Home, Sweet Home

I'm back online. I won't be able to write too much, but I did take a few notes from second and third legs of the flight.

After a night's sleep at the Ramada, I woke up fairly stiff, had breakfast and much needed coffee and headed out to JFK.

12:15 PM (New York Time): I go to the British Airways terminal and try to verify if my flight from Dublin to London will be honored. Because they were on a "ticket sharing program", the lady can't verify it. However, she tries repeatedly to see if there some way that she can get me to London straight from JFK. Apparently, if I had a paper ticket, she may have been able to. This is a constant refrain I've heard: E-tickets are great if and only if everything goes perfectly. I can't find out if I have a flight to London until I get to Dublin.

12:45 PM: The Delta ticket agent checked me in, verified that my bags would be sent to Dublin and everything's good to go. I may be stranded in Dublin, but at least I'll be stranded in Dublin.

1:05 PM: Security was interesting. One person manning the X-Ray machine called out "what sort of person has coffee (caw-fee) in their bags?" Another security person repeated the question. The lady instructing passengers said "That's whack! Why would someone do something that stupid?" Frankly, I can easily understand why someone would want a pound of freshly roasted Sumatran Mandheling, but I bite my tongue.

Unfortunately, an old lady who looked about 70 did not bite her tongue. After she and her husband got routed to a different line, they came back to ours. The hunched over, sweet-faced grandma said "What? They think I'm a terrorist or something?" Her husband tried to hush her, to no avail. As I breezed through security, I saw they had been pulled to the side for a more thorough search. Terrorists are everywhere. We've always been at war with elderly Jewish grandmothers.

8:00 PM: the flight didn't leave at 7:40, ostensibly due to traffic problems the pilots faced. After everything which has gone wrong on this trip, I just assume more problems by now.

Since I've been at JFK most of the day, I've had nothing much to do. I wound up sitting in a bar with a lady named Andrea who, coincidentally, is sitting one row in front of me. We basically wasted about six hours drinking beer. I'm physically exhausted, a bit tipsy and just want the flight to leave. To make matters worse, I've embarrassed myself by not recognizing the person sitting next to me, a lady I chatted with earlier in the bar. The long trip and a few airport beers are taking their toll on me.

(That was the end of the notes. The rest is from memory).

I got to Dublin and waited for quite some time at the baggage claim. Eventually, a porter came by and removed the unclaimed luggage. Mine had not arrived. After a few questions, I found myself in a queue for lost luggage claims. There were quite a few people there which certainly didn't make me feel any more confident. When I got to the front of the queue, the gentleman looked for my luggage in the system and informed me that he couldn't even find a record of it. However, he recommended that I not file a claim until Gatwick lest my luggage get delivered to Dublin instead. Fortunately, I went to the British Airways counter and they honored my booking, even though they apparently didn't have to.

I landed in London a little after two in the afternoon on Thursday. I know it was Thursday because I was so tired from the traveling that I had to ask what day it was. I went to baggage claim on the off chance that my luggage had been sent on anyway ... and there it was. Lewis (my brother) picked me up and took me to his house in Warlingham, just south of London.

After a couple of days of drinking and celebrating the World Cup (unlike Baseball's World Series, it seems that multiple countries are invited to the World Cup), I've finally caught a train into Nottingham. I'm looking forward to getting out and about, seeing what it's like, but for right now, I'm exhausted. I'm also home.

  • Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
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well glad you made it over safely even if it sounds like it was exhausting and chaotic. keep in touch and like i mentioned, i'll be over in Bradford the weekend of August 25-27th and possibly in London after that for a few days.
Absolutely looking forward to that. I've not answered your email as I've not had a 'net connection so I'm working through a large backlog.
I have never had a trip on British Airways when they did not lose my luggage. And they win for the surliest stewardesses too.

Blimey! What a palaver! Hopefully it'll all be plain sailing after that endurance test of a flight.

P.S. Welcome to Blighty :)
YOu didn't pack me in a box;(
I hope you had a good trip, I would be willing to bet the next time i see you will have an accent and not even know it!;)
You're in it! (Blighty, that is...) It's just slang for Britain :)

Oh, and just so you know, no amount of scrubbing or bleach will shift that British you've got splashed on you, so best resign yourself that it's there to stay. In fact...

"Fancy a brew?"
"Just nipping off for a bit of a kip."
"Cheers mate!"

Bwhahahaha... You're COVERED in it now! :D
You should keep taking notes about your experiences traveling and working over there, and try your hand at writing a column or two. Sort of a Bill-Bryson-meets-intellectual-geek-boy approach. You could write the essays as executable Perl programs...screw the haiku!
I'm glad you finally made it there in one piece, complete with luggage and all.
Sounds like a plan. I'm not entirely certain what my coworkers have lined up for me the first couple of days (heck, the stuff I'm to be working on has already changed and I haven't even started working yet), so there's a question about my free time. If I do have some, though, I'll give you a call.

Heck, even if I don't have any, I'll give you a call.
good thig you did not)- me son had an operation yesterday- I'm very busy making sure he is comfortable. my car was stolen on friday and found on sunday and now i have t pick it up in a garage god-know-where in nott. insurance will not pay for the repair -as it is " old"- so< i have do to everything myself.

besides it's the end of the academic year and i need to finish 2 projects and find the printed to ptint the stuff for me. I'm under a tough schedule and stress ant the moment.

as i said , call me on monday or tuesday- hopefully some things will be settled down by then. ( oh, sorry, I meant next monday- 2 days before the show-on 19-10)
on 19-10)- i meand on 19- monday or 20th- tuesday )

if you going to have a car - use some devises to protect it. nott. is crime city(

Ah, I misunderstood the times.

Sorry to hear about all of your troubles. Good luck getting everything straightened out.
I tried calling Monday, but perhaps I called too late (a quarter after six in the evening). Unfortunately, I'll be leaving for Leeds tomorrow night (business), so I won't be able to join you :(

i did not hear the ring and when I called back- they asked me to enter the extention number.

that is too bad you can not be there tomorrow.))- i hope i'll get drunk. ))

good trip for you- have never been to leeds.
Glad you made it there! I was just wondering today if your next installment would involve an accidental trip to Tanzania or something.
glad you're home safe, if a bit worse for the wear

I just got back from a weekend "bohemian body" retreat on Whidbey Island with some female friends (well, I constructed a couple of phallic symbols on the beach, for some balance), and feeling oooohhhhh so much better... I really needed that.
Glad to hear you have finally reached your desitnation. Excellent that you wound up with your luggage too. Take care.
It's good to hear you made it without snapping entirely, Ovid. After your last airport entry, I was sure you'd be driven mad by the connecting flight.
you are missed
I'm glad you made it! Sounds like you had quite the traveling adventure. Keep us posted on all your UK adventures.
Re: you are missed
Thanks. I just posted an update. I hope everything's well with you (and I miss you, too).