We’ve spoken before about the weather ‘negatively’ impacting fun times. Rain on your wedding day (not ironic), temperatures so hot you’re seeing mirages, but most of that you can combat. You can take action to make you feel in control, and not controlled, by your weather system. All that changes with travel. Yes, I’m talking about the current and seemingly unrelenting weather frustration people are feeling towards their xmas travel plans. It would have been remiss of me not to discuss this issue and also very unlikely to not be personally involved with my own weather travel journey.
I was stuck in Cologne for a day just before Christmas. I was meant to be coming home, work had finished, everyone else had left and there was me. Alone. By myself. Angry. I stayed in a hotel for one night then got up at 4am to catch the only flight back to London the next morning. The flight scheduled for 7am eventually left at 11am, I made it into London Stansted, caught a train home and bitched about the whole saga on arrival.
When you sum it up, it’s not a huge drama. I’m home, it sucked, but now it doesn’t seem like the drama I thought it was at the time (cheers hindsight). During the stuck day and the travel day however, my anxiety levels were rather high. As an example, this is what my browser looked like.
I hit refresh on each of those tabs probably every three seconds (except maybe facebook, every five. You're not all crazy updaters). It was like tourettes of the keyboard, completely uncontrollable. Weather updates, airport closures, flight cancellations, I needed to know it all. And what's stranger is that this didn’t dissipate when I finally got home. I felt the need to watch every news update on the increasingly long queues in ‘freezing’ conditions outside train stations. I watched people’s make shift abodes in Heathrow Airport grow more and more homelike the more nights they were trapped (I swear I saw someone mocking up an ikea coffee table in front of his floor bed and silver foil blankets). The overwhelming feeling I had whilst watching this unfold was… SUCKERS! I made it out and you didn’t and I was feeling so happy it wasn’t me.
Where was my Christmas spirit!? I couldn’t believe my reaction. My obsession with my own travel had morphed into a self congratulatory obsession that I’d done the right thing, booked the right flight, paid the right people, and if I hadn’t done it that way I would have never gotten out. I WON AT CHRISTMAS TRAVEL!
I’ve tried to move on since then, pay more attention to my loved ones and the Christmas Eve ice skating, but then it started happening IN THE USA. People are tweeting about broken down cars, frozen Grandmas, missing the best xmas ever and instead spending it with Louise from Liverpool (see previous post re: Amsterdam), and all I can think is, IT’S NOT ME! STILL WINNING!!
This, apparently, is what Christmas is all about. The joy of not being somewhere shit, while others are. Tis the season.
London tomorrow, time for less rugging up and more outdoorsy fun. I saw a girl wearing actual shorts today (that spells crazy). Don’t take it that far, but the feeling outside is a lot milder than we have been having. Enjoy the last hours of 2010!