Chasing planes in Switzerland
|The post performance calm before the storm|
(I flew out to Switzerland late on Sunday night to perform the following evening in a 250 seat auditorium. The location is right by the boarder and I've been put up in a hotel in Italy. The performances went well but it's now Wednesday, I've done enough mingling and I am ready to go home, I need my bed.)
Now that the back story is out the way - I'm in Switzerland waiting for my cab and it's ten minutes late. I've called the cab company and chased it, they tell me he's stuck in traffic. The cabs now 20 minutes late and I've started to sweat. Stupidly I 'Google Mapped' the directions and there's traffic, a lot of traffic!
Smiley cab guy (as I'll now refer to him), rocks up 30 minutes late exclaiming "Traffic, traffic!", while waving his hands in the air. Ten minutes in, we are speeding down the motorway and I'm looking at my watch starting to believe I might just make it. Just a calm starts to set in, he pulls in to a garage to fuel the car. Of course there's a queue and all hope drains from my body. The earlier nervous sweat has restarted. He is quick once we reach the pumps and dives back in the car exclaiming "You'll be fine, plenty of time!" I love his enthusiasm, but I'm beginning to think its too late.
I promise you I'm a glass half full type but I've never missed a flight and I didn't want to start now. I also didn't want to have to make that call "Hey, I know you were super rad to fly me out here to perform and put me up in a hotel and pay me, buuuuuuut"
We are now two miles from the airport in standstill traffic, my flight takes off in 30 mins, I'm wondering whether I could run to the airport faster and smiley taxi guy is waving his hands again still telling me "You'll be fine, plenty of time!"
We are one mile away and I'm googling how far Zurich is just in case I have to get a cab there to make my connecting flight, it's miles I'm fuuuuuuucked! We finally arrive I'm trying to pay and he's now taking what seems like an age to write my receipt (yes this is an expense I can get back, I'm a poet not a rock star), finally I fall out the car, run into the airport with twenty minutes to go before take off sure I've missed any chance of getting on the plane...
The airport was tiny and check in/security were three foot from each other and the tiny propellor plane was the largest aircraft that could take off from this airport due to the length of the runway. The smiley man (yes another one but no relation I assume) behind the desk didn't bat an eyelid at my late arrival and just ushered me towards security after handing over my bag and to the ground crew who loaded it straight in the plane. This twin propellor flight machine seated about forty people and only about ten seats, including myself, were taken. For the plane nerds among you, this was so old it's not included in the Swiss Air magazine, although this isn't a complaint the beer on board was free.
I made it to Zurich and then I made my connecting flight to Heathrow, hell i'm typing this at 35,000 feet. It was a great trip, even better now that my 'never missed a flight' record is still in tact. See you on the Tarmac, after a good sleep that is.
Mat Lloyd - Poet, Spoken Word Artist and Skateboarder...