Sunday, October 08, 2006

London and ipods...

London… It's 7.45pm Saturday, and here I am back at Heathrow Terminal 1. Another feat of design where they let a rat run through and maze and find cheese, then gave it a pen & paper and an architect’s degree. Either that, or someone said, “let’s build a long skinny line of gates 1km out into the middle of the airport, and make people walk all the way from the plane through poky corridors to where they collect their bags”. Take a wrong turn and you find another few hidden gates here and there. But these hidden areas do contain exceedingly good sandwich shops. The Brits are good at that.
What a great day in London. Blue skies (worthy of Brisbane), taking photos for tourists at the Eros statue, a couple of pints at lunchtime, and the Billy Elliot musical in the afternoon, which was really fantastic. My creative juices are really flowing tonight, thinking thoughts about everything going on around me. Maybe that’s because I’ve been awake for 46 hours now, give or take a snooze through some crap movies, or the in-flight map as the blip of our 747 crawled sluggishly across Kazakhstan. Let’s review those crap movies now before I talk about London again…
Click – Adam Sandler fans will like it. Nobody else will.
The Devil Wears Prada – Meryl Streep plays an evil fashion mag bitch who still manages to communicate some sort of moral values to a new recruit. Obviously American.
The Lake House – Far too confusing for an inflight movie. I kept expecting Keanu Reeves to say “whoa”. Along with Sandra Bullock, they were far better in Speed.
Poseidon – There’s something ironic about watching an ocean disaster movie while the wings on our 747 are flapping furiously while crossing some stretch of shark infested water at 40,000 ft.
So back to London... I was on the tube going back to Heathrow, and the ipods were making me chuckle. There was a line of like, 5 people with ipods and mobile phones. One guy with a big nose has an ipod and 2 mobile phones. 1 phone rings and he mumbles a drug deal in Spanish. Then the 2nd phone rings, he puts the first phone on hold. The ipod buds stay in his ears throughout. This pattern continues. The guy next to me makes his phone beep in alien tones while using the ipod. These 2 devices are unrelated as far as I know. An Arab guy with an amazing headdress gets on. The headdress flaps like a Star Wars costume, Jar-Jar Binks style. His phone rings and he also answers it. Then a Virgin Atlantic hostie gets on, adorned blazingly in red. Checks the phone, puts on the ipod, and looks poised for her flight to Hong Kong or wherever. I’m immediately reminded of the irony of this morning, when an elderly United hostie got on the tube. The poor old dear had lipstick running like Bobo The Clown. Must have been a hard flight in from Omaha. So naturally you start to compare the difference of United vs Virgin recruitment policies in your mind. Richard Branson vs The Florida Bingo League. Mmm. So all through these tube journeys, and walking the streets, you hear so many languages and see people playing in lush green parks (like the movie Notting Hill), and you sense an amazing level of racial harmony. At least it looks that way... Only one other thing, so many people on the tube have really bloodshot eyes (like the vampires in Blade). Either everyone is taking drugs or they live permanently underground riding the tube. Probably just too much fun and too many late nights. So London certainly has a very cool feeling. Now if only they could fix Heathrow Airport…
As a footnote, the gate for my Terminal 1 flight (Aer Lingus) was Gate 88, about 5 nautical miles from the check-in area. But seriously, the route to this gate area went across a busy airport road, down a couple of travelators and finally into a long area that resembled an alien space tube. But still room for a couple of bars with faded carpets and sticky tables. Please give my regards to the rat. I hope he found the cheese.

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