Travelling long haul is exactly that, a long haul. I’m not convinced of the glamour. We took to the skies by the so called trendy Virgin Atlantic to Los Angeles to visit family who’ve gone there for a while. It was, I suspect just like any other airline, the planes are the same, and the seats not a lot different unless you pay a King’s ransom to fly anything other than “Economy”. We thought we’d gone one cheaper still by flying “Economy Light” until I discovered that the light meant that you could not take any clothes with you to Los Angeles that would not stuff into a case small enough to fit an overhead locker. It’s probably popular as I’ve discovered since being here, that you only need a change of shorts and t shirt, and my wooly socks and jumpers could have stayed at home. It cost me another 90 quid to bring those woollies with us.
Stuffed into a seat with a telly in the seat in front for nearly 11 hours is not recommended for good back health, or for the digestion. And to help you along they bring what appears to be “meals on wheels-like food”. It was not as bad as The dream and the reality… and they had made the effort, but after such a meal I’d have liked a good healthy walk in the fresh air rather then being cooped up in a metal tube. I suppose I could have walked up to first class to see how the other half live. To be fair they looked as raddled as we did after 11 hours and US customs to deal with. I felt like and probably looked like a badly wrapped parcel.
We’d started the journey in England with a coach ride to Heathrow which added a frisson of tension to the journey when the driver took a detour to avoid traffic jams on the M4 by heading south onto the M3. Visions of missed flight loomed but only briefly. His insistence of regaling us with every single safety advice, which was then repeated on a recording after every stop was enough to drive you to distraction, but his creative route taking enabled us to keep moving and get to the airport on time. So we forgave him.
We’ve been here in La La Land for a few days and the sun has not stopped shining. This massive sprawl of housing and roads stretches for miles, with glamorous areas cross-fading into the more down at heel within a few blocks. Criss cross street plans make it easy enough to get around, heaven knows how drivers from the USA manage on our roads. I doubt there is such a thing as a car without automatic transmission. The people are friendly, and chatty, unlike our British reserve. In a supermarket to pick up a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner a guy nearby volunteered that he found it so hard to do he’d just “got a guy to do it for him”. Daughter replied pointing to me: “He’ll do it for me”.
So here we are and I’m cleaning carpets five and a half thousand miles from home. I brought an apple and orange on the journey only to have to hand it in before I reach US customs. High mileage fruit is not welcome here, and they even have sniffer dogs to seek it out.
More tales from La La Land will follow, if I can stop the sweat leeching through the keyboard.
Here’s a house with a roof like a thatch, except it’s tiles!