Not the book by Erica Jong, but real fear. After the Air France crash I have it even worse. And it was pretty bad to begin with. It is just one of those things I have always hated and always dreaded. At one stage (when I was about 19) it got so bad that the thought of getting on a plane would ruin the prospect of anything I had to look forward to once I got to where I was going. In fact when we first thought about moving to Abu Dhabi, one of the things on my ‘disadvantages’ list was the fact that unless I was going to Oman, leaving the country would invariably involve a plane. Unlike France where you can get most places in Europe on a train.
Happily I have got over a lot of my fear. But since this latest crash it has come back, if to a lesser extent. Actually it came back when we flew from Ireland to London on my recent European shopping trip. There was horrendous turbulence. And then when we went to land the plane lurched horribly from side to side before we touched down. I thought I was a gonner. Everyone else in the group was so hungover they didn’t really care. For once I wished I had stayed up drinking all night.
This latest episode has freaked me out. The thought of just dropping from the sky with more than 200 people to a murky death is just too awful. That feeling of total powerlessness and terror would just be my idea of total hell. I mean in a lot of situations there is something you can do, or at least try to do. If you are falling out of the sky your options are limited.
The bad news is we fly to London next week. I am already nervous about the flight, however much I am looking forward to getting there. Maybe I should invest in a copy of Erica Jong’s book (which I first read about a zillion years ago) for the flight and try to think about something else….
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009