A funny thing happened on the way to the airport…

Sat in the cab on the way to the airport, we stopped off at a cash machine to draw out some money to actually pay the driver.

I collected my funds, got back in the taxi and opened my wallet to put the notes in.

“Ha”, I said to my American wife as I wedged the English tenners next to the US Dollars already in there, “this money is like us”.

In a strange, romantic way it made me think of us, together in this wallet we call life.

She peered at the notes and said “What, pale?”

It’s true, we really need this holiday.

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I’m walking here!

Today on Oxford street in London I saw a man get beeped at by a black cab driver as he crossed a side road.  The traffic lights had changed before the guy had finished crossing and the cabbie wanted to ensure the man knew it.

Believe me, from his two fingered salute I’m pretty sure he knew it.

Without uttering a word, these two strangers had engaged in the following conversation…

Cabbie – “Come on mate, I haven’t got all day here. The lights have changed and I need to turn left into that street, but you’re causing me to delay that turn by a further 4 seconds.  So i’m going to beep my horn at you unnecessarily just so you and those around you are alerted to the fact that you’re taking too long!”

Man – “Fuck off”

I love London. I really, really do(n’t).

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Toys, taxis and tourettes

I’ve just been for a wander in London, mostly to get out of the office for some fresh air and to stretch my legs.

My travels took me to ‘Forbidden Planet’; a Mecca to geeks up and down the country, selling all sorts of film, gaming and comic memorabilia. 

I passed a couple with their young son who was holding a life size replica of the portal gun from Aperture Laboratories, made famous by the game ‘Portal’.  Awesome!

As I got nearer I heard the dad telling the boy that he couldn’t have it.  This is fair enough, but the kid was already holding it in his arms.  At least tell the boy BEFORE you’ve watched him carefully pick it up off the shelf and hold it lovingly in his arms like a puppy, you turd.  

He pleaded with his dad, but the answer was no.

“How about a foam sword son?”

“How about you suck my hairless balls dad?”

I mooched around the shop for a bit, dribbling over Star Wars stuff, before heading back out into the rain. 

As I got to Tottenham Court road I saw a woman in a suit hail a taxi from the kerb.  She threw her arm up like an enthusiastic pupil answering a classroom question and the cab pulled over sharply.  She hop, skipped and jumped the deepening puddles towards the taxi door only to stop, turn back and shout “for fucks sake!” at the top of her lungs.

This turned a few heads.

It seems three Chinese students had beaten her to the taxi, and as it sped off she angrily attempted to hail another one.  This time she looked less like a pupil and more like a Nazi.

To top all this off I saw a skinny little man with a massive beard waiting to cross the road; shouting and arguing with the traffic lights, the pavement and the corner of the pub.  Despite it being one of the busiest cities in the world, there didn’t seem to be anyone else needing to cross the road at that moment. 

Weird.

Cuba stard! Pt. 1

So I’m at José Martí airport, terminal 2, waiting for my flight to Nassau, which will connect with my flight to Florida. It’s about a million degrees in the shade and I’m melting because I’ve just spent the last 40 minutes in a custom made metal box with no air, or as the Cubans call it, a ‘taxi’.

I walk through the massive sweaty chattering crowd outside the terminal and peer inside.

It’s empty. I mean there’s no-one but check in staff and an old guy at the entrance with a walkie talkie who just asked if I’m flying today. I guess the huge suitcase and heavy hand luggage I was struggling with wasn’t enough of a clue.

Anyway, he waves me through and I enter the air conditioned bliss.

I look at the screen above every check in desk and they read ‘Miami’. I didn’t think you could fly direct from Cuba to the United States, and yet here is proof that I was wrong. It’s at this point I’m filled with joy and appreciation for my indirect flights (wipes away tears of sarcasm).

So I start looking for screens that say Nassau but none of them do. I then realise I’m 20 minutes early. Better than being late I guess, but hey, at least I’m nice and cool. I’ll just find somewhere to sit in the massive empty terminal building, away from the sweat and noise of the mob outside. Why are they all standing out there anyway? It’s better in here, where it’s cool and fresh and, hey…there’s nowhere to sit! What the hell?

I decide to stand, even though it’s really my only choice other than laying down and airports don’t like it when you do that.

After a few minutes the old guy, lets call him Jobésworth Cuntos, comes over and asks me again which flight I’m on.

I tell him….again.

He then says I have to wait outside, or something to that effect as it mostly consisted of stern jibberjabber and waving his walkie talkie towards the door.

Well, that explains the angry mob outside.

Hang on, this building is empty and can easily accommodate the wilting passengers outside, three times over. So me being me I challenge him.

“But it’s really hot out there!”, I say, pointing outside and then tugging on my t-shirt collar with my index finger to indicate that it’s hot out there.

Stern jibberjabber, walkie talkie waving.

“And it’s nice and cool in here”, I continue, pointing first at the floor to indicate I mean ‘in here’, and then fanning myself with my hand and giving him the thumbs up.

Jibberjabber; waving.

What an arsehole. No wonder people out here are getting increasingly pissed off. All that air-conditioning is going to waste, not helped by Jobésworth here standing in the open sliding doorway causing it to remain open. Or maybe that’s just his way of showing us how empty and cold it is inside; a lot like him actually.

It seems that in Cuba, those who earn power get respect, those who are given power, work at the airport.

I’m not looking forward to meeting the rest of the Cuntos family who no doubt work at customs and immigration in Florida.