful scrum to check in. I offered to carry an old spanish ladies heavy bag down the stairs, I think she thought I was mugging her as she yelled at her husband to chase me, oh the shame.

Then the mad rush into the bus, then the mad rush to check into our hotel. Human dignity, morality and philanthropy is spirited away at times like this, there are no niceities, survival of the fittest rules. I don't try and trample over my fellow man, so I waited politely as others rushed for their rooms. Although I could have let rage take me over (I'd have only thrown the oranges at reception at my fellow passengers like a demented bitch) i detached myself from it all, waited till I got my room, and then breathed a sigh of relief until 4am when we had to queue for the bus, at the airport, for the flight.... arrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!! Got back to heathrow late morning on Friday. Still exhausted, still haunted and feeling decidedley uncrissmassy.

The staff who were supposed to look after us in Paris were inconsitent, sometimes apathetic and avoided us with their long faces and shrugging demeanor. In preparation for this blog, one of my eminent relatives was encouraging me to be more disparaging about the whole experience, I think to satisfy her xenophobic blood lust. But I can't lower myself to do this, even if they were a bunch of smug frogs.

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