Sunday, September 10, 2006

Recycled Air 

True to my word, I collected some scientific data for my research into time travel.
Amongst other things, I hoped to discover some answers to important questions, such as:
1) If an aeroplane leaves Portland at 1:45pm local time, travels for nine hours and forty minutes, and lands in Frankfurt, when will it be teatime?

I keep my pen poised.

2:00pm. 16,000 feet. 5,132 miles to go.
As if to compensate for our missing the Mount St. Helens visitor centre, the plane flies directly over the mountain. Steam rises from the crater. It’s like looking into a giant boiled egg that’s had it’s top lopped off. Amazing. Girlfriend begins reading Love In The Time Of Cholera,

4:30pm. 3,729 miles to go. Travelling at 588mph. Outside temperature: -16 °C
Approaching Hudson Bay.

5:15pm. 33,000 feet. 3,293 miles to go. Travelling at 590mph. Outside temperature: -52 °C
Between Hudson Bay and Baffin Island. Holy crap, we’re going fast. Glad it’s warmer in here than it is outside. Girlfriend reading like a good ‘un. I’m too busy with my data to think of anything else.

7:15pm. Midway across Greenland. Outside temperature: -46 °C
Of course, on the outward journey, you could see Greenland below. It looked flat and white and worthy of a photo, but I didn’t have my camera. Now I do have my camera but it’s dark outside. Bugger - I forgot to record when it went dark. I am worried for my reputation as a scientific researcher.

8:45pm. 37,000 feet. 1,320 miles to go. Travelling at 560mph. Outside temperature: -58 °C
Girlfriend is galloping through her book. It’s becoming a real scientific possibility she might finish before we get there. Bugger - I forgot to record when it got light. We are shown a video extolling the virtues of Frankfurt Airport. They want us to know it’s really great there.

10:30pm. 385 miles to go.
We fly over Esbjerg, which might be in Denmark. I see eighty wind farms out to sea in a diamond formation. It is, quite literally, neat. I take a photograph. It looks like it was taken by a blind person.

Forget to record the time.
We land in Frankfurt. I have caught a cold during the course of the journey, and coming into land is excruciatingly painful on my ear drums, and I’m not just talking “Man Excruciatingly Painful.” It really hurts. Girlfriend finishes her book as we taxi into the docking station.
Frankfurt Airport is filthy and disgusting. Their idea of a ‘smoking area’ is a roped off section in the middle of a corridor. You have to walk through it to get where you need to be.
There is racist graffiti in the toilet cubicles. They didn’t mention this in the video. What with me having a snotty nose, ears that feel like Meg White is practising in them, my clothes smelling of cigarette smoke, and now public displays of racism, I am not in a good mood. Somebody - I’m not sure who: the person who wrote it; the Frankfurt Airport authorities for not bothering to remove it - should be fucking ashamed of themselves.

Can’t be arsed to record the time.
We eventually fly to Manchester. My ears do that fucking thing again as we come in to land. I’m not kidding. It seriously hurts, and continues hurting for the next week or so.
Sleep in taxi. Nice to get home though.
I’m a bit confused as to what time it actually is. Mid-afternoon the next day, I think. This is the heart of the nub of the problem of the mystery of time travel. Girlfriend suggests staying awake until bedtime, as it will help to offset the effects of jetlag. I am so tired I want to cry. I try, but end up catching a few ZZZs while she’s not looking.

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