It shows the state that I have reached after the horror of packing my case that I immediately thought what a poignant symbol that was. Until I began to think about what precisely I thought it might be a symbol of! Getting bogged down in the specifics of analysis then showed up how specious my initial enthusiasm was.
It was one of those occasions that usually elicits the expression, “That’s interesting!” which then usually prompts the response, “What is?” to which of course the truthful answer is, “Well, nothing really.”
I take this to be the same sort of thing that one sometimes sees in animals, especially dogs, when they stiffen and stare meaningfully at nothing at all for a few moments and then carry on with their canine lives.
I’m thinking of these things now because I will soon be in an airport waiting lounge. And incidentally I hate the word lounge used in connection with any resting place in an airport. Every seat is designed on the same principle of the old Work Houses. Just as the Work House was designed to be marginally worse than the worst employment you could find outside the institution and entry was the last resort, so with seating in airports. It is designed to be marginally worse than anything else you can find to do in the god forsaken places. Wandering through shops; going to an over priced restaurant; finding a new arrivals and departures board to look at – anything is better than sitting on those chairs.
After all the chairs are specifically designed so that you cannot relax in them. Relaxation might mean sleep and sleep means missed announcements and delayed planes. It is good to see that Victorian Values are upheld in our modern airports!
The full horror of the spiritual stasis which entombment in airports demands has been lessened for me by the excellent procedure of ‘booking in on line.’ EasyJet allow you to do this and it means that you only have to be there some 40 minutes before departure. I am far too paranoid to test this to the precise limits but it does give one extra time to rest at home in seating which allows one to relax.
It is also a long time since I have driven on the correct side of the road. Foreigners, as you know, must have had a very different sword technique in the past – or possibly have been mainly left handed. It is a known fact that we drive on the left to allow the right hand to draw a sword and attack any importunate person advancing in the opposite direction with antagonistic propensities. Why did not Johnnie Foreigner understand this?
In some ways I take the form of driving that is second nature to a Spaniard (i.e. dizzyingly suicidal and homicidal) to be an attempt to break the unnatural restraint of driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and their appalling road sense is actually displacement activity as their inner ‘Briton’ tries to bring them to the ‘right’ (i.e. left) side of the road.
Why, you might ask, do Britons not also exhibit the same dreadful tendencies of the Spanish? Ah, it is, of course the famed sense of British fairness and tolerance which enables the British driver on the Continent to follow the norms of the country while realising with warm condescension that it will only be a matter of time before they learn the error of their ways!
So, almost time to go.
I only hope that the telephone conversation that I had with the taxi firm actually results in a taxi arriving at the time that I stated. There did seem to be an element of confusion about the time as I took the word ‘mediodia’ to be an exact translation of ‘mid day’ but she asked what time mid day. I gave a 24 hour clock answer which seemed to satisfy her.
At the moment I am calm. If half past twelve arrives and there is no taxi that calm will dissipate in a second.
But I live in hope – there is no other way!