The day had started so well. I had reached City airport on time to catch my flight to Toulon. I had cleared security reasonably fast despite the fact that it was a busy day. The flight was full of pale English men and women in desperate need of some some sun. I was of course no exception: my own daughter called me Snow White the other day. So much for living in London.
Once onboard, the captain mentioned something about strong winds in the South of France. Ah, the good old mistral, the dry, northerly wind of my childhood…I remember smiling. Silly me.
The flight was fine. I started reading, and I barely noticed that a middle-aged couple was sitting next to me. Soon enough, I could see the Mediterranean through the window. We were told to prepare for landing.
And that’s when it all went wrong.The plane started its descent, but the mistral was so strong and the aircraft so light that, as we were about to land, the plane went back up again. The plane simply couldn’t go down. A second attempt gave the exact same result, and we eventually managed to land on the third try.
The thing is, I was so scared that I was shaking. It is not that I am afraid of flying -I am not a huge fan of it, but usually I am OK with it-, it is just that I don’t like it when it gets bumpy, especially in a smaller plane. And things were really bumpy.
Once we eventually landed, I realised that I had grabbed my neighbour’s arm and wouldn’t let go of it. To make matters even worse -shame oh shame-, just when I had understood what had happened, the wife of the guy sitting next to me said something like:
“Would you please let go of my husband ?”
I promise, hand on heart, that I had absolutely no intention to make a pass at the husband in question. No intention whatsoever. I can’t even remember what he looked like. I was just in desperate need for something to hold on to, that was all.
I said that I was sorry and just scared because of the turbulences, but she didn’t seem to buy it. She gave me a disapproving look. The guy, in the meantime, hadn’t said a word, and seemed to find the whole thing hilarious. When I finally got out of the plane -which I did as quickly as I could- she sighed loudly. I could hear.
“Ah, French women!”
Great, now I feel like I have betrayed the sisterhood.
Next time I will consider taking the train. Seriously, what would you have done? Where did I go wrong again?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London