- Using the quick check in machine (worked perfectly, avoiding the queue, hehe)...
- The 4 new (packed) "no fluids in hand luggage" check stations accompanied by overflowing bins full of mineral water (and what looked like a stone-age pressure cooker! Why would you need a pressure cooker in your hand luggage??)
- The new "shoe check" station, yes, after X-raying everything you are carrying and taking a metal detector check you now also need to sit down, remove your shoes and put *them* through another X-ray machine (thanks shoe bomber, while you failed to actually blow anything up, you succeeded in delaying every air passenger out of the UK *forever* by 40 seconds...tw*t...) >:(
- did a bit of duty free shopping, bought a copy of "Next", the new Michael Crichton paperback, very good so far, all about genetics gone wrong, quite funny considering where I work... ;) Had a spot of breakfast, tried to hack into all the 6 wifi connections, got a little way out through the T-mobile one using Torpark, but essentially failed (too slow to bother)...then went and joined everyone else waiting at the boarding gate, absolutely hundreds of kids, all off on a Skiing holiday somewhere in the US...Got on the plane, sat in my nice exit seat (next to a small Aussie gentleman who knew what to do with his elbows, excellent... ;) and started to settle myself down when one of the cabin crew came over and asked if I would be so kind as to let an overweight lady sit in my seat for takeoff as she couldn't fit in her bulkhead seat(!), I felt like saying "no, I paid for this seat!", but said "Okay sure", as I knew the bulkhead seats had pretty good leg room anyway, and it's only like 20 minutes, so we swapped seats (turned out later on that she had just lost some of the strap twisted up underneath her, and it fitted okay after all, so I didn't have to move for landing)...Anyway, the rest of the flight was fine (the only *really* annoying thing was that one of the buttons you press to call assistance from the cabin crew a few seats to my left was broken, it went off roughly every 2 minutes for the entire flight, but I just stuck on the headphones and tried to ignore it), we only had one bit of turbulence, the kids were very quiet (all playing on the virgin entertainment system), I watched "Last King of Scotland" which was very good, a few episodes of "The F Word", "The IT Crowd" and "Saxonville" and before I knew it, we were coming in to land...quite painless really...!
Immigration was very quick, got my luggage quite fast (but not before the carosel broke down a couple of times, causing staff to have to clamber all over it manhandling bags) -
- got caught by a private driver before I made it to the front of the taxi rank, same price, so whatever (and he didn't mind me shooting out the window) -
- trip downtown and across the Williamsburg bridge was really quick, only took about 40 minutes, which has to be a record, no traffic jams at all, paid the guy (plus tip), dragged myself and my luggage up the escalator to check in (past the empty desk downstairs, what is that all about?), and when I got to the front of the queue was told that my bill for the week had not been settled in advance...groan...so I dragged everything over into the reception area, sat myself down, booted up the laptop and thankfully managed to catch one of my NY colleagues (who have a desk move today!) on MSN, about 20 minutes later, "Mr Angel" was being called from check in, and my room key was presented -
- and here it is, shortly before the f*cking window collapsed, scaring the *shit* out of me and blasting me with freezing air (thank goodness it didn't smash!), couldn't get it closed again, so have just said goodbye to the maintainance man, it took both of our combined strength to get the blooming thing back up and closed, he put in a couple of screws for good measure...but honestly, I thought the world was coming to an end when it crashed down, it fell right into the room leaving a gaping hole in the wall!!!...(deep breath...calm down Fink!) -
Here is the bathroom, very nice, and here is the view out of the window (it took some courage for me to go near it again though!) -
- and now I'm going out to find some food, starving, only one meal on the plane!!
More later... ;)