Well, actually, it’s more like G’day, Mates! As Phillip and I are currently loitering in the Gatwick Airport Hilton lobby, slowly sipping our foul cappucinos and attempting to kill the next five hours. Five hours! Who arranged these flights? And we don’t even have wireless access (that would be six pounds, please, which is, like, eleven dollars and ninety-nine cents and I don’t love my internet access THAT much) so I’m typing this out in WORD, which I hate doing, but five hours people! Also, there’s already so much to tell!
For example, in the last hour we discovered that our flight to Venice does not actually arrive at seven, like I obediently informed my parents in an email with the subject header OUR ITINERARY, DON’T FORGET IT. It arrives at nine, which is kind of a big difference, considering my parents live an hour away from the airport and I don’t trust them to check on our flights before they load up the minivan and head off. I may have chosen this particular flight based on the [supposed] fact that it arrived at seven instead of eight, like my other option, but apparently I do not know how to subtract twelve. Now I am sitting here wondering if that other flight got in at ten instead of eight. And honestly Maggie, how could a flight leaving London at six arrive in Venicea whole time zone away, at seven?
This is only one of several astounding displays of idiocy on our trip thus far. The first one occurred barely minutes into our journey, as I stood in line to check our bags at Sea-Tac. I let out a rather large gasp (or is it “rawther large”? I am in the UK) and Phillip whipped around with his heart hanging out of his chest. “What! What!” He does this every time I gasp, even though my gasps are usually reserved for things like “We forgot to TiVo Veronica Mars!” and “I just stepped in a puddle!”
“I left my coat at home,” I said.
He just stared at me. “Isn’t it going to be cold in Italy?”
“Yes,” I said. “It will probably be colder in Germany.”
“So you need a coat.”
“I guess that’s gasp-worthy,” he said.
“It’s hanging on the hook in the hallway. I forgot to take it when we left.”
“Don’t think you’re using mine.”
I’ve decided that I can borrow one of my mother’s coats, or con her into buying me one from the BX. That’s Base Exchange for all you non-military types. It’s a place I hoped to avoid this time around, as there is no way of hiding from your former high school teachers and parents’ friends when you have to go to the only clothing store aka The Hang Out Equivalent of the Stateside Mall on base. Suck.
Also, Phillip packed his laptop, his gigando camera, several magazines, a server’s closet worth of cords and a fifty-pound SQL handbook in his carry on, and proceeded to complain about how heavy it was the entire time. But what kind of dummy thinks he’s going to read about SQL on an eight-hour flight?
AND THE FLIGHT. My God. British Airways is staffed with evil geniuses, making us poor cattle class passengers walk by the “beds” in business class, the seats that let you recline all the way back. And then there’s even another class you have to walk through before you get to your teeny seat crammed between the chubby yet jolly British man and your six foot two husband. The British Airways flight attendants, however, were LOVELY. One in particular seemed to take a more than passing interest in me on the second or third hour of turbulence. This was not your regular turbulence. This was God dropping your airplane into the Yahtzee dice shaking can and rattling you around until your morbid little mind was remembering all the prophetic foretelling-one’s-own-death things you may have said to your sister when she dropped you off at the airport. And it would not stop. By the time the flight attendant came around to offer “braised beef” or “chicken casserole” I was nearly in tears. “It’ll get better,” he promised. “Just a few more minutes!” And he asked how I was doing each time he rolled his little cart by our seats. Which was usually not good, as the turbulence did. Not. End. Thank you, British Airways. Your flight plan was dreadful, but I appreciate the concern..
OH. And THEN we had to CIRCLE for fifteen minutes because we were ahead of shedjool and there was nowhere for us to park the airplane. I’d been a brave little traveler up to that point, but Baby Cheung was screeching, “LEMME OUTTA HERE” and I was forced to wonder whether I’d manage not to get any of the vomit on the chubby jolly British man.
And now we’re here, at the Gatwick Airport Hilton, after paying 32 pounds (sixty American dollars, dear God!) to ride the bus from Heathrow. We could have taken the underground, but frankly, we’re not up for navigating at this point. In fact, I may have to kick Phillip under the table to get him to stop snoring in the lobby.
...we're here, I've had three hours of sleep and dial up sucks. Talk to you later.