You can’t get there from here.

Well you can, but it’s properly silly. None of the local taxi firms were interested in a cash deal in exchange for some transport to the airport. Apparently their entire fleets have been firebombed or carjacked as per the macro-traffic conditions we operate under in Aylesbury. The firm stepped in and rather than a cut’n’shut minicab of dubious mechanical history, a brand new Merc whispered up the drive.

The taxi had come from London, the driver from Poland. I’ve never really understood the etiquette of taxi journey speak so offered up a non threatening opening gambit praising his rather funky SatNav. No sooner had the words left my mouth was he abandoning any semblance of road watching instead thumbing buttons and scrolling pages like a man discovering Free Britney Spears Lesbian Mud Wrestling Pictures” on the internet.

I live here” he jabbed the screen depicting some tiny Polish street brought to life by the power of technology Warsaw, lovely city, pretty girls, many many English people very happy here“. The navigation system offered a direct route via a non existent sea tunnel but lasting only 9 hours. I was on the verge of saying It’s 400 miles, we’ve got half a packet of Werthers’ originals and we’re wearing sunglasses, let’s go!”

We didn’t of course. Even with the Germanic bent of the Merc straining to be unleashed on some annexation of Poland, I didn’t fancy it’s or our chances in the North Sea. Instead of a wild night in downtown Warsaw, I got to spend most of my afternoon queuing and removing ever increasing items of clothing.

Hence the helpful video, which accompanied your low velocity shuffle, portrayed well dressed business travellers stripping virtually naked to gain entry to the inner sanctum of the airside gates. This all seemed a little unfair especially for fat people but even after studying the playback loop for a goodly time, I still failed to understand one of the key messages.

Remove your shoes please sir” intoned a deeply bored security guy

Was he serious? Inside these fetid footbeds lurked the stains and smells of a 1000 miles of commuting. Abandoned in damp places, left to rot with sun hardened dogshit welded to the soles and garnished with the sweat of everyday riding. The last time I’d lavished some expensive disinfectant spray inside them, the bottle had exploded. These evil twins were probably the very weapons of mass destruction they were looking for.

Aside from an old lady passing out when the noxious gasses escaped skywards and the x-ray machine apparently on the verge of a Heimlich manoeuvre, nothing cataclysmic occurred during the opening of Pandora’s shoes. Didn’t stop the security guy loosening my belt and giving me a reacharound tho.

Putting me on a plane with a free bar and nothing to do for eight hours is tantamount to murder. With my legendary willpower, it’s almost a given I’ll be quickly identified as an alcohol dependent and they’ll be readying the handcuffs and deportation orders before we’ve got off the ground. Air Canada has one outstanding USP against its’ competitors in that it flies direct to Ottawa without transiting the hell of US immigration. But that’s it, everything else about it sucks; the planes were brought into service in 1988 and have been cleaned about twice since. They lack the requisite quantity of engines one would reasonably expect for a 3000 mile dash across open water. The in flight entertainment system” is properly state of the arc with a 15 year old RGB projector depositing a fuzzy and outsized image onto a convenient bulkhead.

And while I’m all for a little experimentation in the meals service, can a complex fusion of Cornish Scones, Cream Cheese, Jam, Chile Sauce and Prawns ever be right? No, the obvious reason is that the chef is clearly on crack. Let’s hope he didn’t cut in a wedge for the pilots.

And this is business class. The poor fuckers in steerage are locked into a rusty cage, while stale baguettes are fired in at groin height. Their entertainment is to wager a bet on how many people will die of some unspeakable bread based injury during the voyage.

Maybe I should have risked the alternative taxi destination after all.

2 thoughts on “You can’t get there from here.

  1. Victor

    I’ve used the same limo firm previously and have experienced a number of drivers ranging from suspiciously relaxed & cheerful rasta man, through man with a severe shortage of fingers (“can I carry your bag sir” – errr like how?), to the highlight of my last trip (in both senses of the phrase) when I had a driver who cheerfully told me he had been awake for over 24hrs, got the Merc up to over 100 on the M25 and then kept nodding off using the full width of all 4 lanes to prolong his sleep. I did offer to take over and drive so he could have a proper nap and I wouldn’t have to be an accident statistic, but he said the “insurance wouldnt cover it” – you can spot this car as it still has my finger nails embedded in the arm rest!

    Have a lovely trip home!

  2. Alex

    Thanks Victor… the bloke on the way back didn’t know where Aylesbury was but since he was only about 11 years old, I let him off. Next time, I’m taking the bus.

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