Friday, August 1, 2008

Cramped Flight and a Taste of Britain

Coming in from a little posh apartment in London via free internet on an apple computer ...

At 12 ish last night, Bermuda time, my plane zoomed off into the dark skies. I'd never seen Bermuda at night. What a beautiful sight to see that tiny isle sparkling like a jewel in a sea of darkness - hook shaped amber on velvet. Before long the clouds swallowed us up and we were off to spend six hours in coldness and crampness as we (my family and I) attempted to sleep comfortably. Blankets weren't complementary and cost 3 pounds or 6 dollars (along with neck pillow, headphones, eyecover). With the a/c on so high they practically force you to buy their package else face hypothermia. Made it through though. I am thrifty so I brought a blanket and extras anticipating the highway robbery. There was some extreme turbulence, which was fun. Seriously, planes don't scare me anymore. They just don't. Manufactured scare tactics for people who watch too much news. There are better things to be paranoid about.

After one spell of sleeping, my legs sprawled over my younger brother's legs since his legs were long and needed the extra space, plus we were sharing my blanket, I awoke to the sun and a glimpse of British landscape below out my window. The clouds were tiny, white and fluffy. I was surprised. I figured it would be like the US and it's murky grey miasma whenever I entry its airspace. Britain on the other hand was clean and welcoming. The lack of suburbs and the small farm hamlets were charming and very attractive. British time is four hours ahead of Bermuda time, so it was well into the morning when our plane landed. In a flash we were through customs (a very easy process compared to stringent Bermuda and scare tactics US). There weren't any custom guards there to check our bags even! Security was relaxed and not uptight like entering a US airport. Even though the airport was crowded, everyone flowed, unlike Toronto airports. :P

Outside the airport the weather is in the 70's and very nice. Atmosphere is chill. We took a cool old school taxi to our hotel and got to peer out at Londoners. The city looks like Georgetown DC, but the people look like they're from downtown Toronto, only more relaxed. It's a totally different vibe here and I am enjoying it. I suppose, that suspicion that I am used to feeling, even in Bermuda, is just gone - no terrorism paranoia or the fashionable fear of the moment in the States (cause it was there even before 9/11); no blatant suspicion of dark skin as in Canada; and no social suspicion and conservativeness as is prevalent in Bermuda. My family as a group is still a curiosity though.

So I am going to rest and later on go on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, shopping, and dinner. I'll write again when I get to Paris.

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