Thursday, 26 March 2009

This day held a late, late arrival into Paris from Berlin. The premonition of struggle at the airport became a reality, first with the size of my luggage, not permitted by judicious airline staff who took exception, not to the things weight or contents (yet), but its size, the ungainly, immeasurable shape of a bag. Eventually, after protestation and a penance of kneeling in the middle of the departures lounge with cassette tapes and patch cables strewn about the place, the orange woman relented, giving me a damp smile as she struck hand signals toward the x-ray machines.

There I was made to pull apart my luggage once more with gusto as bemused security staff handed round my four track and selection of tape players, scanning them for dynamite and cocaine. Late for the plane, I gathered my things and my composure – what is it about these ordeals that I fear? - and headed for the gate, only to find that the plane was delayed for an hour and a half. The company, it transpires, were flying with a place with malfunctioning electronics, which meant longer stops at each airport and therefore a cumulative delay which peaked with us, in Berlin, at the final stage. Is a late plane with faulty electrics preferable over cancellation, I wondered as we shuddered onto the runway. How many religious experiences have taken place on a delayed flight in which the pilot, the captain of the plane, has freely announced that they're experiencing electrical failures?

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