Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Crossing the Pond-Days One and Two

Friday, May 16, 1997

I just left for my big trip to the land of curry. Little is upset because he can’t ride in the airplane and Big is being his sweet-natured self.

I think I have everything I need. I should have eaten something. My ears have finally started popping, though. I thought my head would implode. I have no idea were I am going once I get to O’Hare.

Bob and Chuck are supposed to meet me when I get off the plane, but I have no idea if they know what my flight number is or when I land. I have a two hour layover so surely they’ll find me.

Saturday, May 17, 1997

God it takes forever to traipse through O’Hare! I met up with the boys and we sat on the runway for an hour and a half which made us think we might miss our connection at Heathrow. The three of us settled in and watched Jerry McGuire. We had a little turbulence but big jets handle it a lot smoother than those little turbo props.

I fell asleep and woke up to a continental breakfast with very muddy hot tea. But I had clotted cream for the first time. I know it’s airplane food and all, but I thought it was pretty tasty. I have no clue where to look for it when I get back home.

Lo and behold, the fog is so dense at Heathrow that we can’t land. We had to circle around to Shannon, Ireland and sit in the plane for three hours while they refuel. I guess technically I can now add Ireland to places I’ve been. But does it really count if your feet never actually touch the soil?

I’m ready to get off this plane.

Needless to say, we missed our connection.

We stood in line at the British Airways counter for two hours waiting to get our tickets re-assigned. We shared the line with a Japanese tour guide with 20 or so passports in his hand. His breath was so bad I thought I’d pass out. And he wanted to talk to me the entire time and I couldn’t understand a word he said! We end up having to hole up here and leave at 9:55 tomorrow morning. There goes our Sunday of playtime in Bombay or Mumbai as it now is called.

But being stranded in London for a night isn’t such a hardship now is it? The airline puts us up at the Radisson here at the airport.

We took ‘The tube’ into London. We don’t have any public transportation at home. I mean, you can take the bus if you need to, but we have no rail system. So to me, getting on a train is an experience.

"Mind the gap."

Wonderful- Beautiful- Wish you were here!

We ate fish and chips (obviously) and drank warm beer in a dark little pub. I loved every nano second of it. I mentioned the warm beer and Bob said that Americans are actually thought of as barbaric for drinking our beer cold.

Oh… Lesson one learned already.

We strolled through Piccadilly, St. James Park and made our way back through to Buckingham Palace. I’ll write more about these places when I have my ‘official’ layover on the way home

I’ve never seen such parks as they have here in London. They are so perfectly manicured and green. There are flower gardens and ponds. They don’t even look real they are so beautiful and pristine. Do they have that mist pumped in special? It was a park for lovers. They were everywhere.

I love the feel of a big city. I enjoy Chicago and New York, but London feels regal somehow.

It’s 11:00 pm London time.

I’m beat.


Primal Sneeze said...

Mind the gap! Stand clear of the doors!

That's Bank Station if I remember correctly. I nearly wet myself when I heard it the first time. That was 15 years ago - it's probably the same tape they're using.

Sugar Britches said...

It was the female voice that stuck out. I didn't even realize what the 'gap' was at first. The word 'mind' threw me, too.