I've just made a flying visit to Brisbane and couldn't be happier to be back in the smoggy environs of my beloved Sydney. While I'm sure there are many travellers who revel in the getting there bit (like those crazy brother and sister/re-united divorcees/large-breasted cheerleading best friends on The Amazing Race) I'm more of the "thank flippin' chroist we're there" persuasion; enough with the trains and timetables and hoo-flippin'-rah we got ourselves from Cooma to Budapest without a lick of English.
(Actually that's not really true, or at least it's only partially true. With sufficient time and imported beer I'll look back with fondness on my 48 hours of planes and automobiles; "what a journey," I'll say, "it's all about the getting there, isn't it?").
But at this post-immediate minute I can say with certainty that I would have had more fun listening to John Howard performing Equus (all parts) non-stop for the last 48 hours than I have had. But happily the flight home provided three delights to unfurrow my deeply furrowed brow.
Travel Delight Number 1
The woman sitting in front and to the right of me was reading a book called The Artist's Way. What caught my eye was this italicised heading: "Crazymakers are expert blamers". Perhaps they are, I don't know; who can say? But crazies reading crazy books make me smile so a big thumbs up to the lady in front and to the right.
Travel Delight Number 2
I love those maps with the little aeroplane marking your route so you always know where you are during the flight. I love that on domestic routes there's not enough distance to fit the aeroplane in between the origin and destination so at one point of my trip the tip of the plane was indicating we were in Dubbo while the tail was suggesting we were in Armidale. When we landed in Sydney the tip was in Canberra and the tail in Newcastle. Mercy!
I'm all for miniature vehicles of all descriptions marking routes on maps (after a happy childhood with such maps from the Indiana Jones franchise) but perhaps a little work needs to be done on scale.
Travel Delight Number 3
The chap two rows ahead on the left swiped his credit card and paid $4.90 to watch an entire episode of Jerry Springer. I tried desperately to read the issue of the day but the tiny screen and my myopia conspired to deny me comprehension. It could have been "Meet and Kill Truckers" or "Matt and Lynn Thingos" but neither a. made any sense or b. fitted the footage they kept showing of a rather muscular woman barging into a pole dancing joint and throwing a bottle of red liqueur at the guy behind the bar. At one point she started swinging a baseball bat but that didn't make the situation any clearer. Oh well. I love that there is someone left in the world, and on my plane no less, with absolutely nothing better in the world to do (work towards global peace, cure for cancer) than watch an entire episode of Jerry Springer.
From this handful of travel delights allow me to turn to one quick travel suggestion and one even quicker travel directive:
Travel Suggestion Number 1
I wish the plane speed was displayed in kilometres rather than miles. A speed of 507 miles per hour is, yawn, pretty unimpressive, but a speed of 815.937408 kilometres per hour - wow!
Travel Directive Number 1
No ad, displayed on the ground or at 40,000 feet, should contain the word 'chillax'. 'Chillax' is not cool; 'chillax' is lame. No more 'chillax'!
Hurrah for homecomings. Where would you rather be: home or away?