Reflections from a higher plane?

London Bridge

Down to Earth

The final part of a series of observations, imaginings and happenings on a recent globe spanning flight.

While the previous parts of this intercontinental journey were all written (and occur) mid-air, or at least in travel lounges mid-flight, the final part see me very much back on earth, and it could be said on a somewhat lower plane (that's plane as in "plain"), for it concerns a bus trip taken in London, and the more than just eccentric English characters encountered en-route.

Whether fate or otherwise, my arrival in London from Frankfurt sees me miss the connecting bus from Heathrow to Gatwick by five minutes. On board the next scheduled service a full hour later, a fellow passenger with a Cockney accent announces to no-one in particular that "You can travel half-way around the world, yet the last few miles in London always take the longest." I agree with him, although his truism is equally valid in sometimes sleepy New Zealand, where the bus companies are owned by the very same British operator.

The journey isn't made any shorter by a woman near the rear of the bus, sharing with us all in far more volume than necessary a particularly colourful cellphone conversation. A neighbouring passenger, a middle-aged man with what resembles fatherly indignation at an ill-mannered off-spring, is less than appreciative, and tells her as much when the conversation finally finishes.

Read more: Reflections from a higher plane pt.7