Day 13: London, England to Manhattan, KS, USA
00:30: I think this is self-explanatory.
Taken around 00:30 GMT Sat 06 Aug 2005. About 50' up, that goes.
Edit, 23:00 CST Mon 15 Aug 2005 - Cross-posted here in found_objects.
00:30 - 02:00: Look for a usable toilet and find the regular ones out of order; get lost for a few minutes wandering the quiet halls of the airport. Finally settle in for the night at a nice, cozy... Internet cafe. I find a five pence piece that someone has left along with a copy of Vanity Fair's 50 Greatest Films of All Time insert. The machine takes 50-pence, £1, £2, €1, and €2 coins. 20 minutes for £1, I think. A sleepy-looking young fellow says he paid 13 quid for 24 hours of WiFi access. I decide that even though I will be there for the next nine hours or so, I don't need net access that much, and prepare to keep addressing my postcard book.
02:00 - 03:30: About half an hour of drowsiness later, I take to watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It's a good film, and a faithful rendition of the book, but I drowse a bit around halfway through, when Harry gets the invisibility cloak as a Christmas present.
03:30 - 06:30: Sleep in my chair for nearly three hours, dreaming of falling off a broom and swallowing a golden snitch. Start awake this way several times. Finally I wake up.
06:30 - 09:00: Go scotch-tasting and shopping. Let me tell you, if you've never gone whiskey-tasting just after dawn in the airport of another country, after sleeping for less than three hours, this is an interesting experience. Alcohol is a muscle relaxant but it has a neural stimulant effect, too. I ended up trying the Glenfiddich Special Reserve (12 years old), Balvenie (12 years old), Glenfiddich Solera Reserve (15 years old), and Glenfiddich Caoran Reserve (15 years old). Trask, and I had told myself I was definitely going to try a dram of an Islay single-malt (Laphroaig or the preferred treat of Uncle Rogi and Matt Dwyer, Lagavulin). I buy 1L of the Glenfiddich Special Reserve and 1L of the Solera Reserve. Edit, 23:20 CST Mon 15 Aug 2005 - Later I was to discover that the price in Chicago O'Hare's duty free shop is exactly the same. If you are going to buy spirits overseas, be sure it is not something you can get in a good liquor store in any big city. The Balvenie, or Laphroaig, or one of the 18 or 30-year old single malts, would have been things I could easily get only in Edinburgh or possibly London.
09:00 - 10:30: Wait to board.
10:30 GMT - 12:30 CST: The flight home, from Heathrow to O'Hare. I watch Madagascar, The Upside of Anger, and an episode of Numb3rs whose moral seems to be that working on SAT is a sign that you are in a depressive, nihilistic rut, because "P vs. NP is thought to be unsolvable" (WTF?). Oh, and for some reason, the tech writers seemed to think that vertex cover and its relatives are prototypical NP-complete problems. We actually gain time for most of the flight, and only the landing and baggage claim take time.
Left: Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD).
Right: Kansas City International Airport (MCI).
14:30 - 15:30: Fly back to Kansas City.
15:30 - 16:30: Baggage claim, etc.
17:00 - 19:30: Drive home at a nice, leisurely pace.
19:30 - 20:00: Have some comfort food out of the freezer and microwave. Yay! There's no place like home.