I’m back!

And I’ve been up since about 5 this morning.  Not just up, but WIDE AWAKE.  I lasted till about 9 last night before passing out.

My trip back was fine, though of course it felt like I was traveling for hours and hours, which I guess I was.  Grabbing a taxi on Tottenham Court Road was pretty easy and cost about 12 pounds to get to Paddington.  I know that’s expensive, but I thought it’d be more like 20, and it was worth it to me not to have drag my stuff around the tube.

The express train to Heathrow was 16.50 pounds, but they didn’t even collect my ticket.  I guess it’s the honor system?  Either way the ride was very nice and fast, and if I ever go to London again, that’s what I’m taking.

I think Heathrow is the worst airport I’ve been to.  I mean, there are some in the U.S. that are pretty crummy, but at least they tend to be spread out enough so that you don’t feel like you’re trapped in a writhing sea of people.  Everywhere I went was people – there was no escape.  Still, I managed to grab a sandwich and stuff from Eat, a book for the plane, and gifts for my parents (biscuits and tea).

My flight was at 2 but the gate wasn’t posted till almost 1.  I guess the gate areas are so small that they don’t want people mobbing the area.  And once they announced the gate, we didn’t have to wait too long before boarding.  The plane took off about 45 minutes late, which in the scheme of things, isn’t too bad.

I had a window seat this time, which in some ways is good, though the poor guy next to me had to get up several times for my small bladder.  Realizing I hadn’t watched TV for two weeks, I settled in for some movies: The Young Victoria, which was pretty good; He’s Just Not that Into You, which was better than I expected (I actually cried) though I thought it was incredibly lame – here comes a spoiler – that the Ben Affleck character ended up proposing to Jennifer Aniston even after she realized how meaningless marriage really is, and that a ring on a guy’s finger doesn’t necessarily equal a good partner; and The Day the Earth Stood Still, which was just as bad as thought it’d be.  Keanu is perfect however as a robotic alien.  I got pretty antsy towards the end of the flight, watching the time tick down: 1 hour, 30 minutes till landing, 1 hour, 15; less than an hour.

Then it was more waiting.  Waiting to get off the plane.  Waiting to get through immigration, where a random airport worker with a frigging foreign accent asked me if I was sure I was a U.S. citizen – Are you, dude? Let me see your papers.  Then the big wait: for my baggage.  It took AGES.  I don’t know why I was surprised.  JFK is always like that.

Then waiting for a cab, and finally waiting through a massive traffic jam.  As we inched along, I thought I’d die.  I was soooo thirsty and so very tired of waiting and so anxious to get home.  The driver was very nice though.

While we were driving, this crazy downpour hit us.  It was basically like a tropical storm.  Raining raining raining while in the distance we could see blue skies and the sun.

Luckily it stopped by the time I got the apartment, and then there was MB, a sight for sore eyes, coming downstairs to help me with my luggage.  :)

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One thing I forgot to mention in all my London posts is Michael Jackson’s death.  Crazy, to say the least.  Apparently Thursday night, a few of my classmates came back before 10, one went to check her email, then her door burst open and she was shouting, “Michael Jackson’s dead!”  Chaos quickly ensued.

Not feeling well, I had gone to bed early that night, and I remember hearing all this noise and thinking, What the hell is that?  Then all annoyed put in my ear plugs.  I finally saw the news the next morning.

It’s such a strange feeling to know that he’s dead.  It would be like if Madonna or Prince or Cyndi Lauper were dead.  I’ll always remember being 9 years old, roller skating at the Y, where they played Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough over and over, so that till this day when I hear that song, I think of a dinky disco ball and blisters on my feet.  In the sixth grade we all wanted to be him, or at least dance like him.  One kid actually had one of those crazy leather, zippery jackets, and could moondance pretty well (skinny white kid btw).  Then the disturbing transformation began, and soon none of us wanted to be him anymore.

It’s really sad how messed up he turned out to be.  No grip on reality (ie, best friend = chimp), addiction to plastic surgery and who knows what else, probably a pedophile.  But of course not everyone who’s been abused as a kid turns their abuse on other children.  Our pity for him is no excuse.

It’s like two Michael Jacksons, the one putting veils on his kids’ heads and the the Beat It-Michael Jackson, the Thriller guy, and even sadder, that little kid singing and dancing his heart out.

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