Travel Madness II

… time seems to be non-existent as I’m sitting here, still on the plane on my way back to good old Europe. And I’m still wedged between the couple and their whining child and two weird teenagers.

My joy is indescribable as the airborne waiters and waitresses – so called flight assistants – start distributing dinner. (After all it’s evening and I’m taking an overnight flight!) Tonight on the menu: fish or chicken!

Well, since I’m in danger of food poisoning with either, I’m adventurous and take the chicken! (Salmonellae, go to hell!!!)

Thankfully – finally being occupied with something different than writing, magazines, not moving – I grab my tray and lift the aluminium foil from my fragrant dish. O-kay! Where is the chicken? I did choose, chicken, didn’t I? After some digging around with my plastic fork I discover a small piece underneath the strange looking yellow syrupy sauce. A small helping of rice and string beans, complementing the chicken at least in colour, are in danger of getting lost in this endless sea of yellow glib and I immediately rush to the rescue!

My first reaction? Could be worse! I dig out the chicken, scrape off the excess sauce and finally enjoy my dinner! (Just for your information, the couple of salad leaves are excellent, the thawing roll has seen better days and dessert consists of the ingenious creation of vanilla cream and fruit salad!) All in all, it’s edible and main reason for plane food is to be occupied and get tired, isn’t it?

Anyway, I’m glad not to have chosen the fish dish which looks even worse in a red tomato sauce – and is DANGEROUS! Especially with a kid nearby, which exactly proves my point as it not only covers itself with it but also spatters tomato sauce on everything else in its close vicinity. Mostly its parents, thank God! Only my NY Times suffers some splatters – which I have strategically placed on my lap, just in case!

I skip dull coffee and tea, instead I wriggle out of my seat to stagger back stiffly to the restrooms. Where – as is the custom – I have to wait for hours before being able to squeeze inside. Feeling cramped is an understatement, good thing I’m not claustrophobic. I really don’t get the hype of joining the high mile club since turning around alone is a task for a circus artist!

Ready for the night I return to my seat and to my relief toddler and parents prepare themselves for some sleep, seems the kid is wiped out by all this throwing stuff and food around … so the only annoying neighbours left are the teens. I decide to take the incredible risk and take a nap myself, even though I know this will be practically impossible, but I more or less manage to drift in and out of sleep for most of this short night.

To my utter surprise the rest of the flight passes basically uneventful – apart from more food throwing by the little freshly rested devil and the half scary behaviour by hungover smelly teens.

I’m weeping uncontrollably as I’m allowed to step off the plane after all those endless hours and if I weren’t packed like a mule with all my hand luggage, shopping bags and magazines I’d throw myself down on the ground, kissing European earth! Welcome home, MJ!


Travel Madness I

Right now, I’m sitting on a plane back to Europe. And 6 hours and 15 minutes of flight time lie ahead of me. (Well, actually, it’s 5 hours and 24 minutes. I successfully survived the first 51 minutes.)

Anyway, the first hour is nearly over, I’ve thumbed through at least a dozen magazines I stocked up at the last newsstand before boarding and the only reading material left are the New York Times, the New York Post (for the trashier style news) and the USA Today. (Which I’m keeping for absolute emergencies of boredom!) And, of course the first round of beverages – always tomato juice for me – has been served.

I totally lucked out on my seating arrangements again, which usually is MY scare factor whenever I fly somewhere. Forget about the danger of dropping from the sky like a stone … or food poisoning … or getting off the plane with a cold (either from your fellow co-passengers or air conditioning). That’s all nothing compared to what I usually have to go through when travelling alone. My seating partners are never the cute single guys … nooo, I’m in living hell, this time I’m wedged in between a couple in their 30s with their screaming toddler and two overexcited teenagers (who seem to be on drugs or drunk or both).

How am I ever going to survive this flight without going mad? Why, oh why, did the Gods from check-in distribute this seat to me? What have I done to deserve this? Teenagers AND a bad-tempered child! That’s so not fair!

In despair, I consider begging the flight assistant to find me another seat. Somewhere, somehow, ANYWHERE! (First class preferred, of course!) I see myself falling to my knees, clinging to her ankles, crying, “Don’t leave me here! Please! I’m scared!”

Of course, my mind is playing tricks on me and instead of madly jumping up and down my narrow seat – you do remember Tom Cruise doing that on Oprah’s couch when he told about his love for Katie Holmes eons ago – I rigidly sit there, carefully glancing left and right (just don’t draw attention to yourself, M), clutching my yellow notepad and ballpoint, secretly scribbling away. To let you suffer with me! (Hey, what else is a blog for!) And no, I’m not using my gorgeous gold macbook … my handwriting is impossible to decipher and I certainly don’t want my neighbours to read this!

Usually I love flying! I really do! The excitement to get to the airport in time, the endless standing in line for check-in, the passing of the security check half undressing, the obligatory Latte Macchiato Caramel or Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks, the shopping … of course, there’s shopping! WHAT do you THINK? Chocolate and every halfway interesting magazine ranging from interior design to cheap gossip as well as newspapers are part of my basic flying equipment!

Then the waiting among other travellers to finally board the plane! And the food! I don’t know why most people always have to complain about the food! Considering, that it’s not freshly cooked it’s really not that bad! I’ve eaten far worse at my university’s cafeteria. And I think it’s great to get a full menu consisting of tasteless salad, overcooked meat and vegetables, glibbery dessert, nearly frozen rolls and melting butter. After all, you can’t get that anywhere else!

Once again, I’ve completely drifted off, reminiscing of how I USUALLY like to fly! Particularly when I’m lucky enough not having to travel alone. Well … the toddler has started to throw around its toys and the teenagers look as if they’d start to throw up any minute! And I still have close to 5 hours to go … tune in for the continuation of my wonderful trip next weekend, only here on this blog!

I need a psychiatrist

Years ago I wrote a fictional article, imagining myself living in LA, getting a psychiatrist, basically making fun of all those “crazy” people (as in people with too much money) out there having their own private psychiatrist. The idea in those days hit me when reading about the density of psychologists and psychiatrists in the United States and how fashionable it had become to have his own, even though your only problem might be too much money and whether one was accepted at the most prestigious country club or not. Cynical, I know … but with a grain of truth, isn’t it?

Having gone through a rough patch recently myself I started to think about the article written in those days, wondering whether it would be too awful to publish or whether my readers would get the irony behind it. The thing is, my intention then was simply to entertain, and still is. And one has to admit that especially in the US having his own psychiatrist for the most trivial “problem” is simply a must.

I realize, of course, that what one person considers as trivial is a huge mountain of despair for another one. What you would deal with by talking with friends, others wouldn’t be able to. So, this is a delicate topic after all. And one has to be grateful in hard times to be able to get help and get better.

Nevertheless, I don’t quite want to deprive you of my literary masterpiece … just enjoy and smile … and one day I will tell you about my real-life experience … so, here it is!

Oh my! I just have to get one! I JUST HAVE TO! What do I need? A psychiatrist of course! Having your very own personal psychiatrist has become a must in this day and age! So, of course I have to be part of the in-group and get one too! I can’t be left behind by not having one when everyone has one! It’s become so fashionable that no one even denies having one! They are even proud to schedule in an appointment once a week! So, all I have to do now is find the right one! As usual Google is my first search option and I’m a little disappointed that there are just 766 listings. Can you believe it? A mere 766 listings! How boring! I was hoping for a larger choice … something like a few thousand. (Wishful thinking!) Now I just have to find one who’s A) the real deal, B) close to where I live (which isn’t a problem since I seem to be surrounded by them) and C) whose name I like. (Told you, I’m a fruitcake!)

Finally, after hours of searching – yeah, right -, I pick one, call and get an appointment for the next day. Which is why I spend most of the remaining evening racking my brain what the heck I’m gonna tell this guy. Certainly nothing too revealing or my real problems …

And then the day has come! I leave the office a little earlier than usual, totally excited (after all this is a whole new adventure) and head to the Doc’s office. The receptionist immediately snatches my credit card with her greedy hands and tells me to take a seat in the waiting room which is empty. A good or a bad sign? So far this is the first physician I DON’T have to wait for hours even though I have an appointment.

At exactly 4 pm a teenager – dressed in Juicy Couture from head to toe, including the latest Michael Kors tote – flip flops out and I’m called in. My psychiatrist is a bald man in his Fifties and I feel like “Adrian Monk” as I take a seat opposite him. What now? First some small talk to relax the situation until he gently steers me back to my childhood. Man, he is GOOD! HE digs and digs and digs and I don’t even realize what I’m telling him.

The 50 minutes are over in a flash and I feel totally exhausted! When he tells me I need to come back at least twice a week for the beginning – I didn’t know I’m so screwed up – I can merely nod and leave.

The receptionist hands over my receipt and says, “Thursday, same time!”

But – and you surely won’t believe me now – I’m strong enough to resist and reply, “My appointment book is full! I’ll call!”

And hoof it out of there before she comes after me to weasel out another appointment. Even though it’s fashionable, I guess I’ll try to keep going through life without a psychiatrist after all. And rather annoy my friends in times of crisis … and spend the psychiatrist money on shoes. And a new Michael Kors bag!

The dangers of writing a column


Alright! I admit it! This week I have absolutely NO clue what to write about! Not a single idea! No inspiration, my mind’s wiped clean, totally blank, nothing that strikes me worth writing about! And politics is just so … upsetting right now! No matter where you look, everyone seems to have gone out of his mind, Britain and Brexit, America and Trump, Germany, France, Austria, Turkey … no, not gonna get upset again this weekend!

After endless hours of sitting in front of my Macbook, staring at a blinking cursor that is trying to mock me on a blank page and staring into space … did you know that if you are staring at a white wall for … long, you start seeing colourful circles? You feel like being hypnotized by this scary Jungle Book snake. What was its name? Kaa? Why do I remember stuff like that? See what I’m reduced to writing about just to fill the page? How pathetic! My head sways from left to right until the ringing of the phone snaps me out of it. Wrong number! Just great!

The cursor is still blinking but everything I have been thinking about has magically found its way onto the screen. Which is basically the reason why you’re reading what you are reading right now. That is, if you are even reading and haven’t decided loooong ago to do something better with your time than reading this week’s boring posting. Or is it?

And once again I’m straying FAR from the matter at hand. I can tell you, writing a weekly column is hard work. Every week you have to come up with something halfway interesting, plus suitable pics or I’m risking your anger. And let me tell you, you are very critical readers.

And here I am, still babbling around – 312 words down, 188 to goooooooooooooooooooooo … Sorry, fell asleep for a moment! I guess I’ll change location, maybe that helps!

Nope, it doesn’t! I have exchanged my office with the nearest coffee shop, since most of the time that’s my favourite inspirational place. Not today, though. Drinking my Chai Latte, watching the people around me who seem to be even more boring than usual. Guys, I’m really sorry I’m wasting your time like this today! On such a beautiful Saturday! I promise to do a lot better next week!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, xxx, M