I was woken up by bright, fluorescent lights, a trolley hitting my elbow and a perfectly assembled woman asking if I wanted a hot breakfast or a continental one. At 3.30 am I can hardly stomach the smell of food, let alone eat it. Why do they always wake you up to feed you 3 hours before you land? Do the airline gremlins meet in secret and discuss when would be the worst time to shine the intense, luminous glow directly into your retina.
“Exactly as they start to nod off,” grunts the one with the hairy wart on her chin.
“No, no…3.55 hours before we land, so that they can’t fall asleep again,” adds the smelly one.
So, I was woken up when the gremlin people had determined, after my 5 second nap, which strangely had left me with a crick in my neck. We landed in Doha….do where? you might ask…anyway. It was a smouldering 33 degrees and there I was in my winter knee high boots, coat, scarf, 3 layers of tops and my precious 3 items of hand luggage. The perspiration was literally streaming off my face and down my back….charming at 6.00am! We had exactly 25 minutes to get off this plane, into the terminal and onto our connecting flight, no time to freshen up or stretch my legs properly.
At the security scanners in the terminal, millions of Arab people in turbans queued on one side and everyone else was in another queue. I couldn’t quite fathom why, but filed in behind the “everyone else” line as I thought I might be too conspicuous in the other, sans turban.
We eventually made it onto our flight with milli-seconds to spare and mentally prepared ourselves for Leg 2 of the trip, which was only 7 hours long.
I finally arrived at Heathrow airport and on the drive out of London, was welcomed with words such as round-about and traffic light, instead of circle and robot.
Welcome to my new home!