Lots of flying to do yesterday, lots of take-offs and landings. And lots of little things that annoyed me. The flight from Punta Gorda to Belize City was fine. I was sat in the seat behind where a co-pilot would’ve been, so I had a pretty sweet view. Until the plane made the first of its four stops on the way to the capital, where some dickhead American dude with Bono-ish shades and one of those faces that’s begging to be punched came and sat down next to me. Looking for both ends of the seat-belt, he was half-talking to me, “It’s gotta be somewhere…” and at that moment, he found one end, then looked at me, and sang “…over the rainbow!”
Thankfully, he didn’t sit next to me for more than a couple of minutes, as he then leant forward and asked the pilot if he could sit in the co-pilot seat. Now, I’m a tad jealous that he got to do this, but then, I’m way to politely British to even consider asking the pilot such a question. Anyway, I no longer had a dickhead sat next to me; I had one sat in front of me. Taking photos constantly. His arms blocking any nice view I had as he snapped away and kept looking back at what I assume was his brother, and smirking.
Soon enough, though, I was in Belize City. My tummy had been rumbling the whole journey, and, I must confess, I did break wind once or twice. But I put it down to a sudden switch of cigarette brands. I’d taken a whole load of Camel Lights and Marlboro Lights with me to Punta Gorda, but in the last 24 hours, I’d run out and had to resort to smoking one of the local brands, Colonial. They’re a bit rough for my taste, and, like I said, assumed that they made me feel a bit dicky.
A quick trip to the gents once I got off the flight and, well, I don’t need to go into too much detail. All you need to know is that the next person to come into the gents said “Phwoooo-weee!” very loudly. That was the first of five visits before I got my next flight. And I had serious reservations about taking the flight. I mean, I knew that if the seat-belt signs were on during the flight, I’d need to defy them and dash off or I’d soil myself there and then in seat 3A. And that seat number is why I didn’t consider it too much: I’d been upgraded for the one hour Taca Airlines flight to San Salvador. Frankly, though, aside from the bit of extra room, I can’t see why anyone would pay for business class on such a short journey.
Fairly nice view out over El Salvador as we came in to land at dusk. And if the airport is anything to go by, El Salvadorean women are mmm-mmm-mmm mighty fine. Still, all I really saw of San Salvador was the inside of the toilets. I had an hour and a half to wait before my next flight, so I asked the Taca Airlines guy if I could change my window seat for an aisle seat, ’cause of my “predicament.” That sorted, and feeling a tad more confident about not shitting my pants on the flight, I went for one last celebration dump before boarding began.
I’m sat by the aisle, next to some cunt who spends the whole time shuffling cards, plane takes off, and before the seat-belt signs go off, I spy two blokes coming from the front of the plane towards the toilets at the rear. Now, I know it’s a cunty move, but I did it nonetheless: I un-buckled and dived in front of them. And a good job, too: seconds after locking the door I was throwing up like nobody’s business.
By the time I was through, I had the evil, red-eyed, pasty-faced look. And still the stewards on the flight didn’t seem to understand that my request for water was quite urgent. I was feeling so dehydrated, and the Taca dudes were, if truth be told, lacking in training. I’ve seen those docu-soaps about airlines, and they’re meant to look after you if you’re feeling a bit ill. But all I got was sneers when I asked for three water re-fills of the mini-cups.
All this got to me by the time I arrived in Panama, and for the first time in ages I was chuntering away to myself like a loony when the ATM would only allow me to take out $50, and the Coke machine wouldn’t accept any of my notes. I collected my backpack to find that, for whatever security bullshit reason, it had been gone through. Nice of whoever that was, in whichever city that was, to not bother closing any of the zips or buckles when they were done. It’s some sort of minor miracle that half of my belongings aren’t littering the hold of the plane.
The hotel where I am staying is supposed to lay on a transfer bus. Was it there? Was it fuck. So I get a cab and I’m being driven around Panama City at midnight, not knowing what the hell it is I’m doing here. Why did I randomly pick Panama City? I know nothing about this place. All I know is they’ve got a canal down the road.
Since I woke up this morning, I’ve not been outside yet. No idea what Panama City looks like, apart from the rectangle of view from my hotel window, which looks, well, average at best. Which is more than can be said about the room itself. Amazingly, the hotel has wifi. Which blows my mind considering how shit everything else is. The door looks like a shoulder could knock it in, it’s got paint all over it, as has the plastic chair. The mirror is broken, the pillows are like porridge in a sack, the soap is as thin as an After Eight mint, the curtain is filthy, and the only power outlet is seven feet up, next to the bracket holding the TV. Still, it’s only $25 a night, so what – really – was I expecting?