I love an airport. I love them for the sense of adventure, the possibility of what could happen, and for the people watching opportunities which are virtually incomparable. I love them so much that as a young teen living in a sleepy village we would sometimes drive to Gatwick and sit drinking coffee (not me, blech) and putting the world to rights whilst watching the goings on. So very sad.
Sitting in the business class lounge at Heathrow I had a small moment lamenting the fact I wasn’t out in the general population as it was pretty empty so I was forced to watch the planes like some sort of anorak.
Then Mr and Mr Fabulous arrived who bowled straight up to the bar at 07:00 on a Sunday morning and ordered “champagne and keep it coming” and I felt like a total amateur with my bowl of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. I’d even felt like such a rebel taking two of the little boxes! I swiftly became Queen of their lives though by giving up my prime seat right by the window nearest the plane we were about to board and settled on listening to them perve over the fuselage.
When the time came to leave and join the plebs in the cheap seats (I am of course joking) it was a treat to see some real sights… the boy who can’t have been older than 8 but who had both ears pierced with the BLINGIEST earrings I’ve ever seen started me off. Then there was the man wearing Crocs, knee high socks, short shorts, a Saltfish Surf Co. t-shirt and a knee length camo jacket who decided to top his look off with a flat cap. I’m sure it’s all the rage in Hackney but in Heathrow it made him look like a prize winning wanker.
Even the comforts of business class (massage seats and mood lighting, wtACTUALf?) couldn’t help the fact that it was the most turbulent thirteen hours of my entire life. Oh and Mr Steward, if I want to order vanilla ice cream and champagne at 01:00 whilst crying watching “Hidden Figures” then I bloody well will. It is not your place to comment on it. Sleep was determined to evade me and so I already wasn’t feeling too crash hot when we landed in Kuala Lumpur where I was greeted by the grumpiest man alive who burbled something about maybe bumping me to a different flight (why God, whyyyyy!) before telling me to go to the Transit counter.
Which didn’t exist.
I marched up and down the length of the terminal in an attempt to find it and to find out just how long I’d maybe been bumped for, all the while conscious that my next flight was due to depart in 45 minutes from a different building. I found a rep from my chosen airline who snapped at me asking why I’d come to the counter (which was helpfully called “Tickets” not “Transits”). In my tired and now emotional state (for once not a Lohan esque euphemism for pissed) I explained what the man had muttered before she sent me away with a flea in my ear about daring to bother her as I tried not to cry.
I went through Security at which point my bag was flagged because I had a very small bottle of water in it. Not allowed apparently. Also not allowed for me to just jettison the entire thing in the bin because that would have been too easy. No, muggins here was dispatched back out of Security to empty the bottle, queue up again (of course the queue was nineteen times longer now) and then I set the alarms off and was subjected to a very rigorous pat down.
But then I found myself at the gate, surely there were still enough moments left for someone, anyone to redeem my experience? Well there were but of course it didn’t happen.
Noticing my flight was showing as boarding I walked up to the ladies scanning boarding passes, gave them a big smile, and handed mine over.
I was met with a stern face.
“Phnom Penh” she snapped.
“Sorry? No, Singapore” with a big although somewhat weak smile.
“PHNOM PENH!” she snapped, louder.
Ah I see. So although I’m at the right gate and the screen says you’re boarding my flight it is in fact a figment of my imagination and you’re still merrily boarding passengers for a flight which is showing as closed.
Makes perfect sense.