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Posts tagged ‘London Heathrow Airport’

64. Brown people at the airport

I go to Heathrow a lot. Usually I’m picking up or dropping off relatives coming from/ going to Pakistan and I’ve noticed a number of things.

– Before we even get to the airport, we do the customary weighing of the suitcases to find out just how overweight they are. Instead of putting the case on the scale, my dad always insists on standing on the scale, noting his weight and then lifting the suitcase and calculating the increase. Apparently this is more accurate… but you gotto feel sorry for the pour soul (usually me) who has to have their face against the floor (and near feet) to get the readings. *grumble grumble*

– You don’t need to look at the screen to find out which area of the airport you need to go. Just follow the masses of people talking really loudly (in Punjabi or Urdu) and you’ll soon find your way to the PIA desk.

– There may be 3 or 4 people actually getting on the plane but a good 10-15 people coming to see them off. This might make them feel special but to every other passenger, this is hella annoying. Why are you all congregated right in the middle of the check in? Why are you all in the queue if you’re not travelling?! You’re making the queue longer!

Image Credit: thehindu.com

– Suitcases. About 70% of the passengers have suitcases from the 1970’s that look they they weigh a tonne and don’t have wheels. Even worse, some people just bring a hench cardboard box and mummify it in string. This is understandable if you’re taking something odd shaped abroad that won’t fit in a usual suitcase but most of the time it’s just full of clothes.

– The ladies are travelling in clothes that I would usually reserve for wearing to a wedding. How can you sit through a 7 hour flight in such heavy garments and make up? You are going to look like your face melted when you get off the plane. And heels too! You’re already struggling with your overweight luggage. Your inappropriate footwear is only going to this worse.

– The luggage is always overweight and not just a little bit, outrageously so.  My relatives actually PLAN on taking overweight luggage and create a ‘lucky bag’. This is a bag that they’d like to take but if it doesn’t go- oh well. They’ll wait in the queue and try and suss out who the most lenient check in person is and try and go for them. Then they will try and butter up the person behind the desk (I genuinely heard one man say ‘you’re looking very smart’ and the lady said ‘don’t even try it’).  One time we managed to convince someone to let us take an extra 15kg on board including golf clubs and other times we get the really anal check in person who is like hmmm you’re 1kg over, cough up. I have to add that nearly every time I go to the airport, I meet someone who wants us to check in their bag if we have room. The cheek!

How can my luggage be overweight? I weighed it at home!

– Every child is carrying their own body weight as ‘hand luggage’. Their parents are telling them ‘it’s only for a little bit’. I have experienced being that child and trust me when I say it is not a little bit and it canes your back.

– There’s always that one family that didn’t come prepared with a ‘lucky bag’ and has to open their suitcase in front of everyone and start removing things. What you notice is that they are filled to the brim with ‘gifts’ such as 5 packets of kitkat, a dozen cardigans from Marks and Spencer, Vaseline moisturising cream and random things like jam or baked beans which aren’t as nice in Pakistan. Hey…whatever makes them happy.

Over and Out!

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39. Weekend Life Update

I usually have M3T on Fridays which means going into a highschool to teach but they have half term which means I had Friday off! Woop woop! I am so envious of people who have weekdays timetabled off.

However I didn’t have a lazy Friday. I made my bimonthly trip to Heathrow airport to collect a family member. (Aside: Did you know bimonthly can mean twice a month AND once every two months? I didn’t. In this context, I mean once every two months.) I go so often, particularly in the Summer holidays, that I might as well work there.
Basically…my family is brown and hates paying for parking so we have this little system going. I’ll go with my dad to the airport. He’ll drop me off. I’ll go wait in arrivals while he goes and gets comfortable in some elusive parking space far far away that hardly anyone knows about. Then I’ll call him up as soon as I see whoever we’re collecting and by the time the greetings, mandatory questions (how was your flight? any problems at immigration?) and bag shuffling is done, my dad will be waiting outside. And boom just saved £5-7!
The annoying thing was that said family member had so many bags, there actually wasn’t any space for me in the car. And by that I don’t mean there wasn’t a free seat, I mean that even the car boot and space under the seats was full. Hence I had to take the bloody bus back. The bus service going TO Heathrow is amazing but for some reason between 1 and 5pm on weekdays, there are only 2 buses an hour and I just missed one as it pulled out. Nice half an hour wait for me.

I genuinely think we should have these. (Photo credit: swiss-miss.com)

On Saturday, we drove to Chester which is a two and a half hour drive to pay our respect to my mum’s cousin’s husband’s father who passed away. A pretty distant relation but loss is loss. It was a sad affair but very dignified. We spent a few hours there and made the gruelling trip back home by which time it was getting late. Unfortunately my mum noticed an Ikea on the drive there (and she was determined to a buy a shower curtain that she’d seen online) and was insistent that we stop there on the way back. So there we were at 8 o’clock in Ikea. It was pitch black outside and freezing and there were STILL so many people there. The canteen was packed. I think people came especially to have their dinner there. My dad used to have a colleague who was obsessed with Ikea’s spagetti and meatballs. He would drive there twice a week in the morning to have it for breakfast. That is dedication!

When we got home, we all had Weetabix for dinner because we’re cool like that. You know I used to LOVE Weetabix when I was younger, so much so that when I was 7,  I wrote them a letter telling them how much I loved their cereal and drew a picture of me eating some. They wrote back and gave me vouchers to buy 10 more packets for free. Moral of the story: get your younger siblings to write fan mail and win free cereal vouchers.

One last comment. While I was in the car I wanted to drink my Rubicon mango juice but it was too warm. No fridge, no problem…

juice

No fridge, no problem.

If you’re not sure what is going on in the picture, I trapped the juice in the car window and let the icy wind from friggin’ Siberia cool it down. Aww yeh problem solving skills.

Over and Out!