Friday, August 15, 2008

London Heathrow.

I arrived yesterday. Was supposed to board a plane, for home, but didn’t.

At the desk to board, after waiting and sleeping on the cold hard benches for 6 hours, right when the plane was boarding, and the flight was ready, I was told that I couldn’t. Not when my checked luggage was not on board. Not when it was the airline to make sure of that.

The flight in was an incredible 11 hours. I was high on alcohol when I got on, and it worked. I was only aware of the first couple of hours of the flight, when I was watching a movie, and later, when I was woken up for breakfast. We were an hour from Heathrow, and I had never had flying hours so wonderfully asleep.

I made up for lost time, sleeping, and writing in the airport waiting areas, and then went to the desk. And found that I could not get onto the plane!

I was devastated. Was looking forwards to seeing my love, and holding him in my hands. I was looking forwards to getting over a lot of sleep and jet lag. But I found that I was not to be on the plane. Duty manager of the airline, sorry. Cannot be.

Why do these things keep happening to me?

That, that was the first thought. But, I was calm, and, well, I turned and tried to make something of it. No sorry. And good luck sir. The English. They are so polite!

Err, he was not English, but well, he turned me down nicely. I did not ask for what I really could have asked… The airport is a great cruising area!

So, to another airline desk. And an explanation. Playing the bewildered foreigner, passport in hand, stranded, caught up in the grip of un-understandable officialdom and bureaucracy. Much better than the angry foreigner.

It may have worked. Or did it?

Must say this one was English, and he was helpful. Very, very, very helpful.

Spent the night off the airport, (originally had a Direct Transit Airside Visa), plush in the Hilton, with dinner, gave up breakfast for sleep.

And sleep I did. A soak in a bath, and out of the hotel at 2pm. Well, I had not a cent or pound in my pocket, and it was all courtesy of an airline.

I realized how rested I felt when, out of the hotel, I sat down on the roadside to write a poem. Of the English country side. Long since I felt so relaxed, and lazy, and ready to write. Even reading poetry has been a problem, high strung and a cloud on the mind.

A poem. Will post it for a friend. He is in England, does not know that I am in England. Sorry friend. I was trying my best not to add a single cent to my bill. Because I simply did not have that cent, and unfortunately, dare not think I can bargain my way out of that. An economy running on money as the oil. I do not have any, and I just have to squeak through on creaky joints.

Dinner in the Hilton? Fabulous. All that I could have. Chose buffet of course, and had added on some considerable weight by meal’s end. Sorry now that I slept through a free breakfast, but I will surely eat on the plane, err, hours from now.

Came early, to make sure my luggage is transferred onto the plane.

And then, all this time to burn off.

I have so much time on my hands, and nothing to do with it.

The shops, they are loaded. Beautiful goods. And the books, they are fantastic.

But I am missing my baby.

A poem to that effect does little, but I feel like crying. He does not know that I will be on the way. He will panic. Has of course, but, what will I sell to send a text to him?

Saw a woman talking on a phone. Nigerian, or at least, Western African English. Was tempted to beg for a text message to send home. Just to tell him I am fine, and will be arriving home in another 15 hours. And my dearest wish is to meet him at the airport and fall into his hands, to hug him and hold him and meld my body in his.

I am missing my baby. But I am going home.

The rain has stopped, and it is clear. I will watch the planes fly off, and some fly in.

I am going home. Tonight, I will be on the way home. Tomorrow, I will be in his arms, and he will be in mine.

I am going home.



spiralx said...

If you ever get completely stuck in the UK, you can always call 0800 -R-E-V-E-R-S-E (each number on a UK phone also has letters), and then dial a friend!

If they accept your call, they pay the charges... which is not hugely expensive in England, and a useful way of reaching people if you're stuck.

Princess said...

11 hour flight?
Hilton for the night?
London, Heathrow?

*You could text Mr. Man via the internet btw, you know...

Anonymous said...

Hope you got home ok by the time you're reading this.

And look at you being stranded at the HILTON in LONDON!!!!! Life is so not fair :(

Why don't these things happen to me? (remembers all the cold nights spent on airport cement floors)

gayuganda said...

Ha, WildeY,

home. beautiful home. And my lover's arms.

Spiralx, I wish I had known that trick!!! Would have done wonders for me.

Princess. Yes, I could have. Except that I could not have paid in UGX...
And of course I have seen the question. Choose not to answer!

Leonard said...

Happy Home Coming...very nice.

Best to you both,


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