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Time-travelling, when done properly, with the correct planning, snacks for the journey, and a comfortable outfit, is always a highlight for me.
But when things go wrong, it’s horrible.
There we were, last Friday evening, with coke, popcorn and chocolate: destination Milan 1978.
We made sure to be on time, as always. We made ourselves comfortable in the reclining seats and waited for the lights to dim.
At exactly 7.30pm a semi-darkness was induced in the cabin and the pre-travel sequence started. For me, the events leading up to one’s arrival at your chosen destination are almost as much fun as the trip.
Although the advertisements are crappy, they help to subsidise my trip, so I grin and bear it.
Then there are also the usual two- or three-minute teasers, designed to entice one to take another trip. I do enjoy those quite a lot.
It’s like taking a virtual Kontiki-tour: a two-hour trip condensed into a few minutes. Inevitably, during the pre-travel sequence, there will be a fellow traveller arriving in the nick of time, overburdened with luggage, spilling snacks, and then asking – at the top of his voice – “are we there yet?”
Be that as it may, before the clock struck 8pm on Friday, we were all safely in Milan, 1978, with the Gucci-family.
We were introduced to a young Maurizio Gucci, we witnessed him meeting his future (and later to be ex) wife Patrizia Reggiani, and the rest of the Gucci clan.
We were guests at their wedding, accompanied them to New York, and cringed a bit at the “gifted” Paolo Gucci.
Then, out of the blue… nothing. Darkness and silence. Every time-traveller’s worst nightmare.
Were we swallowed by a black hole? Were we transported into the time before time, when there was only darkness and no light?
With a jolt the lights came on and a voice from the back explained: “Eish… sorry … load shedding.”
Thirty minutes before the end of the movie. Worst thing is, I paid R528 for the two cinema prestige tickets and two snack combos.
“No refunds” will forever be my final parting memory of Milan.