Santiago: Layover of Death

That’ll stop those fare-dodgers.

Stepping onto my 14-hour flight to Santiago from Madrid yesterday (God time is a total blur right now), I got hemmed into just about the smallest space available on a passenger plane; in the very middle, bookended by two rather large German men who both promptly fell asleep and slumped into my personal space a little more with each clinical, efficient snore. Bearing in mind, we hadn’t even taken off by this point.

Strangely, I have seen both sides of LAN (Chile’s national airline) today. Madrid-Santiago, while a little squashed and filled with crying babies, was highly acceptable. However, the Santiago-Buenos Aires flight (which I’m actually currently on), is not so hot.

Cruising to Santiago, I hit up the wine, the whiskey, the gnocchi, the beer, the coffee, and the films. On an un-travel-related note, I don’t know if any of you have seen The Martian but I’d never gotten round to it until the flight, and I really have to ask; what’s the big deal? Rave reviews and massive box office for a pretty run-of-the-mill sci-fi film that mostly consists of a bearded Matt Damon listening to disco music and eating potatoes while simultaneously managing to entertain himself with the sound of his own voice for over a year. Also, I’m one for buying into the concepts laid out, even in particularly farfetched films, but there are vast fragments of The Martian were obviously compiled with little foresight. Two big questions hit me more prominently than most though:

  1. Why was Chiwetel Ejiofor, of British-Nigerian origin, cast as a Hindu man with the surname ‘Kapoor’? I mean there might be some unspoken explanation but to me it was just distracting.
  2. Matt Damon gets left behind after a big old storm on Mars and everyone’s like ‘oh shit there’s a storm’ like it happens all the time. How was there a storm of that strength on Mars. Even the most powerful Mars dust storms are barely a breeze.

Yes I know what you’re thinking but blah blah blah suspension of disbeblah can only go so far. Rant over.

So flight two is underway. Who would’ve known LAN still uses planes from the 19th century on their services? I feel like a Montgolfier Brother clinging to the side of a pink balloon. Or like I’ve been put in a cucumber that somebody has thrown across the Andes. I don’t think I need to say more really. In the end I guess it’s just a flight. In all honesty I’m distracted from the drawbacks by the fact that there’s a totally blind man sat next to me, and he’s spent the whole flight staring out the window.

On to Buenos Aires.


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