Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Day 1 contd - a few hours in one of the largest airports

At Heathrow:

People had forewarned me that the security check at Heathrow will be lengthy. The landing was just as smooth as the take off - felt just a very slight jerk and nothing else. People had forewarned me that the terminals very huge and traversing through them will be time consuming. But I was looking forward to it - stepping out in the open air felt great and I was eager to stretch my legs. The legroom in economy class was not good - my knees were brushing against the seat in front most of the time. And I thought "hey, I'm flying to a land of tall people - why is the legroom so less".

I soon reached the security check area where we had to remove our shoes and let that pass through the scanner in a separate tray (the security check turned out to be a refreshing time for me). I had three hours for my connecting flight and wouldn't know the boarding gate till one hour before departure. The main terminal area was huge - it resembled a shopping mall with a series of shops packed one beside the other. I wandered around in search of a cosy place to sit and write my diary - a board read "Quiet area" and I followed the directions which led me to the extreme end of the terminal where there were plenty of vacant seats and a couple of television sets - aptly named "quiet area"! Just as I was about to sit down near a table I noticed a man seated in a corner facing the window with his back towards me. He made surreptitious glances every minute after flipping through a few pages of a magazine he held. With my height advantage (and filled with curiosity) I managed to catch a glimpse of the magazine - it was an A-magazine. After a couple of minutes (after he had quickly flipped through all the pages), he left the place.

Window shopping:

Ten minutes later I strolled around window shopping - the terminal was huge - it was like a long corridor which didn't have an end in sight. The A-magazine guy was now lying stretched out on the empty seats with his briefcase as a pillow. The terminal was impressive - and this was just one of the many terminals in Heathrow - wow! There was a wide variety of shops selling just about anything you could think of - from napkins to laptops. And along the way I also saw an elegant looking Ferrari (prize for a lottery). I had lost my appetite towards the end of the journey but the fresh bakery smell and arousing smell of fish tempted me. My appetite was back but I didn't want to take a risk during travel - perhaps on my return I would indulge in a few of the restaurants there. There were sandwiches, lobsters, a range of wines, plenty of chocolates - oooh - so very tempting.

I noticed that 1 in every 20 was working on a laptop and probably 1 in every 15 carried one. Technology is certainly becoming cheaper aned more accessible to everyone now. Window shopping was fun and many of the shops were staffed by pretty and handsome Indians who by now were probably holding British passports.

2 comments:

Santanu said...

SS...me too had to halt in Heathrow and I also visited the "quiet area" you mentioned..u know I did a bit of of shopping from the mall also ;-)...i bought a packet of Marlboro to refresh myself,only to discover later that they have banned smoking in Heathrow !!!

Mana said...

Good words.