Saturday, August 18, 2007


Who knew! Who knew that they had changed what terminal US arrivals arrive at!? In the three years I have been coming here, every flight I have ever taken (or met) that was coming into Gatwick from the US has landed at Gatwick South Terminal.

My friends arrived from the states on a Continental flight at around seven this morning. I got up early and caught the train out to Gatwick glad that I'd given the pub a miss yesterday and got the extra sleep. (Thank you, yes, I am feeling much better!)

I arrived when their plane was supposed to land and planted myself at the coffee shop at the exit to the international arrivals are of the airport where I told them that I would meet them.

By 08:00, I was beginning to wonder what was going on. Had they missed their connection in Houston? No. They called me from Houston last night and they had made it to the airport in plenty of time to make a stop for food and duty-free shopping. Perhaps the plane was delayed. No. When I checked online a couple hours ago, they were predicting a slightly early arrival. Did I somehow hypnotize myself into thinking they were arriving at Gatwick when they were tight now searching for me at Heathrow? The Pac Man theme and sudden vibration on the table next to my coffee cup pulled my attention from my reveries.

"Hello." I said into my mobile phone.

"Donald!" the cheerful voice on the other end of the line, (Can you call it a line when you are on a wireless phone?) "Where are you?"

"I'm at the coffee shop. Where are you?"

"We're at the Costa coffee right outside the duty free!"

I turned to scan the crowd. Had they somehow made it past me? No! I saw no familiar faces in the crowd. "Really?" I asked. "Where?"

"We're over here below the escalator." He said.

(Escalator? What escalator? There is no escalator here!) "Uh, which escalator would that be, Fritz?"

"I assume it is an escalator. The big blue ramp right over the coffee shop."

(Blue? Gatwick is done-up in a sort-of tired maroon color. Maroon… a strange color to do an airport in.) "Blue?" I asked… "Uh, everything in this area is maroon. Let's try another question. What airport are you in?"


Well, after going on in this vein for a while, it turned-out that some of the US flights are now being shunted over to the NORTH terminal… This morning I made it to the north terminal for the first time. Oh, and it is blue.

They're here, unpacked and taking a quick nap… or chilling, or both… I think I will post this and head up for a nap myself. It's a miserable day out but we're going into Kingston today to look around.

Wherever you are today, I hope you have pleasant weather and a great day!

Don Bergquist - 18 August 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

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