What if the ash cloud never left?
They waited for the plane to land before it happened. Given the violently bumpy landing that was definitely a good thing. But not such a good thing for the woman three rows in front with the toddler and the baby, who projectile vomited in unison all over their seats.
“Great way to end a holiday,” the mother announced mostly to herself as we stared, opened mouthed, watching her and vomit-covered husband as they jostled with their kids and attempted to deplane before their fellow passengers. The rude air hostesses didn’t even offer a sympathetic smile. But that’s another story.
As we’ve seen this week, air travel can go wrong for all kinds of reasons. But what if the ash cloud never went away? What if we reverted to a world without aeroplanes and overseas holidays? Maybe this idea fills you with dread. But think of the positives…
For one thing, there’d be a lot less of other people’s baby vomit on our laps. And there’d also be a heck of a lot less chaos and frustration when you only have to rely on yourself to get you to your destination.
The fun’s gone out of air travel anyway. Delays are guaranteed, you can’t take a tube of normal-sized toothpaste on board and you don’t get so much as a tiny square of complimentary cheese anymore.
Yes, this ash cloud could be onto something. Maybe it’s a sign. Maybe it’s trying to tell us all to stop trying to fly off to the newest and trendiest destination, but to slow down and enjoy the sort of holidays we used to love so much when we were kids.
You know the type of holiday. Over-pack the car, over-stretch the distance, underestimate the travel time, crank up some tunes, have screaming matches when you get lost, forget stuff, blame everyone else and yes, get car sick. But as mentioned, at least it’s your vomit, not someone else’s.
Over in the United States, nostalgia holidays are the cool new thing. A bunch of trendsetters from New York have just chosen to spend their current summer holidays a little bit closer to home, in a place called the Rockaways, Queens.
In a recent review for The New York Times, Ben Detrick called it a “sliver of dilapidated bungalows, drug-riddled public housing and WPA-era boardwalk at the end point of the A train.”
Another holidaymaker described it as “the anti-Hamptons”.
You can just imagine the travel brochure: Dumpy little seaside town, close to the city, has swimming beach and is accessible with weekly travel pass. Cheap, convenient, and nostalgic.
Not to mention an excellent anathema to holiday-friendship claustrophobia, because being close to home means you’re never too far away to bump into someone you know. And let’s face it, that’s pretty much what happens in Phuket or Bali anyway, isn’t it?
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