Home, Toto, we’re going home

Now if only I had brought my red shoes....

So here I am, sitting in the Admiral’s Club in Heathrow Airport, on the way home from my great adventure.  No, my luggage never showed up. Quite likely it never will.  I’m coming home with a bag of mostly art supplies that Erik will save for next year’s workshops.

It’s been glorious.  Not classy or posh, but soul satisfying. I’m just jotting a bit while I wait for the flight to Dallas, then home.  There will be more to talk about, and more photos to post, in the coming days.

It’s always interesting how different airports do security.  At Addis Ababa, you have to go through security just to enter the airport for any reason.  Then you go through again at the gate.  Neither seems particularly strict–I noticed that they were frisking people at the gate, but not the white guys.

In Nairobi, there is security at the front door of the airport, again at the gate, and again at the gate–you go through twice in the space of 50 feet.  This only adds to my theory that the security service is the employer of the last resort.

Heathrow is very thorough.  Even though I had no metal on me, the gate beeped and I got the frisking of a lifetime–if that had happened in San Francisco I would now be engaged to that guard.  He told me that the metal detecting gates are programmed to go off randomly, just in case that haven’t irritated enough people for one day.  The British have become so annoyingly bureaucratic, fussy and pettifogging that they are in real danger of becoming more unpleasant to deal with than the French.  On the flight in, they announced that once the seat belt light went on prior to landing the lavatories would no longer be available.  Cell phones may not be turned on until the plane is at a complete stop and the engines turned off.  These are just rules for the sake of making rules, and you know how much I approve of that.

At least there is internet access, I’ve been starved for days.  In Bole Airport, Addis, there was an internet cafe, but she closed at noon and never reopened.  In Nairobi, the British Airways lounge had no access and the “internet cafe” I found was unable to connect to anything; then they charged me $4.00/minute to make a phone call.  My iPhone was receiving calls, but unable to make any.

Darn, the very strange girl in the extremely short skirt and very thin top who has been walking ceaselessly around the lounge just got her bags and left.  Now I’ll have to watch the BBC.

Admiral’s Club lounges are different outside the US.  Not only is there a fairly decent buffet, but there is an open bar.  Of course, I got here at 8 am and it’s now 9:20, and as much as I like a free bottle of Bailey’s, it just too darned early.

And now they’re calling my flight, so I’d better go.  Probably more security theater to navigate, then the long flight to Dallas, go through Immigration, get luggage, clear customs, re-check luggage, clear security for the SEVENTH time on the way home, and get to SFO Wednesday evening.  Moses and his 40 years in the desert are starting to resonate with me.

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