I’m back in Berlin now. I spent one more day in Chapel Hill, then went to New York for the weekend: had a few beers, hung out on the Lower East Side (well, walked around the streets, anyway), found a pub showing the Liverpool victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, went to another Yankees game, and got sick.
Not sick like fiddling-with-dogs sick, or like doing something impressive-on-a-skateboard sick: sick in the not-feeling-good sense. About eighteen hours before I was due on a trans-Atlantic flight, I threw up. About seventeen and a half hours before I was due on a trans-Atlantic flight, I threw up again. I kept doing that for a few hours, retching ’til I felt like a Ren & Stimpy animation of vomiting. Then the diarrhoea began. Just imagine Ren & Stimpy again. It was horrible. Sweaty fits of sleep followed. Dozing, then waking, using the bathroom, dozing, waking to find some myself watching Married… With Children, then eventually dragging my carcus out of my mate’s apartment, getting a cab and going to JFK airport.
I was, as you can probably imagine, dreading flying. Not my favourite activity at the best of times, but when feeling ill: a nightmare. As it happened, the flight from New York to London was okay. I had empty seats next to me, and I managed to get some sleep. But all the other fiddly bits of airport-negotiating were a strain on my already feeble brain and body: The “No, go back to the desk, you need a sticker on your boarding card”; the sat-on-the-runway at Heathrow waiting for another plane to fly off so we could get into our slot; the flight connection zone with four metal detectors and at least 600 or 700 passengers wanting to get through (this is seriously broken. How on earth does Heathrow airport continue to think this is a good way to work?); the half hour delay to Berlin; and the taxi driver who seemed not to know how to get from the airport to my flat. It felt like it would never end. But it did.
And it didn’t, cos I was still ill. And I’m only just starting to feel better now, three days after it all began. I’ve spent the last 48 hours drifting in and out of sweaty sleep with the sound of looped DVD menus distorting in my brain as I half-sleep into strange dreams.
Oh, guess who was on my flight from New York to London! Go on, guess!
Naomi Campbell! Stood right in front of me in the queue to board the plane! Three things: she’s very attractive in real life, too. She’s about the same height as me, which surprised me a little. She was very very polite to the British Airways employee who was helping her with all her Louis Vuitton luggage.
So, what to do now? I’m not sure. I’ve got no work on my plate. I wonder if I can pick up where I left off before New York and continue knocking out FFF stuff. Let’s hope so, eh?