Tag Archives: travel

2192. Jet pack

I’m a little bit out of touch, so I can’t instantly recall what those things are called. You put them on your back like a weed-spraying pack and take off into the air. It’s sort of jet propulsion or something. I remember when one was used during an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony years ago. These days they’re so common that a loaf of bread at an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony would be more spectacular. Everyone, just everyone, has got one.

The air can get quite cluttered. It always amuses me to see a parent taking their kids to school. It’s like a parental duck and the babies – except ducklings can’t fly.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about my great-aunt Sylvia and what happened to her when she donned one of those things. She had been harping for years about wanting to try flying. Are they called jet packs? I don’t have one. Everyone calls me old-fashioned; I still drive an electric car. And I must admit that the state of the roads these days is atrocious.

“You’re too old to fly alone in the air,” we told Aunt Sylvia. But she wouldn’t listen. She made a heap of dough with that pretend money they have so she’s not short a pretty penny, and before you knew it she’d gone and bought one of those contraptions.

“Look Aunt Sylvia,” we said. “If you must try it let’s go to the park and try it where there’s space.”

But Aunt Sylvia would have none of it. She put the thing on at home and went out to the back yard. I swear I never knew those things could take off so fast. Aunt Sylvia shot into the air like a catapult out of a cannon. She hit the top of a tall maple tree and got hooked up there.

“Just use the machine to come down,” we all shouted. But she said she didn’t trust the thing. So we had to call the Fire Brigade to come and rescue her. These days, of course, they don’t use ladders; they simply put a couple of those packs onto a couple of Fire Brigade people and they do the rest. So Aunt Sylvia was rescued.

She said that never again would she touch the dangerous things. But she must’ve because we found her with a broken neck about a month later when she’d flown crash-bang into the concrete wall of an outside handball court.

2008. Cruising the Universe

Long John Silver (his real name wasn’t Long John Silver but he was known as Long John Silver by his closest associates) had given the exact location of Planet Earth. He had stumbled across Planet Earth while cruising the Universe and thought it to be a fairly fascinating place. (It’s where he had picked up the name Long John Silver from. It had tickled his fancy).

Now a group from Long John Silver’s planet were travelling in a space pod to Planet Earth. The voyage would take just over eight months, which was a phenomenally short time given the distance to get to Earth. Speed is of the essence in space travel.

Already two of the men on board had given birth to babies. (These aliens were sort of like Planet Earth’s sea horses where the males did the gestation).

How exciting to be nearing Planet Earth! Conditions on Earth were so similar to their own that they could simply step off their space pod and be assimilated incognito into earthly daily life (apart from the men having babies, which would be hidden if it happened).

They reached the location stipulated by Long John Silver. There was nothing there. Planet Earth had self-annihilated. It had blown itself up. It was so disappointing for the tourists.

1489. Sad but true

The Seilfnogard are a group of creatures that we on earth call “aliens”. They live on a planet roughly one million light years away from Planet Earth. It’s not improbable that they are the most intelligent creatures in the cosmos. Of course, there are probably creatures more intelligent, but how does one judge intelligence when a one-hour old Seilfnogard thinks like Isaac Newton on a good day?

Coming from a life source and a series of genetic mutations completely unrelated to anything on Planet Earth, they don’t resemble anything we might know. I suppose the nearest thing we have to them are dragonflies. You see, the Seilfnogard live for only about a year, but most of that time is spent in the nymph stage. First there’s an egg, then the nymph, and finally the adult Seilfnogard emerges and lasts only a day or two. Those couple of days are spent delving as quickly as possible into the mysteries of the universe. Then death comes knocking in twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

But goodness me! What the Seilfnogard have achieved! The civilization they have built! The body of knowledge! Although they can fly (they have a double pair of wings not unlike dragonflies) they are terrible at space travel. Many years ago a group of fearless Seilfnogard set out for Planet Earth in a spacecraft that travelled almost at the speed of light. One of their major concerns in this lengthy travel was to propagate. Over the time of the journey to Planet Earth a million-plus generations came and went. Upon arrival they had only two days to record first-hand what they observed. However, panic took over, and the two days were spent hurriedly fornicating and laying eggs in order to begin a trail of generations for the return home.

A million generations later the Seilfnogard arrived back on their planet. No two-million old records had survived as to who they were and to where they’d gone. The travellers themselves didn’t have a clue as to what their mission had been; where they’d been and why.

The stay-at-home Seilfnogard had so evolved over the intervening epochs that inferior genes were undesirable. For example, the stay-at-home Seilfnogard, with selective breeding and genetic engineering, were now able to survive in the adult stage for up to five days. That is why the intrepid explorers were immediately put to death as aberrations.

Sad but true.

1458. Squandavia

From an alien handbook:

One of the more bizarre planets in the cosmos is known as Squandavia, although it is believed that some of the early interplanetary adventurers referred to it as Planet Earth.

Top of the food chain are what are known as elephants. They are the biggest land creatures. In the sea it is creatures called whales.

The most interesting, and most bizarre feature of the planet are the millions and millions of relatively unhairy four-limbed creatures that walk around on two legs. They are everywhere. Apparently the elephants and whales have them pretty well trained for they seem to spend all their time working. They make strange noises most of the time. They don’t graze slowly all day on their food as we do, but they seem to stuff food into their mouths at set times three or four times a day.

Some of their other habits are even more bizarre but we leave that to the traveller to be shocked by discovery.

It is not recommended when visiting Squandavia that you make yourself visible. These little relatively unhairy four-limbed animals are riddled with animosity. It is inconceivable to us that the elephants and whales haven’t got rid of at least a few of them.

If we ever take over this planet, and it seems not unlikely, the extermination of these relatively unhairy four-limbed creatures will be a priority.

1240. Train travel

Constantia wasn’t too sure about the latest craze. Trains had fairly recently come into frequent use. People could travel from one village to the next on a train. It was definitely going to be the cause of a new wave of immorality to sweep the country. Young men could take the train to a neighbouring village and no one would know them. They could get up to all sorts of hanky-panky if not chaperoned. The women of every village in England were no longer safe.

Then there was the threat of people travelling from another country. One does not like to imagine the havoc red-blooded Frenchmen would cause among devout English maidens. To say nothing of the Germans. And the Spanish. The Spanish! Oh my goodness!

As for those train carriages for long journeys that had sleeping facilities. Such heinous thoughts entered Constantia’s head as to what could possibly go on, that she could only shut her eyes tight and think of England.

This so called “Industrial Revolution” consuming the country was striking the death knell for an upright and godly society. The sooner trains for travel were banned the better.

1011. Travel

10travel

We have a fairly healthy bank balance, which means we can travel as a couple overseas on a fairly regular basis. It is so enriching to experience other cultures around the world.

We always stay with the Aloha Hotel chain. They are in thirty seven countries, which is more than enough to satisfy our desire for travel. The hotels are always comfortable with rooms that almost always have splendid views. Every hotel has a spa and luxurious swimming pools. The food in the hotel restaurants cannot be faulted, and they certainly know how to mix their drinks.

Last year, when we were in San Antonio, I thought I would test their skills by asking for a Blue Margarita. They didn’t blink an eye. A Blue Margarita arrived within seconds complete with a slice of lemon shaped like a cowboy hat!

In Thailand I asked for a Mimosa. Again, without as much as a pause, the waiter (those Asian waiters can be so disarming) arrived with a Mimosa cocktail but with a sprig of lemongrass rather than the zest of a real lemon. Such a nice ethnic touch!

In Germany, Bavaria to be more exact, everyone was drinking beer out of some sort of Toby mugs, but I ordered a Flirtini. It arrived in a flash, complete with vodka, apricot liqueur, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and champagne. Instead of the customary strawberry however, there was a little yellow berry of some sort which apparently is native to the region.

As I say, it is so enriching to travel and to experience the difference of each country and culture. And there is always, with the Aloha Hotel Chain, the advantage of never having to leave the hotel.

687. She’s on the list

687gianella

What excitement! O what excitement! Seventeen-year old Gianella Lopez Fuentes from Chile had booked her flight to New Zealand. Her sister had married a New Zealander. They had a baby. They were paying for her trip. She would stay six months with them before beginning her studies at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Villarrica. She would see her niece for the first time!

Gianella had $104 dollars in cash. But that was enough for costs on the flight. Her sister and husband would pick her up at the airport, and she would live with them for the six months, and help look after the baby. Her niece! After all, her sister and husband had visited Chile last year and stayed with Gianella’s family for three months and paid not a penny! It was family. That’s the way it worked.

Upon arrival, the Custom’s official noticed something. One hundred and four dollars for a six-month stay? You must be kidding. You’re going to look after someone’s baby? Sounds like work to me, and your visa is for three months and it’s not a work permit.

Gianella was put on the first flight back home to Chile. She never got to even wave to her sister at a distance.

Back home, Gianella was interrogated. Clearly, she’d been sent home on suspicion of terrorism. Today she can’t travel anywhere. She’s on the list.