To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

We flew out of Orlando and switched planes in Philadelphia.  Had to show our passports to get on that flight.

I will mention that F and I got separated at security in Orlando.  She got a bit held up in her line because she was behind a woman who threw a FIT about having to take her shoes off and empty her pockets.  Seriously, F said, a total tantrum.  The TSA people were patient with her, explaining that they were not making this stuff up, they had to follow the law, they weren't asking her to do anything anyone else didn't have to do, but she would not be placated.  I told F later that this is why, when she was a little girl, if she got mad at me and said "yes ma'am" in an ugly way I made her repeat herself until her tone was acceptable.  It wasn't that it did anything for me that she should say "yes ma'am" in a polite way, it was that she needed to be able to control herself even if she was frustrated and irritated.  People who can't do that risk getting into all kinds of trouble.

And I got held up because the people in front of me didn't know what to do - they had bins out, and were sorting their things back and forth, and meanwhile nothing was on the rollers moving to be scanned, and the TSA folks were kind of frantic because things were backing up really fast.

Anyway, eventually we got onto our transatlantic flight, which was to go overnight.  It's about seven hours in the air.  We were issued pillows and blankets, but you can't really sleep.

At first there was a lot of convo between people on my right trying to one-up each other about where they'd been - Delhi is a hellhole, but Katmandu is really awesome, and so forth - but when we took off one of them threw up.  Yes, really.  It took the attendants a while to deal with that, and they had to find other seating for at least one person, and I could have done without the people behind me discussing it, but at least the stupid conversation stopped.  F gets a certain amount of motion sickness, and she carries dramamine with her for just such occasions.

They gave us dinner and drinks and so forth, and we tried to rest mostly.  F works the night shift so she was more awake than I was.  About an hour before we landed they brought around snacks so we could get hold of ourselves.

Got to Heathrow, and had to go through immigration, which was no big deal at all.  We showed our passports.

"Purpose of your trip?"


"How long are you staying?"

"One week."

"Are you two together?"


Stamp, stamp, and that was it.  We were prepared to show our itineraries if need be, since the UK gov't website said we should, but it wasn't necessary.

Then to collect our bags, and since we had nothing to declare, right to the bus and to the hotel.  F went to lie down and I bought a bottle of water for her out of a vending machine so I could break a 20-pound note, and then went to the little Costa Coffee shop there in the hotel to get myself a latte.  I was so tired I couldn't really cogitate at all, so when the young man told me how much my drink was I just showed him my handful of coins and said, "I have no idea."  He laughed and counted out his money, showing me what he was doing.  And so F and I rested all afternoon, and went down for dinner (fish-and-chips for her,) and slept like logs all night.

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