Sunday, 18 January 2009

Akzident

On the road again, destination Madrid. I pack up at Pomeroy Street, say my goodbyes and jump on a bendy bus to Victoria Station. Two punks get fined for not having a ticket. At the easybus stop on Fuckingham Falace Road, I meet the thickest brick, bluntest tool in the shed of a Polish bus driver you could imagine, and after some procrastinating, we're off. It's 16:20.

easybusVery soon we're up to our necks in a traffic jam. We move by jolts. Everywhere there is chaos and red lights in the darkness. Then in an astounding show of prowess, our driver slams us into another van. “Currrrvaa!” (bitch) is his war cry. He starts in pursuit of the other van. “Currvaaa!”, he repeats and repeats, while hitting the horn in free verse. Finally he catches up with the other guy, points and shakes his hands above his head while hitting the horn. Both vehicles stop on a side lane. It's 16:35.

The drivers step out, start discussing whose fault it is. Then they start discussing whether it is anyone's fault. Then they start discussing whether there is anything to discuss at all. It's 16:45. I watch the minutes trickle away while they keep going back and forth expertly assessing damage and our driver keeps flailing his hands around, pointing and shrugging and sweating. “Contact! Telefon!”, he demands of the other driver. It's 16:50.

I decide I've had enough, jump over the driver's seat, get off the bus and point out to him that we should be going.

He shrugs and shows me his scratched bumper in a gesture of quiet despair mixed with hopeless acceptance of inevitability – one would think he's pointing to his lost youth, to his third divorce or to his incurable haemorrhoids. “Akzident!”, he offers as explanation. “Akzident!”, he insists, his vocabulary limited, but his tone rich in inflection, denoting “This, as you see, is fate. Fighting fate is pointless.” I steal a glance at the quite inconspicuous and irrelevant scratches on the bumper, and quickly summon the words that might well be my best shot at getting back on my way to the airport. “Akzident! But I have plane! Now quick-quick, taxi airport chop-chop, yeah?” I offer while I present him with a flurry of urging hand gestures and speed-encouraging facial expressions. “No problem!”, he dismisses twice. “Contact! Telefon!” It's 17:00.

We start again by snake-racing our way out of a labyrinth of narrow backstreets, climbing on sidewalks and zigzagging among taxis. Two policemen on a pedestrian crossing ahead. I pray to all deities, from Allah to Zeus, please don't let him run them over. It's 17:05 and we're back in Marble Arch.

What follows is an agonizing 95 minutes of feeling the merciless methodical ticking of a fluorescent digital clock while looking ahead in despair at never-ending winding lines of red lights in the dark rain. London never seems to end. My flight leaves at 19:00, the boarding gate is supposed to close at 18:30, and easybus was supposed to drop me in Stansted at 18:05. We get there at 18:40.

By this time I need to urinate very badly, but instead I just jump off the minivan and run like the wind. I use my most desperate, most pathetic voice to jump several queues, I bark and spit at several square-headed members of staff at “airport security” to fuck off and to hurry it up for fucks sake, my plane's about to leave. The idiocy of the concentration-camp treatment still makes me lose a few minutes, but I jump into my untied shoes, pull up my belt-less pants, grab my stuff and start running like mad down the halls of the very well designed labyrinth of duty-free traps that await the naïve passenger before the departure gates.

When I get there, tomato-red, panting and wheezing and sweating like an old horse, I find that the flight is delayed and thus the boarding is just about to begin. “Currrrrva!!”, I offer to no one in particular while I bang and lock the toilet door.

8 comments:

euge said...

By the vocabulary flying around your entry no one would say that was taking place in London...

All's Well that Ends Well
(from father Will)

Yiyi said...

Poz ya lo podías haber contao cuando anduviste por aquí, no?
Mira que te despides bien de Londres, no me hubiera imaginado que hubieses corrido tanto y te hubieras preocupado tanto por VOLVER a CASA
xDD

Me alegro de que se retrasase el despegue, fue bonito tu ReGreSo mientras duró

MasterMan said...

euge: London is all about difference and mix, languages included :)

Yiyi: Despedirme de Londres? Fue un hasta luego. Volver? Fue solo una escala :PPP

DraXus said...

Benditos retrasos de los vuelos, cuando los necesitamos... xD

euge said...

Hey, what about keeping you friends busy reading your posts?
Lest they should grow weary of loging in, loging in, loging in...

euge said...

Remember the promise you made Remember the promise you made Remember the promise you made Remember the promise you made Remember the promise you made Remember the promise you made Remember the promise you made

Yiyi said...

Este blog está muerto.
Nuss, morr nusss!! (fonética de news en yanki)

MasterMan said...

Drax: Puedes fiarte de Ryanair, siempre son puntuales con el retraso xDD

Yiyi: ya vaaa, ya vaaa! Estoy demasiado ocupado haciendo cosas que contar para contarlas xDD