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Friday, 2 October 2015

PANIC ON THE PLANE



In November Sjors and I went again to Barcelona and before the enchanting Font Màgica, its water games and its music, we decided to move there by May 2008.  

In the winter Sjors sent his C.V. to some international companies in Barcelona, which were looking for Dutch speakers for their call centers and he was invited for two interviews on the 28th and 29th of February.

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“Mattia, would you like to go from the 24th of February until the 1st of March to Budapest to train the new Hungarian employees?” Asked me my manager. I did not really feel like flying, but I could not refuse the great offer and I accepted.



London, September - October 2004.

Once again the Bank of England raised the interest rate, the property market was slowing down and I was impatient to sell, so I lowered the sale price of my house. Olaf was in New York City for work and he invited me to visit him for a couple of weeks. “I am not sure if I am ready to fly, I am still traumatized after that emergency landing!” I whined.





New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC October - November 2004

I had not been in New York City since September 2001 and I was extremely excited to spend a couple of weeks in the Big Apple. It was the 23rd of October 2004, over three years had past since the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center killing thousands of innocents, but I was still pretty tense on the plane. The screen showed we were somewhere over Wales, I looked outside the window, but the night was too dark to see anything and I could not find the moon either. The hostess was announcing the time for the duty free shopping, when suddenly the lights went off, she stopped talking, she run back to her seat and the plane started shaking, provoking terror among the passengers. I was paralyzed: I could see objects flying from one side to the other and I could hear people screaming and crying but I could not move.


“We are going to crash!” I told myself. The turbulences went on for a few minutes and the pilot was definitely too busy to tell us what was going on. Eventually the lights went back on, the plane stopped shaking and one of the hostess started distributing some red coloured plastic bags. When she gave me one, I smelled chlorine on its surface and I imagined that there was a lifesaver inside. I left the bag lying on my knees, unable to open it, because of my tension and I tried to think how an emergency sea landing would have been. Suddenly the lady next to me stood up, took a toothbrush and toothpaste out of the red bag and walked towards the toilets. “I must see a shrink when I am back in London” I thought smiling.