David Fallon: My Christmas in a strange, welcomng new world and the start of a new life
‘ARE you making any connecting flights in the next 24 hours, sir?’ A woman with perhaps the universe’s deadest looking face, the deadest voice and an attitude so dismissive that my scrotum shrank, looked past me with a look that said ‘I hate this job, I hate my life and now, I hate you.’.
I was in Dublin aiport buying a series of ‘Please like me! Oh please do!’ presents for my girlfriend’s parents with whom I would soon be living. Champagne for that soupscon of class, Irish salmon for a dash of the home-grown and chocolates because bugger knew what I should buy for the grandparents (who, it turned out, are either diabetic or do not partake of such cocoa-based anomalies). The maiden of doom behind the counter was totally contradictory to the kind of send off I was imagining. In my mind I’d be heralded away by a rousing chorus of malnourished cherubs lamenting and keening away at the idea of Ireland’s brain-drain and loosing one more soldier to the fight. What I was left with (which, rereading the last sentence, I probably deserved) was a young woman who treated me with about as much respect and attention as you would someone who had just releived themselves in your shoes.
At the gate, hordes of embarassingly tall and handsome Norwegians circled around me in the queue and I felt homesick before I had even left the country. On the plane, the turf and unintelligable signage of Dublin airport’s runways shot past my window. As the great winged bird surged into the sky, so did many thoughts surge into my head: