travelogue 19

travelogue 19
travelogue 19 by Tim Caynes

not to bore you with the details of the previous day and night’s travel but suffice to say that the 727 did what it does and dumped me at heathrow central bus station whereupon you search for a hotel hoppa to take you to the radisson only to find the stop, but to step on the H7 which takes you to the sheraton so nah mate, you want the H2 innit that’s the other one. that’s not embarrassing. anyway, arrival at the edwardian means being greeted at the desk with “yis, we’re having a wedding tonight so you are on six floor no smoking good” and dispatched to the lifts where you have to stick your room keycard in the wall before it goes anywhere. bing! 4th floor. 72 indian party goers and a pachyderm pile in “on their way to wedding. floor 6 please”. that’s not good. as I wheel myself into 607 I hear what sounds like the birdy song in urdu or something so I lock the door sharpish behind me and watch match of the day until I start dribbling on myself and then I have to work out where the extra 17 cushions go before I can get into bed.

it wasn’t that bad really. hoppa man clutched me from reception at 8am and expelled me at terminal 2. or 1. I dunno. everything looks the same at Heathrow. hang on. I need BA check in desks. I mean, I’ve already checked in online of course, but I need to go and join the longest queue in the entire airport – the one marked “fast bag drop”. oh, I should be in terminal 1. I expect there’s a handy elevator or something to take me there. or maybe a shuttle. what? whaddayoumean I have to WALK? VIA TERMINAL 3? I remember why I hate this horrible place. it’s then I remember that I’m not flying to Denver on a nice clean plane. I’m flying to San Francisco, so we get the rickety old 747 from 1997 with the seat that never stays upright. arse. gloom.

“29K sir. you have a window seat today sir”. “I know”

someone is in my seat. they’re there on purpose. there’s 2 of them and they’re leaving the seat in the middle empty to try and get 3 seats to themselves. “hi. 29K, er, I think that’s me, by the window”. “Oh, really? I though HJK went the other way round”. “No. K is by the window, definitely”. humph. much consternation at having to relocate 1 sat to the left. I smile a smile that says I’M PAYING HUNDREDS OF POUNDS FOR THAT SPECIFIC SEAT WHICH IS TWICE AS MUCH IN DOLLARS AND IF YOU THINK I’M NOT GOING TO ACTUALLY SIT IN THE WINDOW SEAT THAT I HAVE EMBEDDED IN MY TRAVEL PROFILE AT ROSENBLUTH THEN YOU MUST THINK I CAN’T EVEN COUNT TO K and prepare not to move any limbs for 10 hours by just kind of stretching a bit. oh. my seat doesn’t stay up. that’ll be nice.

it’s a morning flight so we’ll be in daylight for the whole journey, meaning I’ve got my camera strapped to me like some appendage in case I snap a near miss or a volcano or something but will probably end up just taking 37 pictures of a wing that you can’t really see because the windows are 17 years old and covered in ice and scratches.

ooh! a glacier!

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