Monday, December 22, 2014
What Time Is It?
Allow me to answer that question. Here, in Michigan, it's 5:41 a.m. But I've already been awake for about three hours, because at home in London it's 10:42 a.m. and I'd be well on my way to lunch by now. My body has no idea what's going on.
Dave and I endured a seemingly interminable day of travel with many minor roadblocks, erected as if to test our resolve. The Heathrow Express train from Paddington was delayed early in the morning, so we shared a cab with an Australian guy who was going to the airport to pick up his wife. (The taxi was slower, but we wound up paying about the same amount per person.) Dave's bag was too heavy to check for free, so we had to hurriedly redistribute some items while standing at the check-in counter, which later led to Dave's shampoo bottle leaking in my suitcase. Then our flight was delayed, and we got into Chicago so late that we had to be re-booked on a later connection to Detroit. Then that flight had maintenance issues and we had to be switched to another plane. So, yeah, crazy.
On top of all that, terrible food, bad movies and antiquated entertainment systems on the overseas flight -- and Dave and I didn't sit together on either plane.
But my bitching is finished now -- it really is -- because I had some positive experiences too. I watched the one good movie available, "Love is Strange" with John Lithgow and Alfred Molina -- and it was so good that I want to rent it again when we get back to London so Dave can watch it. And then, on the short flight from Chicago to Detroit, I got spontaneously switched to first class, without even asking! (Dave, alas, did not.) The dryly wisecracking flight attendant happily made me the best gin & tonic in the world, in a real glass! I hadn't had any alcohol on the transatlantic flight because we left in the morning, so that G&T was the perfect coda to my 21-hour day.
Flying into Detroit, I could look down on the starry gridwork of nighttime suburban streets and see colorful Christmas lights on the houses. It was cool.
Dave's dad picked us up and we had dinner with Dave's parents last night -- ribs and sauerkraut, which seems very midwestern. (My vegetarian tendencies will be taking a back seat for the next two weeks, I'm sure!) Now it's time to settle in and get over this jet lag.
(Photo: Airport Jesus blesses all the travelers at Heathrow! Actually it's just one of many travel posters along a long hallway, depicting the statue atop Corcovado in Rio.)