Flip Flop Flying

Homeward bound

with 11 comments

I’m sat inside JFK airport right now. I’ve just signed up for a one day pass for wireless connection with a well known internet-y/mobile phone-y company. I’m really not sure why places like airports don’t just give you free access. So many folks have laptops these days; it would just be a pleasant friendly thing to do.

I’m wearing a Bob Ross t-shirt today. I will wear this t-shirt every time I enter the USA from now on. There is nothing like Bob to get on the good side of a security person. No less than three of them have smiled and chatted with me about Bob. All along the lines of, “hey, I used to love him when I was a kid!” So this is my tip to you, dear reader: get yerself a Bob Ross t-shirt for travelling.

As I type, there’s a very loud American (with a southern accent) shouting “Tina! Get yer ass back here!” over and over. Everyone’s looking at him. I can’t see him, though, cos he’s behind a sign, so I’ll invent what he looks like: Dallas Cowboys helmet, Speedos and wellies.

It’s pretty fucking dull here. Considering this country’s the home of shopping and entertainment, there’s bugger all to do in this place. I’ve still got an hour and a half before I’ve got to get going, so looks like I’ll just type type type til the batteries on this computer run out.

Anyway, last night was my last in New York. So I went to the Empire State Building again. Watched the sun go down, helped out folks who needed their family snapshots taking (I always worry about this: do they now have a really blurry, shaky photo of themselves at the top of the Empire State? Did I ruin it for them?).
New York is a beautiful city, but it looks truly amazing from up there with the sun going down over New Jersey, and the whole of Manhattan glows apart from a huge Central Park shaped hole. And of course, there’s that unseen hole where there used to be two huge towers; a hole that makes Manhattan look a bit, well, I dunno, but, there’s just something missing.

I wonder if anyone in this building’s ever looked at Minipops? This is something I often wonder, because of my delusions of being (cue theatrical pose) a STAR just because my website is moderately popular. That guy there, left handed, white socks: has he ever chuckled as Pete & Bob dance? The sulky kid with the Jack Osbourne pout: did he ever flick through my book in a shop and put it down again only to buy something more interesting? The girl in the Minnie Mouse t-shirt: did she ever get that damn Minipops quiz in her email inbox? Who knows. Not me. I’m just a bored chap who knows it’s gonna be about 10 hours before he has another cigarette.

Smoking. This is something the majority of you won’t care about, cos you’ll be clever enough not to be a smoker. Those of you that are smokers, you may empathise. This fucking airport has no place to smoke inside, like the rest of New York City.
Nothing particularly unusual there, but once you’re in the airport, you’re literally checked in. There’s no going out. If you go out for a smoke, you gotta go through the whole security shit all over again. Yes, I will take my laptop out of my bag. Yes, my pockets are empty.

It’s not all bad, though. I heard a Beach Boys song being piped down a corridor.

When I stopped to get something to eat about half an hour ago, there was this woman who was ordering food for herself and her annoying little bastard kid. Crying crying crying. Mommy Mommy Mommy! She got her food, then went off. Only to return a few moments later, barge in front of everyone and held out an empty plastic beaker. My son dropped his Sprite, she said, with a look on her face like, Gimme another one, you! And the guy did give her another Sprite. But I wonder about this. Why do people expect to get a free drink cos they’re too bloody clumsy to not spill it? Does this sort of thing happen in any other sort of retail outlet? Sorry Mr Vodafone, this bloke stole my phone just outside the shop, can I have another please? Dear Apple, I was mugged as I left your store, please can you send me a replacement iPod… I do-ho-hon’t think so.

Oh, here’s something vaguely interesting. For me, at least. In the cab on the way here, aside from the cab driver talking on his phone for the whole journey, as we bombed through Queens, I saw a Liverpool FC flag hanging out of a window. Aaaah, that’s nice, I thought, I should write about that in my bloomin’ blog thing, cos no one else will give a shit, but you’ll feel better for writing it, you daft fool.

So right now, I’m debating whether to do the cigarette and security thing one more time before I get in an aeroplane and plummet to my death over the Atlantic Ocean. No upgrade this time, sadly, but I do have a window seat which makes me happy.

Yep, another cig, I think. Okay kids, ’til Europa. Ta-ra.

Written by Craig

August 6th, 2005 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

11 Responses to 'Homeward bound'

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  1. Aww.

    We’ll miss you in New York City.

    Lisa

    6 Aug 05 at 11:13 pm

  2. hi craig,
    i cared about the lfc flag because everytime anyone mentions the word Liverpool i can go back and dream about the 25th of may 2005 =)

    Anonymous

    6 Aug 05 at 11:32 pm

  3. Welcome back to old Europe!! Hope your jet lag is kind to you. I slept in a strange wake state for a good fortnight when I got back from NY.
    Loved to follow your whereabouts and remember my own amazement and fascination. Like a cozy homey feeling though I know it was just delusional.

    And another thing. The smoking bit – haven’t you quit??

    Elisabeth R

    6 Aug 05 at 11:39 pm

  4. on accounts of the wondering whether anyone in the empire state building has looked at your site, tis always possible! i am the feeble american who ran up to you speechless and shaking on pappelalle in january so you just never know. i am in berlin now again actually but going back to the states on friday.

    on the smoking front, let me just say that when i came to germany for the first time in january, as a smoker, it was like a beautiful dream. as i stepped off the plane and into the frankfurt airport my nose perked up. is that smoke i smell? in an airport?!!? i thought to myself that i had accidentally taken a plane to heaven. sigh. what a sorry view of heaven us smokers must have these days, especially coming from a country where smokers will soon be lznched in the street. ah well. welcome back to berlin! i am glad you enjoyed your stay in the beautiful big apple.

    -rachel

    weeztastic

    8 Aug 05 at 11:30 am

  5. You’re prose takes on a delightfully agressive and confrontational style when you need nicotine :-)

    Hope you had a good flight ;-)

    Ed

    Ed

    8 Aug 05 at 1:27 pm

  6. When you go back to minipops, try the Discovery Crew with their beautiful black-gray-lightgray-shirts floating in two rows…

    Loved the book!

    Neven

    8 Aug 05 at 2:22 pm

  7. i like the way you wrote that.. i find myself thinking exactly the same way when sitting around waiting for whatever, but never seem able to write about it after.

    Bushra

    8 Aug 05 at 2:51 pm

  8. hope you got home safe.

    Tori

    8 Aug 05 at 5:05 pm

  9. Lisa – Thank you.
    Anonymous – It doesn’t take much to remind me of that, either. People talking about livers or swimming pools is enough.
    Elisabeth – I’m hoping I don’t have a fortnight’s weird sleep, thank you very much. One night is more than enough. I did quit smoking for a week or so, yes.
    Rachel – Aah, hello! Hope you’re enjoying Berlin too. Yes, even when I was doing my duty and standing outside a bar or something, still you manage to get the feeling that people despise you for standing there smoking. Really, though, what is the next step? Making it illegal?
    Ed – You should see me when I stop smoking, I’m a right bastard.
    Neven – Is that the Space Shuttle people? Yeh, I guess so.
    Bushra – Yes, you’d have had a sanitised version had I waited. I quite enjoy writing like that, actually. Maybe I should do that more often; take my PowerBook out and just sit on a bench and ramble…
    Tori – I did, despite having to be in coach not business class!

    Craig

    8 Aug 05 at 5:57 pm

  10. You should go to Singapore aiport. Honestly. Just hang out there for a while. Internet access is free and there are terminals everywhere, and even so people log off after a reasonable amount of time so other people can have a go.
    And for very little money you can go to this VIP room where you can shower, help yourself to free food and drink, read papers/magazines, and have a kip in an actual bed and get woken up in time for your connecting flight. ALthough why anyone would ever want to leave is beyond me.

    Mark

    9 Aug 05 at 1:20 pm

  11. american airports are shit, aren’t they. why is that?

    James William Kendall Formerly Of Lincoln City

    15 Aug 05 at 10:48 pm

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