“Wait, wait, I think I can see them,” the passengers neck bent at a painful angle as he pushed his head towards the airplane window. “Yes, no, I am not sure,” it seemed liked he was informing the whole plane, acting as an in-flight guide. I was sitting two rows behind him, but to be honest I could have been sitting next to the pilot and still have heard him. We were arriving over Dubrovnik; in fact we were still flying over Primorje, with the islands out of the right windows and a sea of mountains out of the left windows.
I was unsure what he was so desperate to see, his excitement seemed like he was spotting for the Loch Ness monster. A shriek of ecstasy rang out through the fuselage, was he having an orgasm! “There they are…there they are…look Muriel,” he almost bellowed at his wife who seemed less than excited. “Look the orange tiles, the orange roof tiles of Dubrovnik,” he continued. So that was it, that was the mystery he was looking for, the tiles of the Old City.
I think that this was the first time that I had flown back from London to Dubrovnik on a flight exclusively made up of English passengers. It was probably due to the fact the flight had left at an ungodly hour of the morning, just as the sun was coming up. The flight, and it was a busy one, could probably be considered as one of the first of the season and was full of expectant English holidaymakers, probably after a relaxing holiday on the beach. If they were after a long weekend of sunshine over the May Day holidays then they were out of luck, they had brought the English rain with them.
I was sitting on the end of a row with Mr and Mrs Small from Luton. They might have been small by name but they weren’t small by nature. I felt like I would literally pop out into the aisle as the weight, or overweight of the Smalls, pushed me to one half of my seat. A flood of “oh, I am sorry,” and “you are so kind,” came from the Smalls as they apologized for taking up two and a half seats in a three seat row. To make matters worse Mr. Small, or Mr. Oversized, was either suffering from diarrhoea or had a bladder the size of a hazelnut. In a two and a half hour flight Mr. Small spent most of it in the toilet, how he actually squeezed into the toilet is beyond me.
And the Smalls were also on the lookout for the sights of Dubrovnik from a bird’s eye view. “Oh, look there is a huge white bridge,” Mrs. Small explained to me. I nodded in agreement. “I have heard that a train runs over that bridge,” she added. I had a decision to make, either explain that she was wrong and enter into a long-term conversation with half the plane, or pretend that I was a holidaymaker too. “Oh, that sounds great,” I answered, obviously taking plan B. I really wasn’t in the mood to start being a tourist guide, and it was fun just listening to the comments. “Oh, that looks like a beach…oh, another beach,” the initial in-flight guide was back in control of the plane. “That one looks nice Muriel,” he bellowed whilst looking down at the Bay of Zupa. I was starting to feel sorry for Muriel, another hour with this guy and I would have been looking for the ejector seat.
“Have you ever been to Dubrovnik before,” asked Mr. Small. I felt like saying “Almost as many times as you have been to the WC on this flight,” but caught my tongue, “no, this is my first time,” I lied through my teeth. “Oh, it is great, the people are friendly and the beer is cheap,” he added. Blimey imagine how long Mr. Small would spend in the WC after a few beers! “Sounds great, I can’t wait,” I answered. “We are staying in a small fishing village called Lapad,” he said, adding “made me laugh as it sounds like Lapland.” I hope he enjoyed the small fishing village!
“Wow, look at the castle halfway up the hill,” screamed the in-flight guide. “It is amazing…look Muriel,” again a scream. What was he looking at; I can’t remember even seeing a castle in Zupa. I peered past the Smalls, not an easy task, to find out what he was screaming about. “I don’t think that’s a castle,” I heard from the row in front of me. “Yes, it is, I read about it in the guide book,” replied the in-flight guide. I finally got a glance past Mrs. Small, it wasn’t a castle as I had expected. I am not sure what guide book he had been reading but he had just announced to the whole plane that Zupa had a castle, when in fact what he was looking at was the hydroelectric power station.