Saturday, August 21, 2004

On Trans-Planetary Travel

Yep. It's that time of my life again. I'm scraping up the dregs of my waning energy in order to make the jump to hyperspace. Well, okay, only New York, if you must know. But it's really all the same. Whether it's the edge of the galaxy or just Outer Friends Colony (where I live), if I have to leave home for more than six hours, I batten down the hatches and go into travel-mode.

I DON'T like travelling. I am nervous about everything. I begin to have anxiety dreams from the moment I have a ticket in hand. This trip's anxiety dream took the form of a saga in which I was at the airport, and handed in my ticket, passport and visa (in the dream it wasn't clear whether this was the permission-to-enter type of visa or a Visa card) to the USSR Airlines woman at the entrance of the airport, then got distracted. That was, of course, the last I saw of my ticket, passport and visa/Visa. The rest of my travelling companions had already entered the airport building, and since this dream was set in the pre-cellphone era -- identified by the fact that the USSR was still in existence -- I could not alert them to the fact that I was no longer with them. Apparently they had failed to notice my absence, because they did not return to collect me either.

I spent the rest of the dream trying to befriend passers-by and digging up a patch of garden in front of a building that looked like a lighthouse, all in search of the ticket, passport and visa/Visa that I had so inappropriately handed to the woman at the entrance.

I don't normally have unpleasant dreams, and when I do, I can usually alter their chemical composition by forcing a happy ending before I wake up. In the case of this dream, the only happy ending I could manage was that I became friendly with the woman at the entrance, whose name, I learnt, was 'Irina' and who may have competed once in the Olympics as a gymnast. Irina assured me that the flight would not leave without me.

Even though this meant that I continued to be looking for my travel papers in the earth of a garden which may have once been landscaped by an odd seamstress woman-friend I had long ago, called Kum, I was comforted by Irina's words and was able to wake up. Of course I went right over to the filing cabinet in which I keep important papers, located my ticket and passport and stroked them lovingly, feeling glad that I wasn't flying to the Ukraine, but only New York.

Now I've got to go off and buy Aspirin and sun-block lotion and anti-anxiety pills (ha.ha.ha. I wish) -- my skin reacts to the sun in the US, because I have become allergic to the sun late in my life, and in Delhi, the pollution keeps me safe from its rays!! I know this because when I went up to the hills (where the air is clear) earlier this year, I got a rash which was identical with the rash I get when I am in the US. I'm only leaving Sunday night, so there's lots of time yet for more bulletins from the brink of my current nervous breakdown.


Anonymous said...

meine frau - travelled {{you essay - germ many}} a few weeks ago with the two mistakes (aged 15 and 12) - and as she entered lufthansa, the air hostess had one look at her and immediately stated "please don't worry -i have just the right thing for you" and returned with a big brandy glass filled with baileys irish liquer and 3 cubes of ice. ze wife - being a total non alcholic variety (much as you are/were as i recall ms. mp) nonetheless started to sip the soma and stated that within a few sips - prior to takeoff she was already relaxed and post haste getting airborne - was literally and mentally likewise. i believe the boys partook in the goodies slightly but the three of them alighted delighted in frankfurt! infact a few days later meiner vater und mutter also landed up in heidelberg and we experimented with the bailey stuff - all was well recieved and flying colours were immediately awarded by all the judges (note stress on flying!). much discussion on the benifical effects of ice cubes morale - go bailey baby and bon voyage. gt

Marginalien said...

I'm flying Air India (for the first time in thirty years) and I doubt they're going to be giving away Baileys with or without ice cubes. Fermented Irish ghee perhaps, but NOT Baileys. Besides, maybe it HELPS to have 15-year-olds in tow! Lacking such travel-aids I have nothing to do but chew on my own nerve endings.

Anonymous said...

whoa lady! you do sound frayed! i recall the last (absolutely!) time i flew air india from frankfurt to mumbai, it was worse than a damn circus –with the mooing cows and the blahing sheep - and the 60 - 65 (i’m talking i.q. or age) air hostesses were keeping the passengers busy cleaning the toilets. luckily, yours truly was able to immediately take recourse in some pretty powerful mind twisting chemicals so some of the facts might be slightly distorted but no where near the state i was in as i was wheeled out in mumbai chatrapati shivaji international airport! i think the third or fourth gulley in chandani chowk probably still has “bhang” and you might wanna use its assistance as you head west. just kidding. smile and bare it. ok ok. look at the bright side - you could be flying aeroflot (now defunct?) where they'd rewrap the sweets the passengers would spit out and put in front of you! take care, think positive and you'll be fine. gt