I’ve gone off to Foreign on my holiday, and I’ll be in these parts wot I was from until the 19th of July. [Requests for local junk food may be left in the comments]
However, in an attack of stupidity I forgot my computer’s electrical cable back in London so my laptop is running on battery and I’m therefore unlikely to be online much.
Things Wot Happened
Norman Fatboy Slim
In Belgrade Airport looking
At bags & boxes
Yesterday morning by virtue of trying to use up things in the fridge I treated Z to a lush brunch of sausages with spinach and sunripe tomatoes cooked on olive oil with mustard seeds, and gifted him with a bag full of various greens. [He likes salads, they will have a good home]. However, he more than deserved it for washing every dish in the kitchen while I was running around washing my hair and zipping up bags [which was slightly eating into my original thought of wanting to leave two hours early].
N:running around like a chicken sans head, shutting bags.
Z: Noting the time meaningfully.
N: doing last minute checking of the presence of things in bags
Z: By all means honey, take your time. I think you should check at least twice more, just to be on the safe side. I’ll drive my Ford like a Ferrari to get you to Heathrow on time. You just make sure to fasten your seatbelt.
As happens, we did leave fairly early [though not as early as I’d intended] and there wasn’t much traffic once we were clear of the bottleneck in Hangar Lane and my nerves unwound themselves. We talked of our respective childhoods, and I found it hard to imagine him as a sullen heavy metal teenager, considering he’s so cheerful in temperament. We laughed, exchanged tendernesses. It was good.
I arrived at the check in well early which allowed me to while away a pleasant half hour in the airport shops wherein I found The Perfect Pair of Shoes. In fact, shoes the likes of which I had been seeking the previous two months in high street shops but they had always eluded me by virtue being too small.
We boarded the plane late. There were delays and masses of people. I sat and waited next to a gentleman who was having an animated mobile phone discussion in Italian, relating all manner of alluring goings on about long limbed women with no clothes on.
A double illicit thrill, of eavesdropping in foreign and understanding what was said. Storing words and phrases for future use.
O lavoratto hieri serra. O tornato a le due di notte.
Una donna con il cuorpo magnifico, complettamente nuda…
The plane was crowded full of Westerners. It seemed as though we were about to be colonized by the British in revival of the Empire days. As it turns out all the hip young folk were heading down to a music festival in these parts [kind of like the Yug version of Glastonbury].
The flight was jarred by the vast amounts of turbulence over Serbia & Montenegro [I tried hard not to interpret this as an omen, even though it was a fairly good indicator of things to come in the immediate future]. The plane shook like a matchbox in the sky’s fist. At one point I nearly had my head on the shoulder of the lady next to me because the overhead lockers were shaking so much that I thought things were going to start tumbling out onto my handy cranium. If I could have I would have crawled into her lap.
Seriously, it was scary. I usually enjoy a bit of turbulence but this was hardcore. You could have cut the tension in the cabin with a knife. The weather front we were flying through made the meteorological conditions in London seem like the height of summer.
The plane kept bucking and rocking & shaking & this went on and on and on. At one point my entire life was rewinding before my eyes and I was trying hard to remember how to brace in a crash landing, as well as reflecting on the tragedy of perishing before I’d even had a chance to wear my new shoes.
[Z: You thought you were going to die and you thought about shoes?
N: Well, obviously, I also thought about you. But our love has been consummated, our happiness manifested. My new shoes on the other hand represented all that magical potential, the tragedy of the glorious life unlived.]
But eventually we landed and didn’t crash or die. While waiting for luggage I ended up stood next to an elderly humpbacked dwarf of a woman whose minute stature was exceeded by the monstrous size of her suitcase. She begged me in some strange pidgin mix of German, English and Serb to lift it down for her which I did despite the plentitude of strapping young men more suited to the task. I teetered under the weight and felt something rip in my triceps. But my arm didn’t fall off or anything, so it was all right.
And soon after I was joyously reunited with my own suitcase, and we even made it through customs OK despite their suspicion that the belt in my suitcase was in fact ammo.
So here I am.
And hello Belgrade, I love you despite the fact that you’re pelting it down with rain.