We really enjoyed our two week holiday in the West Indian islands of Grenada and Barbados. Both islands are fascinating, colourful and full of fantastic things to do and places to explore. The food was awesome. All the people we had contact with were friendly, happy and helpful, even away from the tourist centres, and everywhere we went we were greeted with the most wonderful smiles. I didn’t feel threatened or unsafe at any time. Everything was entertaining, even the gaudily dressed tourists regularly disgorged from enormous cruise liners in St George. I was asked for money fewer times than would happen if I walked down Princes Street, here in Edinburgh. I put the well-balanced nature of Bajans down to their love for, and understanding of, the great game of cricket.
On the flight home I was keen to get some sleep in preparation for a 5 am arrival in Gatwick after a four-hour reduced night, and as soon as the evening meal had been served, eaten and cleared up, I carefully lowered my seat to its reclining position.
There was suddenly a lot of kicking into my back from the person behind me. It continued for some time. It was obviously deliberate, and I couldn’t ignore it, so I turned round and said to the man, in as pleasant a way as I could,
“You’re kicking me in the back, you know.”
I was expecting a response such as, “Oh, I’m sorry. There’s not much room in these seats is there. Sorry.”
Instead, and in a loud and overly hysterical voice more suited to an infant throwing a tantrum, the man behind me, who was older than I, squealed, “And you are banging my knees with your back and it is very sore!”
Oh gosh, I thought…why do I have to end up in a seat in front of the psychopath?
I said, simply, “Please stop kneeing me in the back.”
He responded, again in a squealing voice, “You’ll have to move your seat two inches forward.”
“I can’t do that, because I want to sleep.” I answered.
“Don’t you dare say another single word to me!!! Not one word!!”
His responses had been so completely over the top that I felt like getting up, putting my face in his and saying to him, “You inconsiderate, self obsessed, anal retentive, psychologically inadequate, squealing, piece of shit. If you don’t stop deliberately kneeing me in the back I shall stick my fingers so far up your nose that you will sound even more like a pregnant pig with diarrhoea.” But I didn’t. Instead I kept completely calm, and looked for the attendant.
She wasn’t to be seen. I carefully lay back, drew the blanket up to my chin, and awaited the next stab in my back. It didn’t come! There was no more kicking throughout the flight, but for at least an hour I couldn’t relax in case there was.
Meanwhile, the woman to Lindsey’s right was obviously feeling ill. She called the attendant several times, and spent most of the flight in a sort of brace position, with her head between her knees (as much as this is physically possible in such a confined space).
Meanwhile, in front of Lindsey and the sick woman, were two large very rowdy gents aged about fifty. They spent the entire flight talking loudly, drinking, gesticulating wildly, and bouncing up and down on their seats.
If only one of them had been sitting in front of the psychopath behind me, I thought, we might have seen fireworks.
Shortly after 5 am we landed at Gatwick, where there was no in-transit route for our flight three hours later to Edinburgh so we ended up in one of the various exit areas. Time for a ciggy outside!
I finished the ciggy and returned inside, only to find the person I was traveling with, who has requested anonymity even though she’s my wife, half way through one of those mini bottles of wine that BA dish out with their evening meals.
“I kept thiz from last night for later, but now I’ll need to drink it before going through security again.” She informed me, sounding more and more like Queenie from Blackadder with every sip.
“Good grief [name deleted]! It’s six in the morning, you’ve had two hours sleep, you’re jet-lagged and you’re drinking wine?”
“Ith only a liddly-piddly wee bottle.”
We agreed to dump the half empty bottle before it caused any more damage, and I guided her through security and on to the final plane.