Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Hell They Call Heathrow

How can you tell than I am not enamoured by Heathrow today?! Actually, it's not that bad. . .hell, it could be the Delhi International Airport. We landed at Heathrow and I don't know where the hell the pilot parked us, but it was no where near any gate - just kinda out there on the tarmac. Then we had to wait 20 minutes for some stairs to show up, even though they promised the pilot they would be there (or so he told us). Then we got to board a bus and ride through the bowels of the airport. Lord only knows where the hell we went but we eventually turned up at the terminal. Given that I am travelling onwards, I had to go through British security (Lord only knows how lax Indian security is. . .I don't even know if they guy had the x-ray machine on!) and that is where I experienced more stupid people.

By now, I have had enough of dumb people and pushy people. (As you all know, I am not that tolerant of dumb people) Indian people aren't very good at cueing up - they just seem to push ahead whether you are there or not. Case in point - there is a line-up of 4 people waiting for the bathroom on the plane. I am next in line and what does this lady do - she just goes in front of me - and I am pretty sure she used the "western" style toliet as a squat toliet b/c the seat was up when I went in next. And when will people realize that that cue once you have gone through the security screening and you are waiting for your bag isn't the place to stop, put on your belt, take your time and reposition all of your things while everyone else's stuff is piling up behind you - some people truly are stupid. I mean, you grab your crap, you go off to the side and you reorganize. . .I should give lessons. . .along with lessons on how to ride the escalator. . .stand to the right, walk to the left - not hard - or you can even reverse it in those parts of the world where they do things on the opposite side!

Oh yah, this morning - nice bright and early - I got a cab from my hotel to the airport - keep in mind, I am all of about 3km away. The hotel had a car and driver take me over there and when I got there, I asked the guy how much - he said R 500 - which is about $12 - for 3 km and I paid R 150 the night before to go from the airport to the hotel. Of course, all I had was R 1000 and R100 and 2 R 50 and he didn't have change. I told him that I was not giving him R 500 and ended up giving him R 200 - still -highway robbery. I have to admit, I did experience some of that while I was in India - I learned that you always negotiate the fair upfront (or go by the prepaid booth) or you can end up with one hell of a price shock! I was also told yesterday that I tipped too much - I gave some guy R 20 or about $.50 for taking my bags out to a cab for me and helping me arrange it - he told me that was too much and that I should tip smaller - go figure!

They have these computers in the lounge locked down worse than my work computer - I tried to upload some photos (and I even broke into where the CPU was) but still to no avail. . .so wait until tomorrow or the next day and I will populate some of these blogs with pics. . . .

And lastly before I go and grab a bit to eat and maybe a Starbucks.. . .yummy.. . Starbucks - I will comment on British Airways. I know that comparing Executive First on Air Canada and Club World (Business) on BA isn't exactly comparing apples to apples, but I can honestly say that after experiencing the two, Air Canada kicks BA's ass. The service is far more superior (and attentive), the food is better, the seats are more comfortable and better configured and get this - BA does not have on demand video! I know that I shouldn't be complaining after experiencing extreme poverty - but really now. So unless you catch the movie right at the start, you are shit out of luck if you want to watch the whole thing. As for the lounge - BA has a better lounge than Air Canada and way better food, although Air Canada does have a better magazine selection.

So those are my last words for today. . .I think. I land in Calgary at 7:15pm and will have been travelling for 24 1/2 hours - I am sure that I will be a site to behold! I am looking forward to my bed (all the beds are hard in India) and the ability to pluck my eyebrows - I forgot my tweezers and they ain't looking pretty! I am also looking forward to my digestion getting back to some form of normal and for my appetite to return - although I am curious to know how much weight I have lost, if any. And oh yah, I need to exfoliate. . .my poor skin needs a good scrubbing!

Have a good one!

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