Friday, 14 January 2011

To the sun

After a cold and icy winter, I'm looking forward to getting to Arizona this year. It'll be about 22C in Tucson over the next few days, which would be manageable. Haven't really been planning this trip much this year, so I'll have to work out what I need over the next week, pile my scraps of scribbled paper and have a guess at just how empty I can leave the bank account. The scary part. Then I need to gather all the stuff I want to take, get the suitcase from the loft and leave it in a huge pile for everyone to trip over for a week. I think that's the best way to prepare for a journey. I'll be flying to New York for a couple of days first, and while Edinburgh's snow has finally gone, there's plenty of it there. Hopefully there won't be any trouble with flight cancellations and so on - Riley has been delayed in returning from Ohio by the weather and should get back today.

This will be my 12th Tucson trip I think, and I've been pretty lucky with travel so far. A few delays, missed connections and so on, but nothing more than a few hours here and there. The thought of spending a couple of days in an airport is not appealing. £19.67 for a packet of crisps and some water, then sitting hunched over a book for hours on end. I hate all the waiting around involved - departure lounges, waiting for the line of passengers to finally be allowed to shuffle out of the plane, the queue for the passport control gates, and the agonising fifteen minutes at the baggage carousel. I do like some aspects of travel, though. I don't like watching movies I really want to see on a plane - the tiny screen and uncomfortable seat don't really do a film justice - but I quite like having a range of films to choose from that I haven't picked myself. You can feel better about watching a terrible film. And even though the food may not be much cop, I love it when the meal comes. Maybe it's just because something is happening. Even having to tuck your elbows into your flanks to butter your cracker and worrying your coffee is about to spill into your salad doesn't spoil it. Cramped dining. Thrills.

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