Notes from a far-off country

Monday, 28th April.

It is very dark o’clock. The alarm goes off and I know that I must get up. I have only left myself 20 minutes before the taxi expects me to be downstairs. I’m hoping it will be enough.

The dogs stay with me, hopefully, for about 5 minutes until they lose hope and realise that I won’t be taking them out after all.

I leave the house at about a minute to 4. It is tipping it down. Miserable, bloody weather. Still, I will be out of it for a few days. Not that I want to be, you understand. I’m off the that far-off country. One that everyone agrees is “lovely” and I hate, almost without measure.

I get to the station for the train to the airport. It is still dark and still raining. I realise that this thing we have, with airlines leaving before about 10 or 11 in the morning – not before 9, anyway.

The sooner I am out of this effing rat-race, the better.

I have a cigarette – only my second so far – but I know this train – there is no warning it will leave so, even if there is 5 minutes to go, I get on.

Lots of people are on the train but it is silent. Some people seem to be sleeping and I wish I could. A woman gets on at the second or third stop. There’s lots of goodbyes to one or more people at the station and then she spends the rest of the journey on the telephone. I wonder who the hell she can be speaking to before 5 in the morning?

We arrive at the airport and, as expected for the far-off country, the check-in is “special” and requires the longest walks.

I go out for several cigarettes and then in through the security control with its massive queues and, again, I wonder at this need (real need) to fly everywhere so early.

I get through there and up to the gate area and head for the café for my shot of caffeine. And then a final cigarette.

On the plane, I stupidly offer the window seat to one of my colleagues, one of whom takes it up and then proceeds to sleep through most of the flight. Still, it’s not so important as I have a book. A new book; one of those supposedly for summer at the beach.

I read over half on the four-hour journey. This is not good. Obviously, I still have the problem of reading too fast. More books will need to be bought!

As we’re on the plane, I realise that I just don’t like people. In fact, I loathe them, especially in a crowded place. I’m talking people in general, making no discrimination between races, young or old, male or female. People are just bloody horrible.

We arrive. We go through passport control which is more special here. Don’t they realise that I really don’t want to be here?

“Why are you here?”

“Because I have to come and subject myself to this bloody horrible country with you bloody horrible people”

“Who are you coming to see?”

“Some of the most vile people I have ever had to deal with”

“Was it at their invitation?”

“Invitation?! If only it were so simple as something I could refuse? Believe me, I would have gratefully declined.”

Of course, the questions were real, my responses less so. A lot less so. In fact, nothing like what I have written.

I collect my case, I go straight out to have a cigarette. I go back in to get cash. I am told, by my colleague that the little fucker who is our agent here, has come to pick us up. Surprisingly, as he had indicated he wouldn’t.

Apparently, we weren’t grateful enough for this “sacrifice” but since he is a shit-stirrer, I couldn’t care less. I remember the last trip here. The trip just before Christmas when it was ‘too much trouble’ to take us anywhere!

Whilst driving to the customer, I made the mistake of asking how he was. We get the “holocaust story”. I really wish I hadn’t asked.

I spend the afternoon, sitting, bored to fuck while the engineers talk about dimensions and stuff.
I’ve already had enough!

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6 thoughts on “Notes from a far-off country

  1. Hi Andy – Your posts are so visual – I easily was with you on the train, and even better, I was enjoying a smoke with you. (7 years later I still miss it!!) Plus, yor writings often are scenes out of a great novel – leaving your readers desiring more. Such a gift.
    And, I have a new smile Andy. All new teeth. Quite an overwhelming event and unsettling healing as I adjust. I took pretty good care of my teth however, the effects of MS had an impact on blood flow due to nerve damage and my teeth loosened and shifted and broke. Quite painful. But now I am free of all that and healthier for it. I can’t figure out my pictures again on this new PC. I will post my new smile once I do.
    Love to you my friend
    Gail
    peace…….

    • Hi Gail,

      Thanks for the kind words. And I’m so pleased you like what I write.
      A new smile, eh? Fantastic news. Looking forward to seeing the pics.

  2. I did not realize you wanted to sit on the window side while we were going there.
    I spent my time trying to read the spec for the other job, then I quit…while someone was sleeping. Next time tell me, please. by the way, it was cloudly all over Italy…

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