This is probably an advantage on both sides, as when you are on holiday your parents are always grumbling about you and your behaviour, and they would probably rather be on their own. And the same goes for me. Actually, they are always grumbling about me when I am at home, too, which is why I ran away from home in the first place.
They are always saying: "Why don't you try and behave a bit more like a grown-up?" What grown-ups like doing best is grabbing their credit cards and going off shopping, and staying out late, and showing off about the places they have been to, so I thought: Right, I will be more like a grown- up, I will grab some credit cards and go off somewhere interesting.
So that is what I did. I went off to Heathrow with some credit cards that I borrowed from my Dad, and I bought a ticket to Malaysia because I have not run away there before, and the man at the ticket office did not query my credit card and the man at passport control did not query my passport, even though I am 14 and my Dad is ancient. So that is another way in which you can behave like a grown-up - ie, you can let people through passport control without even looking at the photo on the passport.
(I was reading in the paper on the plane about some man who resigned from the Government because he does not want the present tight immigration controls relaxed. I thought to myself: What tight controls is he talking about? Is he talking about the sort of controls that already let a 14- year-old boy go through with the passport of a man old enough to be his father? If so, I advise all budding immigrants to take their parents' passports with them. They will have no trouble.)
So, anyway, I got on the plane and I took my place in the business class or club class, or whatever they call first class these days - incidentally, this is another favourite grown-up trick, to rename things when they already have a perfectly good name. What is wrong with "first class"? Why call it "club class"? You do not have to join a club to travel club class. I suppose grown-ups feel more grown-up when they are in a club. Pathetic, I call it.
So, anyway, I couldn't get a gangway seat or a window seat, but I found myself in a middle seat between two big men who kept shoving their elbows over my arm-rest and I started shoving back and pretty soon they stopped that, and I got so bored after a while that I started talking to one of them, and asked what he did. "Well," he said, "I work for a bank called Barings."
"Do you sit behind a glass window and give out money?" I said.
"No," he said, with a deep sigh. "I wish I did. What I do is take millions and millions of pounds and invest it for the bank to get more money back."
"Is that a bit like betting on a horse?" I said. And he said it was not at all like that. And after a while he said that yes, maybe it was a bit like that. Then he gave another deep sigh and said that the horse had lost, anyway, and now he had lost all of the bank's money.
"And are you running away now?" I asked, deeply interested.
"Yes, I suppose I am," he said. Just then the big man on the other side of me gave a big sigh and I started talking to him and it turned out he was a famous actor - although I had never heard of him - and he was just starting a big play in London and he had got stage fright and he too was sort of running away, and then I thought to myself, if I am meant to behave like a grown-up, what kind of grown-up am I meant to behave like?
Coming soon - other people I meet on the plane running away, including a French footballer, a member of the Royal Family, etc, etc.Reuse content