DAYS ELEVEN AND TWELVE – 31st March/1st April 2011
My flight back to London isn’t until 9.10pm, so I have almost a full day to explore more of New york. But the weather’s turned, and a cold wind and rain make it uncomfortable to walk about. Still, there’s plenty of window shopping to be done, even if I can’t actually afford to buy anything.
The Time Warner Centre at Columbus Circle reeks of money, and lots of it. Big brand names seamlessly blend through a mall of four floors and spectacular design. If the stores are out of your price range, though, there’s always the huge basement food market – New York’s own version of an Marks and Spencer Simply Food – and then some.
Mile High Moaning
“It’s not going to be interesting at all, I’m fucking furious”.
Joining a conversation that’s already in progress is always good fun, especially on a crowded plane. The flight from Newark back to Heathrow was only delayed for around an hour, but it’s already got plenty of passengers hot under the collar, including The Man in Row 32.
I never learn his name, but I do quickly learn that he’s a rarity among men : he actually moans more than me. Firstly it’s the fact that Continental has decided to fly us to London in what he calls “a commuter plane”. It’s a Boeing 757 and, says the stewardess is “more than capable of getting us across the Atlantic.”
Row 32 still isn’t happy. “This is what happens when United and Continental merge. The fucking company doesn’t give a shit about its passengers.” Things don’t get much better. The on board entertainment system breaks down and never recovers. “I didn’t even want to watch a film,” says Row 32. Then there’s the food : “I can’t eat this”. I have to admit that the chicken and rice isn’t great, but it’s a 7 hour overnight flight and I’m grateful for the sustenance,
Touching down an hour late and putting the clock forward by five hours sets in the jet lag. Fortunately, I’ve got the comfort of the Heathrow Arora to relax in for the rest of the day. Even more fortunately, I decided to ditch the in house restaurant and head off to Terminal 5 – tomorrow’s departure point for Istanbul. Fish and Chips in the airport pub, Yum!