Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Stench of Guts

Flying does terrible things to your body, but then so does staying up past midnight drinking, so I was quite accepting of the stomach cramps and restive bowels that I experienced as we landed at Narita. It's a stupidly long flight from Singapore to Tokyo; about 5,500 kilometres, where I sat and my body turned to something like cheese.

There are always long lines at the security check-in for connecting flights; I got through as quick as I could and found the toilets.

Most people are very ungrateful at Narita; you give them a sink to wash their hands and free soap, prefoamed so they don't have to lather it up themselves. You make the taps automatic so they don't even need to turn a knob to make the water come out. And yet there's a constant stream of men walking out of the toilets without bothering to wash their hands. I wanted to follow a few of them and point out that (a) they were revolting individuals and (b) I'd really like them not to touch anything that I might come in contact with. Ah, the bliss of international travel and the exercise opportunities it provides for your immune system.

I found a stall and waited for my body to expunge the waste. Nothing but gas and a pungent smell, three parts burning rubber, one part boiled cabbage. I don't want to imagine what depravities are ensuing in my intestines to produce such odours. I'm pretty sure I wasn't eating tyres or latex gloves any time in the last week.

I wandered back out. The world and his dog were all standing around waiting to board flights. I looked at them, trying to deduce how many of them had washed their hands recently. Then I went back to polluting my mind by reading Lovecraftian horror stories. By the time I reach Seattle my mind will have snapped and my guts will be wafting the eldritch stench of great Cthulhu into the atmosphere. It's no way to spend a weekend, but at least I've sanitised my hands.


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