The ongoing theme of our trip was procrastination, last minute planing and packing…..and literally RUNNING after the closing doors of every form of transport we had booked.
Lost and confused, sweaty and lugging too much baggage, we took the indirect train from London to Southampton. This resulted in us having to get glossy-eyed for the British man sitting in the seat next to us, and then to the train conductor…at least four times. Hey, we made it there in once piece.
Heathrow, London Tube:
Apparently the Tube tickets Erika and I bought were not for the zone that included the Heathrow International Airport. The way the tickets work are, you slip your ticket through the machine upon exiting, so that the door opens. Erika and I were already very late, after a very packed ride to the airport. Then the machine kept buzzing INVALID. Reminded me of Gattaca. We went over to the Customer Service booth, with Erika’s broken bag dragging on the floor at this point, and I kicked Erika in the shin….simply because she is better at crying on demand. Her performance was perfecto. Quivering lip, tears welling up in her eyes, rambling on about us being students traveling in Europe with a broken bag and how we were going to miss our flight and never get home. The guy immediately buzzed us through, free of charge, mostly because he didn’t want to be stuck in the awkward position of handling an emotional American girl. Man tissues anyone?
Finally through the Tube, and in the airport, we realized that our baggage time limit was at a close….and the lines to check bags were ridiculously long. We would make it back to New York…sans our bags. This time, it was me panicking, tears in eyes, really out of anxiety and not an act. A worried airline worker for Virgin Atlantic immediately ran over to us, probably afraid I was about to have a panic attack in the middle of the airport. How very unproper and un-British of me. She quickly whisked us ahead of all the lines and got our bags on the last trip out to the plane. Whew.
So like I said, when in doubt, and running out of time. Whether it be from an actual impending panic attack, or from a perfectly performed set of sniffles and tears. The waterworks work.