26 May, 2008

The honeymoon begins!

So, finally, we are -Home-...! The odd sleep-deprived nuzzle to a familiar cushion (or two) aside, I can now begin to weave for you, the start of this tale of the Caribbean...
Mexico #1
- so, all packed up - two weeks worth of (even scanty) clothes still managed to approach the weight limit, and required spreading between three bags (plus two of hand-luggage), my folks arrived to whisk us to the north terminal at Gatwick where we checked everything we could in to travel in the hold, briefly disturbed by a slightly mad looking woman who stood behind us giggling and using our luggage trolley to maintain an (almost) upright position while we were answering our security questions, then painlessly through the security checks (well, apart from me walking through the scanner too quickly and having to be frisked by hand), past the couple in front of us (who seemed to think that baby bottles full of fluid didn't have to go through the scanners in a separate clear poly-bag like everything else) - and then to get our money changed up into a frankly Del-Boy shaming wad of 1000 Peso notes (which probably would have split my wallet had I tried to cram it all in)...Flyingpops did a little shopping (hats and things), I did a little shopping (more books) and then we made our way to the gate (which was very nearby despite the warning to leave 10 minutes to get there), waited for those (now spare) minutes to tick by, and then boarded the little bus that was to ferry us to the plane -
Mexico #3
- much less crowded than the Jubilee Line -
Mexico #11
- went to find our seats (payed for pre-allocated extra legroom ones, as I am tall enough to genuinely need it and we checked, it's actually significantly more legroom there than even in the premiere class up front, so a good tip if you want to save a bit of cash and also need somewhere to keep your feet during the long flight)... ;)

As we were unpacking our books (etc.) for the journey and adjusting our seat belts, I was a little aggrieved to spot the slightly crazy looking woman from check-in swanning past us, still giggling inanely, collapsing half onto her innocent neighbour as she fell into her seat a few rows behind us (making me roll my eyes just very slightly)...anyway, the crew got on with their checks - closing all the luggage rack doors, performing final make-up adjustments) as Flyingpops and I failed to work our how the screen for the entertainment system was supposed to pop up (ours being under the seat as there were no seats in front of us for them to be mounted into, only a bulkhead) when the in flight safety demonstration was announced - we politely turned at least 35% our attention over to watch the so-familiar-as-to-be-cliched "this is how you close, tighten and release", "in the unlikely event...exits are to be found here, here and here", etc. when suddenly, I felt someone brush past me...the crazy woman, bent absolutely double (as if she thought she were somehow invisible by doing so), running up the narrow walkway towards the toilet! Cabin crew members exchanged extremely flustered ("urm, this isn't supposed to happen!") glances, one then running to intercept calling "Madam, everyone must watch this presentation! Please Madam!", but before she could be stopped, the toilet door was slammed shut and locked - Astonished cabin crew member on one side (still clutching her uselessly dangling demonstration seat belt) and the crazy woman on the other...

They didn't, as I thought they might, force the door open (there must be a way in case of an actual emergency), but instead, a slightly "Julian Clary" voice came over the tannoy system "Well, I'm very sorry ladies and gentlemen, but it looks like one of our passengers has decided to ignore the 30 second safety demonstration and barricade herself in the toilet, and regulations state that everyone on board must watch the display. I apologise for the delay she is causing and I hope we don't miss our departure slot as a result"...a pause..."while she finishes whatever she is doing in there"...

When she came out (rubbing her nose) she got an ironic slow round of applause from a number of passengers, but she seemed not to mind at all, falling back into her seat to a number of hard stares (including mine) and at least one desperate "Don't look at me, we aren't together!" look from the chap lucky enough to be sat next to her...

Anyway, that excitement over, the next 11 hours (across six time zones) passed quite quickly and uneventfully (GTA on the PSP until the battery ran out, then Pokemon Diamond on the NDS until I got bored of it)...the landing into Cancun airport was a *hell* of a bumpy one, but apparently thanks to the thermals caused by the heat and humidity it's never trivial...I was feeling thoroughly sick by the time we almost crashed onto the tarmac - to say I was relieved to disembark would be an understatement -
Mexico #12
- and Oh-Boy was it hot, I rolled up my jogging bottoms as best I could to get a little ventilation-
Mexico #14
- took another little bus to the main airport building -
Mexico #15
- where we spent five minutes with about 40 other people sat on the floor (sharing pens) correcting the customs forms we had filled out incorrectly on the plane, collected our bags (their little luggage carousel was woefully small, meaning bags kept on falling off or getting stuck), but eventually we got to the final x-ray check where, before you are allowed to enter Mexico, you press a "customs lottery button", it comes up either green (go right in), or red (go and have your bag searched), I went through fine and started to put the passports and things away, only to spot a very flustered Flyingpops being waved on by a man with a large automatic weapon after having had to surrender to (an albeit cursory) bag search...and then there we were, hot, phased, slightly flustered and armed with warnings about who we should talk to from this point onward ("Only people in blue shirts, anyone else could be a scammer or opportunist")...

"Oh and welcome to Mexico Senior"...

More later... ;)

2 comments:

Sarah said...

The pics look brill! Can't wait to hear all about it! :-)

Tom Hopwood said...

Welcome back me old mate. You might have known saying Poco would bring nothing but trouble lol. It all looks amazing.