I am now back in sunny England and yes, it is raining. I guess I would kind of be disappointed if it wasn't.
I would like to put it out there to the universe - Is there a trolly at Heathrow that is not wonky? My god, it's like trying to guide a drunk person home, through a crowd, after you have just spent 24 hours on a plane.
Now, being back on English soil, I was expecting to pleasantly smile as British correctness took over...I'm talking about etiquette here, people. The Done Thing. Within minutes of landing, I was queuing for passport clearance with my EU passport (thank god I didn't have to wait in the International line, which was 3 times as long and moving half as fast.) And, much to my disgust, 2 guys pushed in front of me in the queue. It's just not The Done Thing. But it's also not The Done Thing to actually speak up and comment on it. You just look around and sort of 'tusk' with other people, and look at the 'pushers-in' with disdain. So I did just that. I did The Done Thing.
The two gents proceeded to talk very loudly about thier dull little lives and I continued to stand behind them glaring. Now, I don't condsider myself racist but one of them was certainly not of full English origin, so I guess his behaviour can be excused, as its not The Done Thing in his culture to be polite.
Which brings me to my next whinging POM moment - where have all the English people gone in London? After making it through clearence and collecting my bag, I continued to be cut-up by Indians with their spastic trolleys, barged into by Africans with their big bags in tow, and eyed-up by dirty Korean men.
Nobody gave way to me. You would think being a single girl and reasonably attractive - although obviously not up to my usual standard after flying for the aforementioned 24 hours and eating yucky plane food (having said that, one of my best picks ups was after an international flight as Beeso can testify), that gentlemen would be polite enough to help a woman out. But no. Apprantly England has lost its politness in my absense.
So, 33 hours door-to-door, I arrived, fought my way through the mixed-race crowd and found...nobody to pick me up. They were late. 2 hours up the M4 was all they had to do. I had travelled 33 and was on time. I couldn't get the back cover off my phone to change over to my UK simcard to call them. I didn't have my parents phone numbers anywhere. And I didn't have any UK money on me. Fuck.
Fortunately, resourcefull little thing that I am, I found a payphone that took creditcards, spoke to a Yank to get connected, and phoned my brother, the only number I could remember, who rang Dad who then found me.
We drove home down a relatively quiet M4, with beautiful blue skies through the tranquil English countryside, at a pleasant temperature of 22c and it was suddenly all worth it. Drivers were not undertaking, or hopping from lane to lane, there were no Yutes (is that how you spell it?) or truckdrivers high on speed. My equilibrium had returned.
Now I'm sat in my bedroom, watching 10 horses in the field outside gallop powerfully along together through the mist of the rain.
Maybe England does still exist, I guess you just have to look for it.