Gatwick looked a bit like a building site, but the recent changes meant the headache that was security was now much simpler, well, for me anyway.
“Please remove all laptops and tablets”
In a very straight forward request I placed my laptop in the grey box and effortlessly went through. Noticing Matt who was behind me, had now vanished. In a panic at the request, Matt began emptying his case removing all his medication from his bag, the mound of pills starting to stack up, clothes scattered in various boxes, impatient travellers now starting to grunt – bearing in mind it is 5am.
“Where were you born? Little House on the Prairie?” said the customs officer.
He Looks up from bag “eh?”
“Tablets, as in iPads not your actual tablets”
He obviously didn’t agree with me or them that it was a clear request.
I think this was partly the reason he was then sent to the body check officers and cock X-ray machine – similar to drunk sex, this new technology leaves you praying for at least semi before you enter. In all the confusion of trying to repack scattered clothes he forgets his new 2 day old headphones just to really make sure the experience was unforgettable.
We had only been on ‘holiday’ for 20 minutes.
For anyone who thought this was a dad blog and where was any mention of my fiancé Tash or son Rafferty. In a moment of weakness Tash had agreed to my idea of popping to Morocco for a few days with my friend Matt. However, She quickly changed her mind, but in that three minute window the holiday had been booked.
I patiently waited while Matt spent 45 minutes evacuating the Lebanese airport breakfast we had eaten a short time earlier, being a nervous flyer will do that to your bowels. I finally caught up with him at the gate where he was taking 6 Imodium (because clearly the 45 minutes wasn’t long enough to completely ensure he wouldn’t shit him self on take off) and some Valium for good measure.
I had my own problems to worry about, the old rule of being allowed a small bag and a rucksack for your laptop, books etc was no longer the case. Everything had to be combined, failure to comply would equal a fine from what looked like that old cranky bag from Monsters Inc.
People started filtering onto the plane, I’m still outside, trying to stuff my rucksack and its contents into my case, getting a sleeping bag back in its case was a doddle in comparison. 3/4 closed, a pair of pants now stuck in the zip and Tash saying ‘I told you so’ in the back of my mind I decided to leave it at that. As I finally approached the stairs, the spotty work experience kid who was boarding people mumbles ‘just leave your bag at the bottom of the stairs and we’ll put it underneath’
“Wait, what the….so I just sat on my laptop, split a bottle of suntan lotion and have everyone look at my pant collection for nothing? I could have taken my rucksack on?”
Finally getting on board and finding somewhere to squeeze my case I saw Matt arguing with a Russian guy sat in his seat explaining to him in broken English why he needed to be near the toilet. After some ticket comparisons the gentleman moved and we were finally settled.
Up Up and Aw…… ‘Sorry ladies and gentleman, we are slightly delayed, they are just reattaching the loading panel as the rivets have come out’ (I’m pretty sure there was no need to tell us that) Thank god I’ve got my laptop so I can watch some films to take my mind off it. Oh no wait, that’s jammed above someone’s head half way down the plane.
I’ve always found a sense of peace and calm looking out the window over the beautiful mountains and clouds below. Turning to share my thoughts with Matt to find him fast asleep and dribbling. The early morning start, the mornings adventure and the Valium and champagne combo had taken its toll. At least he hadn’t shat himself.
Feeling the warmth of the Moroccan sun on my skin as we stepped off the plane was like something from Super Mario when you got one of those power ups I took a big calming breath and wandered into the terminal.
It was chaos and like a scene from Black Friday when the stores open their doors. Pens had become an instant commodity as it became apparent you needed to have completed visa cards. Trying to find a pen, borrow a pen or negotiate with another passenger who was eager to get through customs to wait while you filled out your form became a frustrating task. (Apologies to the lovely couple for not returning your pen) The girl who was shit faced and pretended she couldn’t read or write so got them to fill it out had the right idea. How do I know she was pretending I hear you ask, I saw her reading the drinks menu on the plane.
Next stop, hotel, pool, beer and sleep……………..