Why hello there, beautiful readers! It is I, returned from the holidays ready to grace the new year with embarrassment, laughter and the most awkward of moments in human history. Let’s begin with the ridiculous story that was my day.
I’d been home for Christmas for a couple of weeks and it was fantastic, so much so that I didn’t want to leave. However, duty’s call could not go unanswered, thus I was forced to leave my beloved English wifey once more for my saucy Spanish mistress. Needless to say I was not thrilled at the prospect of bad beer and grumpy, sexist restauranteurs.
We lay our scene in the departure terminal of Liverpool John Lennon Airport. There I stood, an 8 hour younger version of myself, hand luggage in hand and hunger in belly. I was briefly tempted by a bacon sandwich, potentially with some sausages and hash browns, but then I saw it, the glistening cathedral of sandwiches: Subway. My stomach growls with desire like Christian Grey in all of his 50 shades. The wondrous smell wafts it’s way over to my nostrils and I can resist no longer…Six minutes later, sitting in the departure lounge equipped with a meatball marinara, life was glorious once more,
I eventually found myself outside my gate where a young man was partaking in a conversation on his mobile telephone. Quite the idiotic little shit, it turned out. “yah, I don’t know why they don’t just open the gate 10 minutes early, if people are late then they shouldn’t be allowed on, it’s basically a giant version of a bus stop really…”. I caught the eye of the girl opposite and we telepathically exchange comments of bewilderment at his arrogance and stupidity.
Another 20 minutes pass by and I’m waiting to board the plane. Standing up for prolonged periods of time has never been my forte so I find myself sitting on top of my hand luggage. An extremely loud conversation if occurring behind me between a Scouser and a Spaniard. The grammar is flawless, the content flowing and the jokes witty, but it was all somewhat blunted by the fact that it was spoken with the thickest Liverpudlian accent I’ve ever heard in my life. As a speaker of both Spanish and Scouse, I know that the two should never mix. Her voice went straight through me. Every harshly mispronounced word was like a dagger through my heart, every syllable making my stomach twist and my eyes water. Eventually the conversation slowed to a haunt as we neared the merciful doors of the aircraft. How naïve I was…
As soon as I fastened my seatbelt I knew something was wrong. I could smell it in the air, like garlic breath from the night before. The doors were sealed, and so was our fate. The captain comes on to the tanoy: “Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Unfortunately we seem to be experiencing a little bit of a delay due to fog over in Madrid. The weather has decreased visibility on the runway which means that the arrivals schedule has been thrown into disarray. We may not be able to take off for at least another hour but do not worry, you will be able to use your mobile phones in order to let those people know who are collecting you at the other end. Deepest apologies for any inconvenience.” A deep sigh rippled through the cabin, interspersed with the occasional “For CRYING OUT LOUD” and “JODER”. I held my breath for a moment. Stay calm, Ems. It’s not so bad, you just have to wait for a bit. It could be worse…
Little did I know, behind me there sat a baby upon his fathers lap, and he was not impressed by this sudden turn of events. My ray of hope was crushed by the cruel, unforgiving, blood curdling scream that was emitted from this devil child’s mouth. A scream that could move the continents ricocheted around the aircraft, but still I kept a level head. I opened my book and attempted I bury myself between the lines of witticism provided by Dawn French, and I reached for my bottle of ice-cold Coca Cola to calm myself. Just then, as I slowly and delicately unscrewed the bottle cap, life dealt me another cruel blow, as the contents of the bottle exploded all over my face and my book. The old man sitting next to me offered me his handkerchief, struggling to stifle his laughter. Coke dripped down my fringe and stung my eyes. I swallowed my pride and screamed “BOLLOCKS!” The man next to me gave up and cackled for a good minute and a half.
The baby continued to cry for the duration of the flight, it’s mother continuously claiming he would soon fall asleep from exhaustion, each time sounding less convinced of it herself. The old man next to me let me keep his coca-cola sodden handkerchief, which I disposed of later. Back on the ground in Madrid, I had to wait another half an hour for my baggage to make its way lazily and reluctantly around the carousel. It looked so pained and lonely, it could have been an oil painting. Eventually I greeted my very impatient driver and he took me to my house in Alcalá de Henares.
This is what happens when there is a spot of bad weather in Spain. The continent is thrown into sheer chaos. However, one good thing did come of this whole absurd episode in my life. The captain was called Craig and was from Australia.