Musings are thoughts, the thoughtful kind. For the purpose of these articles, a-musings are thoughts that might amuse, entertain and even enlighten.
I’ve been without my Internet for five days now and I don’t think I can last much longer. The initial withdrawal symptoms were bad enough, worse than I could ever have imagined, but now the shakes have started, twitchy fingers, nervous ticks, the works. I feel I cannot go on any more.
The trip started well, and I am not talking about a trip on drugs; Gothenburg Landvetter, my home airport in Sweden, offered free wi-fi so I was able to communicate with my loved ones while I waited for my flight, enjoying an open shrimp sandwich and a glass of sparkling water. The flight was on time too, and there even was free internet connection at 38,000 feet above the earth on my way to London so I was able to work as I sipped a couple of sparkling waters during the short flight that was made even ‘shorter’ due to the one-hour time difference between Europe and the Brexit Isles. (The more I fume about the idiocy of the isolationist islanders, the happier I am that I got out when I did!)
Heathrow was unusually quiet; it was evening time and things were petering out for the day. My luggage had already appeared before I did at the carousel so I grabbed my solitary bag and wandered nonchalantly through the green channel. As it turned out, I had just missed the bus to Gatwick so I settled down to a quiet drink and logged on for half an hour or so while I waited for the next transport to arrive.
I always laugh at myself when I send an update on my travelling progress. You know the sort of thing: Arrived safely! It really is quite ridiculous. If I hadn’t arrived safely due to a diversion, emergency landing, hijacking, midair explosion, disappearance off the radar, or some other mysterious Act of God, it would have been all over the news in a flash, which is the one really good thing about an aviation disaster: you don’t have to worry about letting your loved ones know, it’s all done for you.
The bus arrived on time, and thankfully the trip only took 35 minutes or so on the M25 because the workday was long over and drivers did not feel the need to risk life and limb getting from A to B before anyone else. Unfortunately the bus, unlike the buses in Taiwan, did not offer any Internet connection so I was cut off from the outside world for a while, but I survived my third-world connection from LHR to LGW. The Hilton was my chosen host for the brief overnight stay and the complimentary Internet worked perfectly so I spent most of the night catching up on work and, of course, telling everyone where I was, what I was doing and what I was looking forward to doing once I arrived at my destination. I suppose I nodded off at around 3 a.m. I was up and about by 6 to give me time to talk to my Asian contacts who celebrate Christmas almost as though they were Christians, which to some might mean that they appreciate the sanctity of family values, a time of togetherness, but to others it might signify a commercial opportunity too good to be missed.
I finally arrived at Hewanorra half an hour before my daughter and her family arrived from Denver via Atlanta, only to find that the lady at Hertz had gone home because she had no cars, left despite the fact that we had booked in September, via Delta, confirmation number and all, a car in anticipation of the trip. Can you imagine? We were able to synchronize a car trip from Del Norte to Denver, flights to Atlanta and Saint Lucia with a car trip from my home in Gångemad to Landvetter airport, a flight to Heathrow, a bus ride to Gatwick, a flight to Hewannora and arrive within minutes of each other only to find that the Hertz Lady had gone home because she had given our car to someone else!
Saint Lucian reality struck home, so we took a taxi! Talking of home, we have now been on-island for five days with no Internet connection because from 13th December onwards, and especially not after Christmas Eve, it is just about impossible to get anything fixed in this great, laid-back island nation. Ah, the joys of homecoming! The taxi driver was great. I enjoyed the chat up the island and fortunately the shops were open. You have to feel sorry for the people who work in stores; they seem to work all hours and all days just to keep the rest of the nation happy. The same goes for the police, immigration and customs officers, all of whom carried out their duties as if the days of Christmas were just regular days.
As for me, well I was supposed to return in February but things happened and I found myself back a few weeks ahead of time, so here I am, transported from the land of super efficiency to, well not to be too harsh, the never-never land of inefficiency. The trouble is it never ends. Next up Nobel laureate celebrations, Independence, Carnival, Jazz – or whatever it is called this year, National Day, and it will soon be Christmas all over again! Let’s hope I get my Internet back before then! Actually, they just turned up so I am online again. All is back to normal. And the P.M. can resume travelling again! Phew!