Monday, 21 November 2022

 Virginia here I come

I have to get up fairly early. My flight is at 11:15. Don’t want to get to Schiphol later that 8.

The airport much emptier than last time. Thankfully. I have two bags to check in. One is full of books. I hope I don’t have to drag them all back. No real queue to speak of in Priority Security. And a fairly short one for passport control.

I’m through it all in 20 minutes.

I get a basket in the duty free. And a bottle of Tomatin. No accident this time. As I'm flying with Delta, I get 6 Jameson miniatures.

My usual order of a Teachers and a Jim Beam won’t fly as there's no bourbon. 2 Teachers, then. And two chipolatas and a little omelette. My breakfast.

Another desperate breakfast.

Food eaten, I nip back for more whisky.

“They aren’t both for yourself, are they?”

“No, of course not.” The second is for my imaginary friend.

There’s time for four “doubles” before I need to trudge to the gate. Luckily, not too far away. The distances can be crazy at Schiphol. If you’re unlucky, it might be a kilometre (or more) trek to your gate.

My timing is a little off again. I have a bit of hanging around before I can board. Then have to fill in some stupid form that they don’t even look at properly. What bollocks is this?

The young twat, sorry, man, in the seat next to me has brought his own pillow. Not a neck pillow, but the type you find on a bed. WTF? It’s a daytime flight. Who takes a pillow with them for a flight like this?

I watch Bad Moms (again), Then Book of Love. Not quite as bollocky as some films I’ve watched recently on flights.  The upside of Delta is that they have a far wider selection of films than KLM. Mostly shit films. But enough that they accidentally choose a few decent ones.

The flight isn’t very full. Pillow Boy has fucked off to an empty row. Leaving me lots of space. I switch on the flight tracker on his screen. I feel much safer without that weirdo next to me.

The food isn’t greatly inspiring. Some sort of chicken. That’s always the meat choice nowadays. Along with some veggie crap. I’ve learnt not to rely on the crap they serve for my sustenance. Fuelling up before boarding is the way to go.

I wash down what I do eat with some of my illicit whiskey. Washes my mouth out a treat. And makes whatever crap I’m watching vaguely pleasurable. Like watching your team draw nil nil at home in a game without chances against a way inferior team.

We land in Boston on time. Not that I’m in a rush. Of course, we land on time when I’m not in a rush. And it isn’t too much of a walk to immigration. Where there isn’t much of a queue. Obviously, because I’m not in a rush.

The immigration official has quite a lot of questions. Why am I coming to the USA? How long will I be here? What was I doing in Florida in February? What’s my job? She seems to miss the stamps from my two other US trips this year. Maybe that’s just as well. She stamps my passport and wishes me a pleasant stay.

It only takes ten minutes tops to queue and get through immigration. Obviously, because I’m not in a fucking rush.

My bags pop out reasonably quickly. And I quickly redump them for the flight down to Richmond. No need to check in again, as I already have the boarding pass for my next flight. It all works remarkably smoothly. Doesn’t it? Just to fucking taunt me. I could have easily made the shorter connection.

As it is, I’ve quite a lot of time to kill in Boston. Over 7 hours. Not quite so bad as it could be, given I can lounge around in the lounge. Typically, now I have loads of time, everything has run like fucking clockwork.

 It’s a Delta lounge. Not my favourite. They charge for some of the booze, the cheeky bastards. I have to make do with Old Forrester.

I watch the new Alex Horne programme. And The Block NZ via the wifi. Time doesn’t drag too badly. A little whisky helps. And the occasional bite of food. I doubt I’ll be getting another meal today.

I’ve no problem with drinking Old Forrester. To prove my point, I have a couple more doubles. Or is it three? It’s hard to keep count while you’re making a point.

The flight to Richmond only takes two hours. Not too bad. Just that I’m feeling rather tired. I did leave home almost 20 hours ago. That’s going to knock the steam out of anyone. Let alone an old twat like me.

It’s around 23:00 when we touch down in Richmond. On time, obviously.

Despite the “international” in its name, Richmond airport seems barely larger than a basketball court. Fine by me. I need to find my ride. The smaller, the easier.

I expect the driver to be holding a sign with my name. No “Pattinson” anywhere to be seen. After a while of hanging around, I spot a possible chauffeur.

“Are you waiting to pick someone up?”

“Yes, are you Mr. Pattinson?”

I doze a little as we rock and roll our way along the highway. It’s a bit of a drive to Williamsburg. About 45 minutes.

By the time we get to the hotel, it’s just about midnight. I’ve been up for 24 hours.

It doesn’t take much of a Tomintin nudge to tumble me into slumber.

No comments: