Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"You're lovely! I can't believe you're a lezza."

On my British holiday, I . . .

(a) Got a flat tire on the M4

(b) Fell off a bus

(c) Nearly burst into tears

(d) Missed check in for my flight by 7 minutes

(e) All of the above

I originally wrote these words from a Heathrow bar, sipping on Leffe Blonde, and trying like hell to calm my nerves. Though I managed to not to burst into full crying hysterics -- the was some lip quivering -- the nice gray haired man at the British Airways customer service counter calmly switched my flight for the next one bound for JFK -- even when answering his questions threatened to send me blubbering.

The reason why I was late for my flight was because I was stuck on the Heathrow Express, which is a train service from Paddington to Heathrow. Despite it's name, there was nothing express about the run. Instead of a jaunty 15 minute ride, my journey was something more like 70 MINUTES. I could have walked faster.

Oh yes, I shall be demanding my £14.50 back.

Falling down and travel snafus aside, I had a great time in London, Bath, and Bristol. Saw some new friends and some old friends, drank a lot, and saw a lot of the west country along the M4 -- especially a town called Chiseldon where my friend's car got a flat tire.

So nice to be back in Brooklyn and sleeping in my own bed.

* * *

My Ode to St. Patrick's Day

Sometime shortly after the good people of British Airways switched on the cabin lights, waking me from my meager sleep, I slid open the window shade to blaring sunshine, ocean, and clouds. I spotted land in the east, the south western coast of Ireland quickly approaching. 39,0000 feet above is the closest I've ever gotten to my ancestral homeland, though the melting pot of America has long since dissolved me of any special claim to the island. After five generations, the only vestiges of Irishness are my fair skin, my height, and my last name -- yet there was something that pulled me from all that distance and the closing gap where ocean and land met.

And as clouds swallowed land, Ireland slipped away and the connection was broken.

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