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Air Maybe

Well, here I am at gate 25 of Heathrow Airport, waiting to board my flight to Montreal – which should begin receiving humans into its metal form in about fifteen minutes. The day has been pretty uneventful, disregarding the novelty of air travel. The flight from Manchester was a little behind schedule, but I’ve been at Heathrow for nearly three hours now.

At Manchester, while waiting for the flight from there I spent my last whole pound (in the form of five twenty pence pieces) on a coffee from a vending machine. My purchases since then have been conducted via the magic of credit card. I nearly came a cropper a short while ago when I returned to the bagel kiosk in Terminal 3 for another tea and a shortbread biscuit – I didn’t have the requisite 5GBP to permit the use of said magical card. So I dithered embarrassingly and got another shortbread and a banana. This came to 4.90GBP; the man next to me laughed. The girl behind the counter let the transaction go through. Then, in the departure lounge, I attempted to eat the shortbreads. The attempt was mostly successful, but the first one shed crumbs all over the place. I’ve now moved to another seat.

There was an interesting moment shortly after landing at Heathrow: as the plane taxied away from the runway we could see out of the left-hand (port?) windows two planes approaching to land behind us. Not much else to say at the moment, but I am, of course looking forward to getting to Canada…

And here I am … in Montreal, anyway. I’ve been reading Reaper’s Gale on the plane(s). It’s fine, but the gap between my reading this and the previous volume has been longer than any of the previous gaps – so I’m picking up threads (from two books ago, in fact) and trying to remember what has gone before. (On the subject of which, the WHGB for Fatal Revenant is now on Stephen Donaldson’s website. I looked at it a couple of days ago, but decided it would be a bit too tedious to look at just then. The book itself comes out shortly before I’m due to fly back to Britain, which raises the interesting question of whether I take the opportunity to buy the US edition. Well, almost certainly not, actually – question answered.)

My inner ear seems to be a bit screwed at the moment – I keep feeling as if I’m swaying or rising and dipping. Slightly disconcerting, but not entirely unpleasant.

Interesting. What I had assumed was my plane to Halifax has just been towed away from the gate. Boarding is due to start in about 25 minutes, so I assume it’ll be replaced. And now it’s been put directly in front of me at the neighbouring gate. Why am I sitting at the neighbouring gate? Because that’s where I bought my tea – my first purchase with Canadian currency. Strangely enough, the Queen’s head, while it appears to be on all the coins is only on the $20 note/bill (of the three I’ve seen, anyway); the $5 and the $10 have pictures of prime ministers on them.

While Canada is the second largest country in the world (so I understand) and contains all the diversity that amount of space would imply, I admit I’m guilty of having certain preconceptions about it (albeit at a low level). Much of the landscape we flew over once the Atlantic was out of the way seemed quite, dare I say it, English – a patchwork of farms interspersed with wooded areas (I believe they’re called woods – or forests if they’re larger than a certain, if unknown, size). Closer to Montreal, the farmland changed character – the fields were arranged in long strips. Flying over the city itself reminded me of … Sim City.

Categories: Life, Travel
  1. savasana
    20 September 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Welcome to Canada! Enjoy your stay!

  2. 22 September 2007 at 5:10 am

    Thanks. Tomorrow I’m going to get started on some earnest sightseeing – I’m being taken to see Peggy’s Cove.

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