London to Buenos Aires

We are often told we must cherish the journey as much as the destination. There are all sorts of supposedly learned sayings by self-proclaimed spiritual leaders which urge us to live by this mantra. And I get it. I do. Life is a journey, blah, blah. It doesn’t take a genius.
But, in the case of my journey from London to Buenos Aires, via Madrid, I reject such philosophical teaching entirely.
I will never cherish spending 16 hours on a cramped aeroplane next to a large flatulent German man, who though very friendly when awake and munching loudly upon salted peanuts, spent most of the flight in the deepest slumber, snoring with gusto, and farting with such incredible regularity and ferocity I really thought the oxygen masks might fall and send everyone into crazed panic.
There were also a higher proportion of young children on my connection flight from Madrid to BA than any aeroplane I have ever been on before. And by ‘young’ I mean not potty trained yet. There should really be a health and safety limit on the number of babies allowed on one plane. The symphony of screaming I just experienced definitely puts both the health and the safety of all the passengers and the crew at risk. And yes, I know, I will probably one day find myself with a tiny infant on my lap jetting off on holiday and have to eat my words… But the thing is, if I do ever find myself as the mother of a screaming baby on a plane, I will be very English about it. I will be hugely embarrassed and red-faced and flustered and keep muttering repeated apologies to anyone who will listen so that the other passengers will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that despite their near-perforated eardrums, I, the baby’s mother, am even more miserable than they are. The parents on my flight ignored their riotous youngsters while merrily chatting away together with the kind of laid back Latino insouciance that few Brits can ever master.
Still, I should not complain, I just completed in a day, a journey that less than a hundred years ago would have taken several weeks beating across the Atlantic on an overcrowded boat. For that I will take any number of farting men and screaming babies – aeroplanes are miraculous things.
So I am here. I have arrived in BA. And it is glorious already.
The air smells of the tropics and feels silky against my skin.
I will be cherishing the destination a lot more than the journey.


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