After the success of my Dollop from two weeks ago, entitled Dolloping From A Plane To Belgium, I’m sure you’ll all be excited at the prospect of reading another plane-based Dollop, although this time, as you’ve hopefully already worked out (otherwise I’m a bit worried about your basic level of education) I’m Dolloping from a plane heading to Canada. It’s going to be difficult to rival my Dollop from a plane heading to Belgium, given how fantastic it was, as I’m sure you’ll all remember – so many memories. It’s going to be quite an ask to create something even better, especially since that particular Dollop was on the subject of kettles, and today I have nothing kettle based to give you, but I’ll do my best regardless. Now this is what I call cabin pressure. Oh yes, and we’re off!
From the moment we arrived at the airport, we were being shouted at. Not by a member of staff, or a harassed traveller, but by the escalator. “Please take extra care when using this escalator,” it repeatedly instructed at considerable volume. This was my first escalator of the day, it was rather early in the morning and I hadn’t had much sleep. I was therefore finding it difficult to imagine the usual level of care that I would take on an escalator. I’ve never really given my escalator travel much consideration. I usually just get on, stay on until it’s done escalating me and then get off. It’s always just been an instinctive thing. I wouldn’t really say that I take particular care when using escalators, but now I was being asked to consider my usual care and then add extra care on top of that.
The people behind me were getting impatient. Seemingly they weren’t as vexed or concerned by this automated announcement and were just keen to get on the escalator, and didn’t appreciate my deliberations. Either that or they had managed to quickly do the maths in their head and had already calculated the amount of care that they were about to take. There was nothing for it but to just step on, and hope for the best. It was time to take what might potentially be my most exhilarating escalator journey of my life.
I stepped onto the escalator, and braced myself. I clung onto the rail tightly – surely that was an example of taking extra care. But nothing momentous happened. It was just like all the escalators I’d ever used before. I was a little disappointed to be honest, and no doubt, so are you. The announcement had built my expectations. I was expecting maybe a bit more speed, maybe some twists and turns, but it was just your standard escalator.
Between entering the airport and boarding the plane, we went on loads of escalators, all of them as standard as the first, yet the first escalator at the entrance was the only one that came with a warning. The others didn’t even warn us to simply “take care when using the escalator. We’d gone from insistent over-zealousness to “couldn’t give a damn” all in a few paces.
In other automated announcement news, the computerised voice that constantly blurted out over the airport’s PA system was a bit lacklustre. I’d have thought, baring in mind that there are going to be lots of people of different nationalities waiting, it’s rather important that the announcements about flight information and so on, are slow and clear. But the computerised voice spoke at a very irregular meeter, often speeding up when it came to salient information such as the flight number. The voice was also rather robotic, and it pronounced certain words and phrases incorrectly, such as: “you aircraft is ready for boarding.” Every single time it said, “you aircraft” rather than “your aircraft.” I wonder how long this quirk has existed, and how long it will be before anyone gets around to changing it. If there’s anyone working in customer service at Gatwick Airport, might I suggest that it might be a good idea to get this fixed? Thank your.
My favourite mistake that the computerised voice made – and it happened frequently – was: “can all of the passenger please board flight …” I assume that this was meant to say “can all passengers board,” unless this was the computer’s idea of a joke about the amount of physically damaged passengers who board these planes, due to having bits of themselves dismembered by the incendiary escalator. Maybe me and the other two Young’uns are just a lot tougher than some of the other customers, because we didn’t find anything particularly dangerous about the escalator. Although, come to think of it, there were quite a lot of people boarding our plane with missing limbs. Maybe the escalator is an initiative set up by the airline companies to reduce the amount of weight on the plane, by amputating passengers, thus saving fuel costs. It brings a slightly different meaning to the notion of travelling light.
There were a few people asking the stewards if they could bring their dismembered legs onboard the plane with them, but they were told that they wouldn’t be able to bring them into Canada, as there’s a customs rule about bringing foreign meat into the country.
Understandably, The passengers were hopping mad.
So far, I have managed to keep this 366 consecutive daily blogging challenge alive, even during my three weeks in Australia. In a couple of hours I land in Vancouver for three weeks in Canada. We have gone over the halfway point, but for the next three weeks I am at the mercy of Canadian WIFI. Back tomorrow, hopefully.