I'm keeping this blog alive for archiving purposes, I think. Battles have a new album out, that's pretty good. And I'm trying to become a teacher, mayhaps.
Heavens to Betsy
EDIT: Sod it, this is about my trip to Americaville.
I'd spent the night in a Travelodge in Manchester. It was a touch seedy, the breakfast was shit, but it was breakfast. Not much to write up about apart from 'it was shit' (worst scrambled egg ever, really). Tramping back up to my room I tested my fairly new netbook, praying it wasn't damaged by the previous night's shampoo disaster, which involved loads of shampoo spilling into my luggage. It was alright, thankfully. But still...
I got into a shuttle bus taking me to the airport. It was mostly pain-free, as was checking in, although I stuffed my hand luggage with more stuff than I could chew. I'll just purchase water & stuff in the lobby next time. I found a nice quiet spot in Terminal 3 waiting area in Manchester; it's right by the window and nearly nobody bothers you, it's bliss. Perfect for reading or collecting your thoughts. Granted, it's also an entrance for one of the 'planes but it was spot on when I was there. The flight to London was fine, but that's probably British Airways for you. Cool, I'm sucking up to BA now.
London Heathrow Terminal 3 is a shitty place to be. The main seating area is surrounded by people and shops all the time; I've no idea how people doze off in this area, you feel...watched. I know London is full of thieves and all that jazz, but I think I'd feel uneasy if the Terminal were in another heavily populated airport. Eugh. It didn't help I was hanging around for 5 or so hours, I just found a place next to the floor-escalator thing which was moderately quiet and started playing Castlevania: Dark Shadows (or whatever it's called) on the DS. It's proper cack.
Time didn't fly. I eventually trundled along to the holding pen for all peeps to travel to the far-off land. Only I got in there and there was no loo. And I needed to go. So I enquired and was told about one outside the area, but was told I would be searched when coming back. I complied, because you would if you needed to relieve yourself, wouldn't you? Annoyingly I needed to go again a bit later on, and was told I would be patted down again regardless. I complied again, got back quickly, kicked my shoes off because they checked that before, but was told it wasn't necessary the second time. Quite why airports can't do what the Israelis do and train staff to have a decent inquisition I'll never fucking know. Flying will get more and more tedious as long as there are determined individuals out there, at least with the current methods employed. Baaaah.
The flight to Chicago was terrible. While it was nice to see The King's Speech as the in-flight film, I couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep. That and I didn't have one of those doughnut-shaped pillows. I had a perfect position too; near the loos at the back, window seat, nobody sat next to me so I could get out easily. There were crying children though, gaagh. If I had children, they're not flying until they're 5 at least. Or flying for very short periods. Anyway. That was 8 hours worth of toss. It went incredibly slowly.
Chicago O'Hara Airport is quite a nice place. Busy, but enjoyable. The staff who work their are great to along with. When it came to questioning for my stay over, I couldn't remember the address I was staying at, so I left it vaguely filled in.
Inquisitor: What address is it?
Inquisitor: What number is it on this road? It could one of thousands!
Me: Oh, truth be told, I'm very tired and cannot for the life of me remember...
Inquisitor: Okay, I'll let you by. How long are you staying? By which I mean you're staying less than 90 days, aren't you? You're not going to run off and stay here a while with someone?
Me: Probably not, no.
Inquisitor: You have to give a more concrete answer than that.
Me: No! Maybe...I need to be more assertive...
Inquisitor: *Laughs* This place you're staying, is it residence? Who are you staying with and how do you know them?
Me: I know her from the internet...
(Inquisitor raises eyebrows)
Me: Oh, I've known her for a while now, 2 years at least.
Inquisitor: That's okay, if it was like 1 month, I would have been a touch alarmed...okay, you're good to go through.
I was told that was supposed to be hell, too. Was a cakewalk! Granted, it was the middle of the night and there was no rushing since I was the only one in the 'International' queue.
Another couple of hours, another delayed flight (by about 45 minutes). The flight wasn't terrible, it was only 40 minutes, but I really needed the loo so I sneaked to the back for nature. Phew!
I landed, groggy, and met my delightful host after a minute of woozily staring around. :)
Part 2 shall come later...