A long time ago, 1982, I was flying to Thailand from the United States. We had a stop in Belgium and then at Dubai airport. There was a lot of tension with Iran at the time so security at Dubai was very tight. We were going to be allowed to get off the plane but were warned not to take any photos. I stuck my small instamatic camera in my inside jacket pocket, rather than leave it on the plane as it was being cleaned and serviced.
The plane stopped on the tarmac and a set of rolling steps was used for us to leave. Armed soldiers were on either side of the line of people going into the terminal and we were marched, at a very fast pace inside.
When we were allowed to get back onto the plane it had been moved to a typical gate we could enter from inside the building. Each person was being patted down before being allowed on. As a solder was patting me down his hand hit my camera. He began shouting at me in Arabic, I didn’t speak the language so, I did not understand what he was saying. He motioned to my pocket, indicating he wanted me to remove what was there. I slowly swung open my jacket as he pointed his weapon at my chest and took the safety off. I figured I was in trouble for having a camera, as we were warned to not take pictures. He continued to talk very fast as I very slowly reached into the inside pocket of my jacket and pulled out my camera. As soon as he saw it was a camera he made a spitting sound, turned away from me and waved at me to get on the plane. No big deal, I guess, well other than having an agitated soldier point a weapon at my chest with the safety off.
Finding out emergency door on plane could have flown off in the air, I was seated in that seat
Someone pointed a gun out the window of their car at my then girlfriend (now wife) and me. They pulled the trigger but gun wasn’t loaded. They laughed and drove away.
We were going to my Grandparents’ house and right in the country, the car stopped like, dead bolted. I was terrified it was 8 pm and the starting signs of civilization were 70 miles away… Until the kind passerby or rather the Good Samaritan helped us get that car started again.
PS there was no cell service.
Many years ago I took a trip with my girlfriend to Paris. It was something we joked about on our first date and we made it happen 2 years later. We were both in our early 20’s and it was the early 90’s. We scrimped and saved for a year and we rented a couple rooms in a very, very old apartment building to spend a month there.
The day of the flight to Paris, we were both excited and scared at the same time. Neither of us had ever been on an adventure like this. The plane took off and we were on our way.
About an hour into the flight, the pilot came on and made an announcement in French. People on the plane started to look around nervously and I could tell what ever it was, it wasn’t good.
I asked my GF what was said because she was fluent in French and I could barely ask where the restroom was. She told me that there was a small problem with the plane and that we were turning around to go back to San Francisco. I tried to remain calm, cool and collected but on the inside I was freaking the f*ck out.
When we got back to SF and landed, ALL OF THE FIRETRUCKS AND AMBULANCES we’re on the tarmac. We were able to land and everyone inside the plane started clapping and cheering because weren’t dead.
We had to wait on the plane for 4 hours while they fixed the issue. That s*cked but, again, we weren’t dead and the champagne was now free.
After things were fixed, we took off and the rest of the flight was uneventful.
Turns out that there was some sort of issue with the landing gear/system. If they would have continued with the flight, we’d have, at least, made it to Paris before we crashed and died.
The rest of the trip went nothing like we had planned but that’s a story for another time.
When I heard children playing and laughing outside my hotel room. At 3 a.m. And it happens many times at different cities, different hotels. Since then I’m struggling to trust my own hearing, especially in the late night.
I went to Glasgow once. I remember it much as one recalls a dream… or a nightmare. I was on a budget flight to Norway, when a storm hit and forced us to ditch in Glasgow Prestwick. I was stranded, and it’s so hilly up there you can’t get any signal on your mobile phone. It looked bad…it looked like I was going to have to spend the night in Glasgow. The cabin crew suggested we all go out and club it. I had no option; it was that or one of there B&Bs. I figured it’d be safer on the streets.
For the first time ever I saw the Scotch in their natural habitat, and it weren’t pretty. I’d seen them huddling in stations before being loud, but… this time I was surrounded. Everywhere I went it felt like they were watching me; fish-white flesh puckered by the Highland breeze; tight eyes peering out for fresh meat; screechy, booze-soaked voices hollering out for a taxi to take ‘em halfway up the road to the next all-night watering hole. A shatter of glass; a round of applause; a sixteen-year-old mother of three vomiting in an open sewer, bairns looking on, chewing on potato cakes.
I ain’t never going back… not never.
Dirk Dagless, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.