Monday, December 25, 2006

Xmas day

Woke up late. Ate some pasta. Did my packing. My aunt had kindly offered to drive me to the airport. We left home at about 3:30 pm. My aunt is an excellent driver, and the roads were almost empty so it was a very pleasant drive. We listened to some great music: Half Man, Half Biscuit, The Pretenders and Squeeze.

Got to the airport around 6 pm. Said goodbye to my aunt and followed the signs to Departures.

There was a sign on the door to the terminal building. It read "We are fucking stupid cunts. We don't give a fuck about anything or anyone so we've decided to close the terminal building until 2 am tomorrow. You can go sit in the chapel, or fuck off, the choice is yours." I decided to walk into Luton town centre, and find somewhere comfortable to kill some time. At this point I had my Christmas dinner. It consisted of a 500 ml bottle of tap water.

People and roads don't mix. Everything around the airport was designed for cars, not people. I walked along endless roads, most of which were without pavements. I eventually found a footpath, the sign next to it claimed that that the town centre was a mere 1.25 miles away. I had been walking for 25 minutes so this was a welcome relief. A few metres down the path I found my way blocked by a temporary fence. Attached to the fence was a sign saying that the path was being closed for vegetation clearing, and that it would be open again 4 months ago. I climbed around the fence, and continued walking. After 10 minutes I came to a huge pile of earth which looked too difficult to get around. I turned back.

Almost 2 hours after I had left the airport, I was in the town centre, standing outside a junk food place. I went in and ordered a set meal. There was a constant stream of customers, mainly taxi drivers and Indian teenagers. My order took ages but it was cheap and filling so I wasn't too annoyed.

It seemed much colder when I went outside again. Nothing was open so I took a taxi to the airport and looked for the chapel.

I got to the chapel shortly before 10 p.m. All airports have chapels, so that if there is a plane crash people have somewhere to chill out. This was my first time to visit one. Like most things, it was very silly.

Bigm000 called me up. He arrives in Berlin in the evening, so I'll probably meet up with him in Alexanderplatz.

There were quite a few people in the lobby of the chapel, some sitting, but most lying huddled against the walls. In the chapel itself, there were another 10 or so people, sleeping in the darkness.

Slept on and off until midnight. Sleeping on the floor was surprisingly painful. I had my fleece as a pillow and my raincoat as a blanket but it was still uncomfortable and cold.

Only in England can things be so utterly pathetic.

By 12:45 there were 20 people in the lobby. It was far too noisy to sleep. There are no toilets here so I'm avoiding drinking the water I have left.

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