Off to Vegas


At least this plane doesn't have hydraulics.

Here's a little tip for travellers. If you are travelling via Amsterdam airport (or Schipol) make sure that in your hand baggage you include enough clothes to get you through the night after you arrive. Don't just think about doing this, like I did. This means that when (and I do mean when) your luggage gets lost you can at least have something to change into when you finally reach your hotel room at twenty eleven o'clock or whatever time it was that I finally got here. Having forgotten this step I was stuck with the clothes I was standing in. Which after around 20 hours of travelling are probably actually capable of standing up by themselves.

The very helpful lady at Las Vegas airport just went "Ah, Amsterdam" like it happens all the time. The other interesting thing about Amsterdam is that you can land at a runway which seems to be at the other side of the city. Once we had touched down we must have spent around twenty minutes motoring along to get to the terminal. We even stopped at two pedestrian crossings (this is not actually true, but it would be so neat if you could have planes waiting while you crossed the road). The whole thing reminded me very much of a World War 2 flying game from way back. We discovered that if you didn't leave the ground you could taxi all the way to the target at 200 miles an hour (including over the channel) drop your bombs with total accuracy and then rumble home without a scratch on the plane. These days of course you would get caught by loads of speed cameras.

Anyway, apart from losing my luggage, and the plane breaking down as it was taxiing onto the runway to take off, it was a fairly uneventful journey. I used to have an Austin Mini, a car made up of roughly equal parts rust and filler. One day, as I was approaching a junction, I put my foot on the brake to slow down a bit and the pedal went all the way down the floor without (and this is the worrying bit) having any affect on the speed whatsoever. Scary stuff. The pilot of our plane out of Minneapolis must have had roughly the same sensation as he discovered that one of his hydraulic systems did not actually have any fluid in it (which turned out to be what was wrong with my Mini too). So we had to find a none-broken aircraft which added an extra 90 minutes (but a lot of excitement) to the final leg of the journey.

The best plan with jetlag (I've been told) is to force yourself to stay up as late as possible so that you quickly get used to the new timings of day and night. It is now 9:30 pm. The heck with the best plan. I'm off to bed.