juggling stuff
Israel 2002 - Getting There
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Getting There, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Going home.

Thursday was meant to be a day off work for me to get ready for my trip. Unfortunately I had just spent the first part of the week at Butlins in Minehead filming interviews and was travelling home to Newcastle. It should have been a 6 hour trip, at the most, but due to it being the last working day before the Easter bank holiday weekend there was lots of traffic. So much that accidents were bound to happen. We drove from Minehead to the motorway within 40 minutes, then spent 4 hours travelling the next 4 miles. It was hell.

To make matters worse there was an announcement on the radio that Barclays bank had messed up their computers and millions of people across the country hadn't been payed. That included me. I phoned the bank and they asked if I could make it to a bank, I said no, I was stuck in traffic. I said I could get to a bank tomorrow, they said no, it's a bank holiday. They asked if I could get to a bank on Saturday, I said No, I'll be out the country. They said it would be sorted by the next working day, which due to bank holidays over Easter would be Tuesday. I said that wouldn't be good enough, I was going on holiday, I needed the money.

In the end they assured me money would be in the bank for me to take out whenever I wanted. I finally got home at 10pm, 12 hours after we set off on our 6 hour journey. Couldn't be bothered to repack my bags for a week holiday and went to bed pretty much much worn out.

Friday morning saw me running around like an idiot packing my bag. I had decided I'd not bother to take much juggling equipment, to leave my clubs behind. When I thought about it I realised I was going to a Hot Place™ and could afford to pack more shorts and less trousers, leaving me just enough space for 7 fat rings, 6 fathead clubs and 30 bean bags. I rushed off to catch my bus with only a few minutes to spare.

The day before I had been stuck in traffic for hours and hours and really didn't want to repeat the experience. As luck had it, I did. There was traffic accident upon traffic accident and the bus spent many hours crawling along at a snails pace. I was slightly worried that if we met much more traffic I'd not get to Lodon in time to catch the tube out to Heathrow. I shouldn't have worried too much, I arrived with 2 hours to go before my flight.

While checking my bags in I was asked if I had been given anything to carry onto the plane. I thought for a few seconds and it turned out that I had, a Beard Juggling Knife! I was directed to a security area and was asked to explain what the huge machete was doing in my bag. I explained it was a juggling prop I'd been asked to take to Israel for Itsik Orr. Thankfully they believed me.

I wasted my time before boarding by spending money on sunglasses and spending time emailing people on an internet kiosk. Then I went to look for my plane ticket, which I had lost somewhere in the terminal. I'd never flown before and I felt a bit stupid retracing my steps around an airport on my first visit, trying to track down that pretty essential piece of paper.

Then, to my relief, I heard an announcement from above asking Mr L Burrage to go to the customer service desk. I picked up my ticket just in time to board my flight.

I was seated with a window on my right and a very nice young lady called Vanessa on my left. It was quite amusing to discover she was from Newcastle and lived about half a mile from me. She was travelling out to meet her boyfriend in Tel Aviv and couldn't believe it was my first time on a plane.

The food provided on the plane was rather interesting. I found it amazing that we were given, along with other things, a small amount of pasta and a small tube of toothpaste. For no reason I can work out, they tasted exactly the same.

I slept on the plane for only half an hour. For some reason the flight was interupted by a landing at Cypres where the crew was changed and woke most people up, including me. Due to that stop, crossing various time lines and there being different dates for changes in daylight saving times between the UK and Israel the plane took 8 hours to fly to Tel Aviv, arriving at 7 o'clock Saturday morning.


© 2002 Luke Burrage