Review of air travel
After spending the Christmas holidays at home in Glasgow and further afield in Edinburgh I took a flight on British Airways, Britain’s premier carrier, from Glasgow airport to London Heathrow (terminal 5) where I transferred to arrive finally at Toulouse Blagnac airport at roughly 4pm. The journey was a comfortable one and Heathrow airport a sheer delight.
Having had to splash out over £200 on a BA return flight due to tardiness and after having to deal with some self-conflict and resentment over and of this fact, I arrived, 9am at Glasgow airport, feeling fairly cavalier. I had the (some) money to spend due to the grant given to me and I presume every other Erasmus student by van Room-pal and his “European Union” and what’s more I was flying on BA, Britain’s premier carrier. The morning flight from Glasgow to London would surely be filled with our nation’s biggest movers and shakers, money-men buying and selling for their lives on the battleground of the stock market and politicians using their initiative to make monumental decisions that would cause the rest of us to baulk. As I stepped onto the plane I saw one such gentleman assert such initiative as he DIDN’T want his suitcase in the hole as then he’d have to WAIT and he’d be LATE and that the hostess was a STUPID WOMAN. I would, quite literally you could say, given that I was going to be flying high in the air and given that “high flyer” refers to a high-achiever and that the two would be applicable at the same time as we flew with Britain’s premier carrier, be, you could say quite literally, amongst high flyers.
I had chosen my seat on BA.com, the website of Britain’s premier carrier, and it really was like we are living in the future. Sat next to a Jewish man who was reading aloud in what I presume was Hebrew then translating for what I presume was his wife. It was really boring though maybe it suffers in translation so I didn’t say anything. The plane took off and I was the only one looking out of the window. I got the first complimentary thing in a long time when the man or woman who worked on the plane offered me a cup of coffee and said I had nice hair which I’d chosen to wear up that day. We arrived at Heathrow and I discovered there’s three bits to it, bits A B and C. I stayed in bit A as my next flight into Toulouse was from that bit. I first asked if there was anywhere to have a cigarette but there was nowhere except one of the toilet cubicles so I settled for that.
The toilets at Heathrow terminal 5 bit A where a solid 7/10. Classic grey stone flooring, good cubicle privacy factor and in-set hand dryers afforded the amenities an air of modernity whilst not being overly designed. I passed a man on the way out wearing a germ-protecting nose mouth and facemask which reminded me to put on my own. My auntie Denise and uncle Alan had given me £20 as a Christmas present and I realised I’d had to spend it before I got to France. Heathrow terminal 5 was my oyster. I went to get another pint at Weatherspoon’s.
Afterwards I thought I should eat something for if not I would surely vomit. I was tempted by Wagamumma, not tempted by Gordon Ramsays restaurant “Plane Food”, confused by somewhere called “V bar” and finally seduced by some place that did a vegetarian all day breakfast and had off-focus pictures of New York taxis on the wall: 2 vegetarian sausages, 2 slices of buttered toast, scrambled egg, beans, 1 hash brown, fried tomato and a pot of tea. I paid and went to the duty free to consider David Beckham’s scent and wonder about an enormous packet of fags, then back to Weatherspoon’s. Half way through my third pint of the morning Heathrow terminal 5 dissolved and I had a flashback set to the U2 song “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”: I saw all the pals I had made in Toulouse, remembered to good times there (“traffic cone on head!”, we all laughed), the bad times (university’s on strike! Lost my phone! Oh no!) and realised that although I was reasonably content to be going back there was still something that was missing, there was still something that I was looking for that I hadn’t found, which was convenient. Whether it was just the demoralising effects of winter or that I still didn’t feel that I was good enough with the French language that I could say anything in any way interesting or the fact that I was still living in halls where you’re not allowed to do anything and nothing ever works even though I’d planned to find a flatshare ages ago (If anyone is actually reading this that is going to do Erasmus in Toulouse or France in the future don’t stay in CROUS halls if you can help it, even if it means living in a hostel for the first few weeks while you find somewhere) I’m not sure. Got on the plane a wee bit drunk and went back to Toulouse.