The musings of Mr Monkeysized

Turbulence by nicholaswalton
January 31, 2011, 18:18
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Mrs Monkeysized said that the scene was heartbreaking. The man she loved, quaking and repeating out loud, ‘What are we doing here? What the fuck are we doing here?’

I’ve written about the Majesty of Flight before. I simply cannot understand how some people are so blase about the whole experience. I cannot understand how people take the whole thing for granted. Flying will always be a magical experience for me – tonnes and tonnes of metal and flesh, hoisted up in the air in a dramatic roar of a jet engine (or four).

The downside of this is that flying also petrifies me. As the cabin crew announced on a previous flight, several years ago: ‘And the next time you want to blast through the air in a pressurised aluminium tube, I hope you think of us…’

A couple of weeks ago Mrs Monkeysized and I woke up in Buenos Aires, slightly nauseous from the large helpings of steak that we’d wolfed down the night before. We’d gone to bed with a clear sky; when we woke up, if there was such a thing as the sky it was hiding in the dark shadows, under cover of the clouds that hung as low as the second stories of buildings. The footpath on the opposite side of the street was under the same urban river as the road itself, and I half expected to see dead, bloated cow corpses washed along, as on the evening news.

The airport was little better. I watched a 737 take off as a lightning bolt hit the ground. Mrs M and I sat, second row from the back of the British Airways 747 as it rattled, swayed and roared down the runway. We rose like a lazy turtle above the suburbs, engines straining as we headed to the east of Buenos Aires itself, towards the brown waters of the River Plate. And a wall of thunder cloud.

Readers, I was terrified. Whumpf. Whumpf. And again, whumpf. Why were we even toying with the indulgence of the gods by presuming to enter their realm? Horrible, really horrible. And although it calmed down, when we flew through severe turbulence over northern Brazil and the equator, I’d already been spooked.

Yes, I’ve made it back in a plane since. Twice. I flew back from Paris this morning with red eyes and a sense of wariness. It was a singularly uneventful journey, thank god. They say that you ought to get back in the air as soon as possible in these circumstances. And, thank god, I didn’t take one second of it for granted. The magic is still there – and the most alluring gods have always been the ones with the big hammers who can crush you at any moment.


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[…] keep talking about the majesty of flight like a drooling goon. This time I’ll let a video do the talking for […]

Pingback by The majesty of flight part 73 « The musings of Mr Monkeysized

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