I suppose I should tell you some stories about myself. I’ll start with one that happened last year.
As part of my university course last year, I had to take a fieldtrip to either Kenya, the USA and Canada or the Scottish Isles. I decided to go for North America. At first, I wasn’t too set on going, but as it came nearer the time, I got more and more excited- the most mundane things became interesting, like buying a luggage lock and getting money changed. The journey started with an early flight from Manchester, to JFK, New York (to connect to SeaTac, Washington- our fieldtrip was based in Seattle, Vancouver and Tonfino, (amongst other parts of the Pacific Northwest). I tried to look the part by dressing rather smart- probably a bad move considering the conditions of air travel.
To be honest, luck wasn’t on my side much that day- my suitcase had wheels on, which broke when I accidentally crashed it into a wheelchair rail near an elevator- it crushed one of the wheels into its axle, causing immense amounts of friction which ultimately destroyed the wheel casing and made pulling the luggage very difficult. The second problem, however, was certainly my fault.
Due to the early flight, I decided to stay awake throughout the previous night, listening to records and doing some last minute packing. My plan was simple- drink something energizing (no name, no lawsuit), and hopefully sleep a bit on the plane- I would certainly have time.
I was wrong.
My seat was fairly close to the wing, and the engines- the noise was louder than my iPod could go, and well beyond the level I can sleep over. The seats had been designed for the ‘average’ man- in other words, Danny DeVito. Not someone who is 6’2 and shoulder problems. Therefore, I was starting to feel very, very fragile. Until I felt a rumble.
I needed to use the aeroplane bathroom. Badly.
I was travelling with two of my friends- Dan and Scott. Scott had somehow fallen asleep, and Dan and I were reading/attempting to play music/playing Gameboy to pass the long hours of viewless flight (the Atlantic is not very scenic at all). We didn’t even have the TV showing the little aircraft going across the globe, showing us where exactly we were. I climbed over Scott and wandered up to the back of the plane, where the bathroom stalls were.
Somehow, they were smaller than the seats. The cubicles had everything inside (toilet, sink, coat storage, litter bin, shelf) but at the expense of the space inside. So I attempted to climb in and attach myself into the room, using one of my feet to hold the door shut as I used it.
At that point, I had what I thought was a blink.
I finished up, attempted to sort my clothes out using the tiny mirror and made my way back to my seat. Scott is still asleep, but Dan looks at me, far more worried than he should be.
“Where were you??”
“In the bathroom- why?”
“Do you know how long you’ve been??”
“…No…?” I thought I had been 10, 15 minutes.
“You’ve been about an hour and a half.”
That’s right- I had fallen asleep on the toilet in an aeroplane. Needless to say I felt a little embarrassed. Very obviously, I held everything in from that point until we touched down- I didn’t dare get back up.
However, a little more humour came later in the flight- we started listening in to a conversation between a couple several seats in front, who were going to Las Vegas. They talked at length about seeing an Elvis impersonator, a show with ‘automatons’ and trying to remember how many lightbulbs there are in the city- “I’m sure it’s 20 million, but I may be wrong….”
I’m still not sure whether I should be embarrassed or a little proud of this story…
This is a multi-part story which I’ve broken up- I’ve got quite a few little bits about my time in America, and many other things of similar interest and value. More to come soon!