Tag Archives: claustrophobia

We’re Cracking Up

Our car is groaning and our trailer is cracking up, to say nothing of its occupants.

What has so far been a U.S. grand tour must now become a serious pursuit for a home base. Apart from getting on each others’ nerves in our mini home with no friends nearby to inflict our gripes on, things are conspiring against us – terrorism, government, airline policies, finances and weather.

Starting with the least inflammatory subject of weather, alternating humid heat and hard freezes are more than difficult to tolerate in our small living space. Both happened within the space of two weeks which came as a bit of a surprise in a winter snow bird paradise.

Everywhere we go we are of course the new kids in town and moving every three to seven days we don’t know what to expect of the weather. In a bid to find out we tune in the TV which is a game in itself. Jimmy winds the aerial up with a handle on the ceiling and tries to aim it vaguely in the same direction as others on the campsite. After a lengthy tuning process Jimmy announces glumly, “We’ve only got two channels.”

“Well that’s something. What are they?”

“One’s in Spanish and the other one is commercials.”

Himself, the holder of the remote, insists on muting the sound of commercials so I lose interest. Nothing is more mind numbing than commercials without sound, except commercials with sound, but at least you know when the program comes back on. The next time I look up it’s still commercials. “Do you know what channel it is yet?”

“Umm . . . .” He had his head in the newspaper. “We can do better than this. The picture’s not very good anyway. Turn the aerial just a little that way.” I’m sure he knows what he means when he points from a distance of six feet to a three inch handle but I don’t. “No! The other way.”

The tuning process begins again and sometimes we manage to catch some local news – the car that stalled and held up traffic in town for two hours at rush hour, little Sammy’s lost cooter, iguanas dropping out of trees like overripe fruit due to the cold weather.

Just as we start to prepare for the night with blankets and setting the furnace just high enough to keep hypothermia at bay, we realize we’ve been watching the news in a town in the next state.

By the time we locate our nearest town on the weather map Wendell Weatherman has moved on to the weekend forecast. I lay down in bed with a quilt and two blankets to hand if I get cold. There is a little fan heater I can snick on quietly in the night to keep the temperature even between blasts from the furnace.

Hot weather is more difficult to manage. Our small fan is ineffectual in humid heat and to put on the air conditioner in the middle of the night involves putting on a light, finding my glasses and the remote control, and causing a great whumph! as the fan and cooling unit kick in. Which of course is why himself hides the remote under his pillow.

The rant continues on Friday.

Kitchen, dining room, sitting room, bedroom, TV room, yoga studio all in one. How claustrophobic is that?
Kitchen, dining room, sitting room, bedroom, TV room, yoga studio all in one. How claustrophobic is that?

More Bad Seat Karma

 Scene:           British Airway’s check in desk.

How to Survive a Long Haul Flight Cover
How to Survive a Long Haul Flight Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BA Rep:         Good morning. “Where are you traveling to today?” You’ve got our tickets in front of you. You should know.

Us:                   London.

BA Rep:         “I see you’ve changed your seat.”

Us:                   “Yes.” Seat?

BA Rep:         “You’re in 42K and 53J.”

Us:                   “No!” Huh?

BA Rep:         “You’ve only changed one seat.”

Us:                   “No we didn’t. We changed them both online to 53H and J.”

BA Rep:         “Let me see if 53H is available.” It had better be Buster.

Jimmy and I stared at each other no longer with anger, surprise or even exasperation but with resignation. Five long minutes passed. One of us was facing a nine-hour flight jammed up against the window, trapped in our seat by two strangers. 

BA Rep:         “You’re Lynn?”

Me:                  “No.”

BA Rep:         Puzzled.

Me:                  Puzzled.

BA Rep:         “Oh I see. There’s someone else on board with the same last name sitting in 42K. You’re sitting together in 53H and J.

Me:                  Standing on tiptoe to peer over the high counter and whispering to Jimmy, “It says that right there on our tickets.”

Jimmy:          “I know that. I booked them.”

Me:                  Standing six inches shorter than himself and back down on my heels, “I wish I had realized that sooner.”

Jimmy had been waiting patiently for the BA Rep to realize his mistake. I’d been imagining an attack of claustrophobia in my seat. Panic was the precursor to another trip.

My reward? After a long haul flight and jet lag followed by two straight days of driving through France – a melt-in-your-mouth croissant, sweet crêpes smaller than a saucer and as thin as your hankie and a perfectly brewed café au lait.

Cafe au lait
Cafe au lait (Photo credit: micamica)

Yes, my friends, we’re in France now looking for somewhere to live, as if 48 United States hadn’t enough to offer.

“I’ll probably die before we find somewhere.”

Don’t worry. that was just a comment on our indecisiveness, not Jimmy’s longevity.