Arrival in the UK #1

I’m sitting at Devan’s after trying to convince the people at the front desk, who look like they are secret service agents, that I really do know Devan and that they should let me call her… didn’t work. I had to wait  in the lobby for an hour and half for her to get back from her day trip. Getting ready to go to bed so I can head back to Heathrow in the morning. Luckily I’m dropping about half my luggage with her, so the trip should be much easier this time (the three block walk from Kings Cross to her place was not too pleasant). But to give you a little taste of the journey thus far here are a few excerpts from my journal (which totally makes me sound like I’m in 5th grade writing “dear diary,” but I thought I’d give it a shot since I was traveling and so far I’ve written far more than I could have anticipated for the first day!)  Sitting at the airport in Seattle, already noting the European influences in the S terminal as I wait for my flight. Do the men really have to wear shoes that nice and pants that tight? I don’t see why that’s necessary. Although I’m anticipating that it will be harder to make fun of European things once in Europe. But the guy eating Doritos over there and wiping his hand on his shirt–yeah he’s American. Just boarded 31K ‘very good indeed’ the stewardess told me. Yes, indeed! I did have to stop myself from laughing at every British accent I heard on the way to my seat. I better get used to it. Suddenly, I find myself sounding less intellectual and sophisticated without the accent. But really I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I’m not wearing a red, white and blue scarf tied neatly around my neck. And then there’s the awkward time when everyone first encounters the people they will spend the next nine hours of their life next to–perhaps fostering an incredible new friendship, but maybe just trying to avoid their drool from landing on your hand. Either way there is the first eye contact with the approving nod or disappointed yet cordial sigh and smirk when your seat partner isn’t the attractive, young man imagined. Still two empty seats next to me–everyone else looks cozy but things are still quite roomy here on the right side of 31K. Looks like I’ll have a row to myself for the next 8 hours and 39 mins. Nice I suppose, although I’m always up for a random conversation on the plane–not for everyone though, Annie 🙂 Oh, I have just received pretzel nuggets that are salsa flavored. Apparently Britain’s answer to airline peanuts. And so the great food begins already! At least these were free–or $800 depending on how you want to view the expense of flying 🙂 Oh, it also turns out that these delightful pretzel nuggets are enjoyed best if eaten before Aug 8th at 7:59. However, it doesn’t specify whether that’s a.m. or p.m., obviously a flaw! Oh, but I was just called “madam” (twice!) and given the cutest can of ginger ale I’ve ever seen, so all is forgiven regarding the unclear expiration date of the pretzel nuggets. So the travels, well, I’m on the plane now as we have long ago determined, we took off toward the south and looped back to the north, but we were east and I saw only the south sound and the suburbs, so I wasn’t able to pinpoint my Seattle landmarks as I usually like to. So, I enjoy row 31 for about 8 more hours when I arrive in London the first time, only to explain to the immigration officer my school program and that I will be back again tomorrow to fly to Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland, whoo!! Only then to board a bus to Chamonix, France where I will stay for six nights and ski. First, of course, I have to find the place I’m staying, find skis and hope that most of the people along the way speak some form of English that I can understand. Assuming all that is executed successfully, I will voluntarily risk my life by riding up to a ridiculously high mountain peak on a gondola probably ready to fall apart and then strap myself to my ski guide and ski 12 miles down Vallee Blanche. Huh, maybe I shouldn’t think too hard about that part quite yet 🙂 Yes, I’m very excited for it all, but thinking realistically about what the next 10 days hold, lots of uncertainty, but also lots of adventure and God-willing many blessings along the way. Thank you to all those with whom I shared great farewell chats and times of hanging out. Your love, wisdom, support and prayers didn’t keep me from crying when I walked through security, but they encouraged me to walk through and to wave excitedly back to my mom standing on the other side,  and with a smile on my face. What more could I ask for on the beginning of this journey?”

6 thoughts on “Arrival in the UK #1”

  1. 886 words Liz. That’s about 586 words too many for my ADD.

    At the very can you break it into paragraphs?

    Regarding the accents. I do love them. On the flight over to the UK, I was listening to United’s Channel 9 on the airplane (it’s the channel that lets you hear the Air Traffic Controls [ATCs for short]). I still remember the ATC woman who was working approach. Funny stuff.

    It does sound you are off to a great adventure.

    God Speed!

  2. totally tried twice to break it up into paragraphs, i know that is super annoying! i don’t know why it’s not letting me. ferg, you’re the computer mastermind, tell me why it won’t work!

  3. Thanks for keeping us all updated on your crazy travels and I’m glad to read that you made it to England safely. See i told you that people would read your blog (well at least Ferg & I) You’ll be in my prayers as you embark on your seeing adventures. Take care!

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