The trouble with travel

A long flight is a good opportunity to catch up on some chick flicks that get poor support in my predominantly male house. I left on the long haul to Europe in good nick — checked-up, checked-out and ready to fly. So I thought. I discovered that the trouble with travel is the current selection of movies about women.

My first choice of movie was Still Alice, a moving account of encroaching Alzheimer’s. I saw that we do the same things, Alice (Julianne Moore) and I: pour yoghurt in coffee, forget the punch line and cannot converse anymore about anything because what’s his name who wrote that book, er, the title which escapes me, lived with the composer of, um, er.

I thought it was forgetfulness, the downside of a busy life, but by the time I was over Lake Kariba I knew it was Alzheimer’s.

I needed comforting.


Cake sounded the right thing: the review described it as an uplifting account of a woman’s healing after an accident. A large sponge cake did finally appear, but by that time, over Mount Kilimanjaro, I felt legions of spiders crawling across me, leaving a trail of lesions, like those on Jennifer Aniston’s face.


And as for my back. The eeny weeny bucket in which I had been incarcerated for five hours could not take all the blame for the fused lumber vertebra topped with a thoracic section trapping frayed nerves. Oh, to be one who turns left, not right, on stepping into the plane.

Done with modern films, I picked one I had never seen: Love Story. With a title like that, maybe I would have a cathartic week as all that love would distract me from my crumbling physical state. Over Addis Ababa, however, lumps materialised, moles expanded, definitely the freckle that was pink at the start of the journey, now was dark brown. If it were not for having had an annual carbon-dating* session shortly before I left and reassurance that all with me was well, I am not sure I would have made it down the gangplank other than on a plank.

For my return journey, I will be sticking to the music selection — but, in truth, the tough watches and real stories have stayed with me where lightweight themes would not.

(*X-rays and scans for the over 50s)

Featured image – AFP