Fast, faster, the fastest
A couple of days before I was flying to Rome, a friend sent me this article. The connecting idea frankly seemed a bit dim. A flight for a flight I guess. One hour from Palermo to Rome, one hour from London to New York he wrote in an accompanying message. Was he having a laugh? At me? He knows I do not like to travel. Not replying to him was my way showing I was not touchy. But the idea stuck. As did the irritation.
Ready, steady, go
Something had to be done to get rid of that feeling. Having an in-flight cocktail was the first step. The young air hostess told me drinks did not come free. I told her I knew, gave her 10 euro and told she could keep the change. Since the drink cost 12 euros I had to climb over the two people sitting next to me and look for my jacket in the overhead locker. Getting back to my seat, drink in hand, kept the tension high.
Rome is only 400 kilometer away. So no big differences. Same people, same climate, same culture. It is all in the little details. They accent, the humor, the attitude. A crew made its way to the plane, pulling their trolleys. As they passed another crew the hall, the captain shouted to his colleague: “Ferdinando! te puzza er culo!” (Ferdinando, your arse stinks). In no other place in the world that could be funny. Later that day I sent my friend a postcard from Trastevere, saying his balls stank.
Not so fast mister
So, if it takes you one hour to fly from London to New York, how do you deal with traffic going to the airport? And the time waiting in there? These multiples of the flying time must be infinite. And if you happen to live in a third city? How slow must it feel to reach your departure. Waiting for your luggage rolling of the conveyer belt? Unbearable. It is correct to bring up the fact that you saved six hours anyway. But it is the relativity that kills here. The set benchmark is the time of the flight.
Seven hour flying through the sky. Being served, watching tv, dozing off. There are so many things much worse and so little things much better. Seven hours is the time you spend daily sending messages on your phone. Consider that the alternative, a ship, will take about a week to cross the ocean. Nibbling on the seven hours is simply ridiculous. The only thing that tops of the seven hour trip is tele transport.
For people going on a holiday, the traveling part is irriplaceable. The kick of flying supersonic will be enormous, but it makes a trip less exciting. Visiting a place only an hour away does not sound all that good. Sufferance, ardor and perseverance make the difference, especially if you want to pass for a traveller, an adventurer.
What can be so urgent you can not lose six hours for? And what can be done only in New York or in London? Who needs physical presence anymore? This haste must be the result of bad organization. Who decides to send someone to the other side of the world in such short time? Maybe it is the secretaries having their revenge. In which case they have my sincere sympathy. Shouldn’t these people fly privately by the way?
A couple of days ago my friend texted me he received my postcard. He wanted me to explain the message. So he could explain his wife. The postcard, he said, arrived long after I came back. This is the point: if you outrun a postcard, you travel too fast. And your balls stink.