The Journey (Part 1)

Gate 7, terminal 3, heathrow airport. Very hungry.

So the great adventure begins. Tearful, difficult farewells done (sorry ma and da, for leaving and all that, I will come back…), and a flight from belfast done.

And it was a good flight. Now usually i’m a ‘shut up and don’t talk to me’ type of passenger. But i was in chipper mood so I was determined to talk the life out of someone.

And so Bob (name concealed cause I kinda know lots of people that know him, and that’s not fair) sat down beside me. And in no time we were chatting about travelling and me going to NZ and his travels round the world.

And I already had a blog forming in my head (i always have a blog semi-forming somewhere), about some guy who was a clicheed traveller, bitter about a relationship and jacking in his job to ‘discover himself’ on a round the world journey and live ‘the life’.

You meet people like this all the time when you travel, whose conversation is all about them, all about where they’ve been and the cool stuff they’ve done. Stories where they always end up the coolest. I know this because I do this (love the fight club reference…) and I am one of these people. I have a blog pretty much finished in my head.

The conversation then changed to money. This is a very successful guy, running business and handling literally millions, now off to set up a new business in italy. This is a guy who has it made, who loves the buzz of making and selling money, the buzz of business. I tell my usual story of how I love the buzz of work and trauma and all that. I tell him that life and death is fine (which isn’t strictly true) but I could never run my own business (which is very much true – money scares me).

He then tells me (people tell me stuff, I know not why, if nothing else maybe i’m good at listening) about relationships and christianity and drifting, and all of a sudden i’m not making a cynical blog about someone I think I know, i’m talking of bible verses and prayer.

Random situations that you end up in. Not that they’re in any way random. An encouraging start to the trip I must say.

And so things shift, it’s no longer terminal 3, heathrow, it’s 36355 ft, 3774 km from London, somewhere over the caspian sea (a great black hole in my geography) or so. Seat 41 J (darn middle seats) between howie and phil (who know no one I know) who are travelling to malaysia as part of a moto gp team. Phil makes sure all the parts are there and Howie does the mechanicing (another should be word).

But they’re not talkers, in fact they’re fast asleep, so there’s little chat. I’ve been fed – I love airplane food, all the little packets and all. Can’t beat it. And i’ve got one and a bit films in me (the sentinel – with kiefer sutherland being jack bauer if only by a different name. And a bit of king arthur – despite being terrible had lots of people being killed as a redeeming feature), the half being the half of king arthur till they turned off the entertainment system – I know not why, though I am the only passenger still awake that I can see, so maybe theyr’re trying to force me to sleep.

I can feel my ankles swelling and DVTs forming, my head hurts from the constant throb of the engines or ventilation or whatever the constant throb in jumbos is. It’s 2am by my watch (and my body) though i’ve no idea what time it is where i’m going. I arrive there at 5pm local time (whatever that is), so work it out.

I have tunes, if not then i’d be poking howie awake for a chat about twin stroke engines, and neither of us want that.

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September 2006

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