Monday, 21 July 2014

Mistral



The day had started so well. I had reached City airport on time to catch my flight to Toulon. I had cleared security reasonably fast despite the fact that it was a busy day. The flight was full of pale English men and women in desperate need of some some sun. I was of course no exception: my own daughter called me Snow White the other day. So much for living in London.
Once onboard, the captain mentioned something about strong winds in the South of France. Ah, the good old mistral, the dry, northerly wind of my childhood...I remember smiling. Silly me.

The flight was fine. I started reading, and I barely noticed that a middle-aged couple was sitting next to me. Soon enough, I could see the Mediterranean through the window. We were told to prepare for landing.


And that's when it all went wrong.The plane started its descent, but the mistral was so strong and the aircraft so light that, as we were about to land, the plane went back up again. The plane simply couldn't go down. A second attempt gave the exact same result, and we eventually managed to land on the third try.
The thing is, I was so scared that I was shaking. It is not that I am afraid of flying -I am not a huge fan of it, but usually I am OK with it-, it is just that I don't like it when it gets bumpy, especially in a smaller plane. And things were really bumpy.

Once we eventually landed, I realised that I had grabbed my neighbour's arm and wouldn't let go of it. To make matters even worse -shame oh shame-, just when I had understood what had happened, the wife of the guy sitting next to me said something like:
"Would you please let go of my husband ?"
I promise, hand on heart, that I had absolutely no intention to make a pass at the husband in question. No intention whatsoever. I can't even remember what he looked like. I was just in desperate need for something to hold on to, that was all.

I said that I was sorry and just scared because of the turbulences, but she didn't seem to buy it. She gave me a disapproving look. The guy, in the meantime, hadn't said a word, and seemed to find the whole thing hilarious. When I finally got out of the plane -which I did as quickly as I could- she sighed loudly. I could hear.
"Ah, French women!" 

Great, now I feel like I have betrayed the sisterhood.
Next time I will consider taking the train. Seriously, what would you have done? Where did I go wrong again?

22 comments:

  1. extremely jealous wife, she is. you didn't do anything wrong, Muriel. but yes, if a train is available, i think you better take it next time. just to avoid repeating this event. :)

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    1. I love taking trains...Or maybe, I will take a bigger plane if possible. So embarrassing!

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  2. You should be happy you missed the torrential rain and mini typhoon that hit Ardeche the other day. You wouldn't just have grabbed his arm, you'd have jumped into his lap! :)

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    1. I wish I knew. I would have told the wife. That's my problem: I always know what to say far too late!

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  3. Sorry but that's so funny!!! The wife probably thought you were making a move on her husband and didn't like it, how ridiculous of her... Anyway next time you might be better of taking the train :-)

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    1. I think so too...And small planes suck anyway!

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  4. Haha - I am a white knuckle flyer. And don't do well with motion. Perhaps the lady should've just been happy you didn't get sick on her husband.

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    1. That's one way of seeing it...It would have been funny, right?

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  5. He was loving it - you made the start of his holiday!

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    1. Well, if I made his, I probably didn't make hers...

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  6. I hate flying in small planes. I would've gotten sick on her husband, and I'm not sure which she would've preferred!

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    1. You are just like me then! I have to say that I wasn't feeling too well.

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  7. Ha ha ha.. I think she confused 'Mistral' for 'Mistress' hehe ... :)

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    1. She probably did. Come to think of it, she must have had a hard time too, but for different reasons!

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  8. I'd have done the same and I'm not French. In an event like that you hang onto whatever you can. Her husband was there, you were desperate, that's all. So? I'd guess she has problems.

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    1. She certainly has. Believe me, it was scary!

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  9. I'm pretty sure the husband wasn't thinking anything beyond you were very frightened. The wife has jealousy problems. Her issue, not yours.

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    1. You are right. That said, I was embarrassed. Silly me.

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  10. Agree with many that the missus in question had a sense of humour/context failure - either that or she'd read some English books about the French... :-D

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    1. Ah, the good old cliches...I promise you that I wasn't hitting on him. Why do french women have such a reputation?

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  11. Replies
    1. Well, I couldn't get out of the plane fast enough after this...

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