Monday, 27 October 2008

Back from holiday

I'm back from my brief holiday; I had to go back to the family home for my mother's birthday. The flight up didn't go without incident, but nothing major, it could have been worse. My parents don't put any toiletries in their guest bathroom so this time I decided to take my own. Only it turns out that you're only allowed gels and liquids up to 100ml in volume on a plane. So I had to stand at security while they throw everything bar my toothpaste into the bin. Some things I had only just bought. So I was annoyed at the expense, but at least I was still flying. I could have checked my bag into the hold but that would mean waiting around at the other end.

I don't fly often so I'm not totally blaze about air travel. I'm not scared of it, I don't fear it, but I do get some rational butterflies on take-off. The thing about flying is really the taking off. It's those first moments when you see things you don't normally see and feel things you don't normally feel. After a few minutes, when you finally reach the clouds and all outside is white I can finally relax.

As I said, it was my mum's birthday, it was a "big one" too. My sister got her a jewellery set, my brother some expensive spa vouchers. Of course I don't keep tabs on my family, I don't really know how old anyone in my family is so I didn't know it was a "big" birthday.

I got her a book.

Dad treated us (my sister was also in attendance) to lunch at a really swanky hotel/restaurant. It was so posh that when your table was ready a guy would come get you at the bar area with a tray to take your drinks to your table for you. The food, like the service, was exceptional. Alas it wasn't until many hours later that I'd realise that that was the only food I was getting served that day. It was only 2pm! My parents might be able to last on 500 calories a day but I can't!

Back at my folk's place and it's all so quiet. My parents just sit in absolute silence and read newspapers and books. If I would watch something on TV my dad would come in and tell me to put something else on (something boring as hell usually) then just leave the room anyway!

And my parents' house is also so hot. I'd try and leave the odd door open here and there to cool the rooms down but it never worked, "Shut that door, you're letting in a draft." My parents also hate watching TV. An aunt and uncle came over in the evening and I had some beer to pass the time, but come 10pm I had been up almost 20 hours and hadn't eaten for 8 of them. It was ok when there was only one strand of conversation going, but a divide occurred and two factions spoke about two different things, so I was starting to lose it. Eventually they left and I hit the sack.

Being in a different environment for me is stressful enough, so I was spending most of the time literally counting the seconds. It was like being in jail…but without the three meals a day.

The following day my dad took us on a day-trip to where he always takes us when I visit. I was glad just to get out of the quiet, hot house and kill some time. We went to a small coffee shop that was absolutely packed with young students and I was just overloaded. I could only hear a complete rabble so didn't partake in any of the conversation at the table.

Back to my parents and more hanging around and watching clocks until it was time for tea. This was good food again, but again old person portions, but I was fairly well fed. After tea there was just boring TV to watch, and far too few beers to drink. When the well was dry I just went to bed around 10.30pm. Probably the earliest I've even gone to bed. I downloaded some games to my mobile and just played on that a bit then tried to doze off.

The next day and I was up early to get a lift back to the airport. This was the bit I was dreading the most…saying goodbye. I could tell my mum was looking for some form of physical contact or reassurance. A hug or a kiss, but I could barely look her in the eye let alone hug her. My parents don't know about my Asperger Syndrome (AS), and it's times like this that I feel at my worse. I feel I should tell them, I guess maybe they deserve to know. But I wouldn't know how. I couldn't do it by email as that's not fair, or over the phone. But I don't want to do it face to face either as I couldn't be bothered with the required conversation. So I guess I'll just go on feeling like a horrible person and my parents worrying why I am so "odd".

I got to the airport on time so no drama there. The weather was quite bad, it was wet and windy. I was seated at the back row of the plane so had a good view of the wing and engine from my window seat. An old lady was sitting beside me and she made small-talk about the weather. The pilot warned us that we should expect some turbulence on take-off and until we reach cruising altitude. The old lady beside me read her newspaper through the safety briefing as we taxied to the runway. The plane shook and shimmied as we hurtled down the runway. Not long after takeoff the plane suddenly dipped then rose and I felt my stomach sink as my head was forced down. The two young men in the row in front whooped and wheyed as if on a rollercoaster, and the old woman beside me didn't bat an eye lid as she tried to work out the answer to 5 across. I couldn't work out if she was very well travelled or just didn't give a shit if she lived or died.

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