Thursday, August 16, 2007

Perfidious Albion

I'm off to the UK tonight!

I have a direct flight from Dulles to Heathrow. With any luck the thunderstorms will roll through, plane will take off on time, and I'll be able to knock myself out and wake up in London.

Unfortunately, I have a cold. I feel craptacular. I am a grumpalicious, sneezy, snot factory. It's making me four kinds of bitter.

Basically, I am going to be the person on the plane that I typically loathe. The one who blows their nose every two minutes, who snuffles in the dry (disgusting, recycled) plane air, who coughs, and who is clearly just generally miserable. The one I am certain is going to pass bird flu on to me. Today, my friends, that's me.

Can you tell I'm feeling very sorry for myself?

Maude said it's cold there, and so my bag is full of jeans and fleece. (And liquids in three ounce or smaller containers. Because that really makes us safer.) I have only not been cold in England twice, both times when they were having terrible, tree-killing heat waves. But I'm not going for the weather. I mean, does anyone go to England for the weather?

When I was a kid we used to stop in London on our way back to the US from whatever tropical country we were living in. And the first thing my dad would do would be to take us to a thrift store and buy coats. Because even though it was May or June, we'd be freezing.

I'll be in cattle class, and hopefully I won't get stuck next to a massive nose picker or bickering old couple or enormous stinky man who takes up more of my seat than I do, whose armpit I have to fight to stay out of. Not that I've ever had to contend with that before. Or multiple times.

I know there are dynamic, interesting people who travel. Maybe this time I'll get to sit next to one of them. Although I suppose this time would be wasted, since they're probably going to hate me anyway. I think I'll just hope for a small and innocuous seatmate.

For overnight flights I come prepared. I bring chocolate, sleeping pills, one of those ugly inflatable neck pillows, fleece, and eye shades. I look delightful, as you may imagine.

I take the sleeping pill after we take off (because, of course, you want your wits about you during takeoff in case you need to leap from a burning plane). I used to not want to take them in case of emergencies, but then realized that if you go down over water, you're totally screwed anyway, so might as well mitigate the whole thing with Valium. Best case scenario I sleep till they wake me up for breakfast or landing.

And then, you guys, I wake up in the land of big purple Cadbury vending machines! And delicious beer! And potato chips, which I know they call crisps, in 50 different flavors! And Britpop! And, most importantly, Maude! And Dan! And baby!

I'll take a coach rather than a bus (although I don't know why they can't just call a bus a bus) from Heathrow to Norwich, which apparently takes four hours - marginally longer than taking the tube and then the train. And tomorrow afternoon Maude and Benjamin will meet me at the coach station.

And then, then the fun begins!



  1. Safe, oblivious travel to you. This post triggered a song you probably won't hear in the London pubs:

    Oh, the night fell black, and the rifles' crack made perfidious Albion reel

    In the leaden rain, seven tongues of flame did shine o'er the lines of steel

    By each shining blade a prayer was said, that "to Ireland her sons be true"

    But when morning broke, still the war flag shook out its folds the foggy dew.


  2. HAVE FUN!! Tell HRH Willie I said hello! And that she should leave that Kate Middleton hussy for good.

  3. Have fun and tell your friends I said hello. It will mean so much to them.

  4. Ooh, have a cadbury and a crisp for me while you're there...even though you don't know me. I miss London terribly.

  5. Jordaan - Ha, no definitely not a song you'll here in England! I don't actually feel any ill-will toward the Brits, but I love how "perfidious Albion" rolls off the tongue.

    SL - Thank you! I will for sure tell him to dump that Kate Middleton.

    Dr. MVM - Thanks! I will!

    Amisare - I will, I will! I can't wait to get my greedy little fingers on a Flake! Yum!

  6. Have a safe flight - and a blast on your trip.

    While you're at it, have some Cadbury eggs for me, too. Why, oh why, don't they have those vending machines in the U.S.?

    If they did, I suspect that I'd be pleasantly plump in no time, so it's probably for the best that they don't...

  7. Sorry about the cold, hope you feel better soon. At least you're not that guy who concealed a serious, contagious illness traveling through Europe on airplanes earlier this year.

    Have a lovely time in London!

  8. I SIMPLY ADORE ENGLAND! Have the BEST time EVER!! I'm sure you'll be having so much fun that you'll forget about your nasty cold.

  9. Have fun, feel better, be safe!Don't offer any handjobs unless it looks profitable.

    (Sorry, Betty!)

  10. Sorry your in the Cattle Call
    I have only been to the UK once and was lucky enough to get bounced to first class on Virgin.
    It was SWEEET
    Enjoy your stay and remember most nightclubs wont let you in with "trainers" (It took me a full day to figure that one out!)

  11. Have a great time! My fantasy is to take one of those vintage British sports car tours of the English countryside. Basically you rent the car of your choice (Healey, Triumph, etc.) and caravan with others stopping at pubs, B&Bs and the like. That would be definitely 2 weeks of a major hoot!

  12. Wow, sounds like fun. Have a great time!


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