Febrero 12, 2004
The End of the Universe can be found at 4am on a Sunday in August at Gatwick Airport.
Just trust me on this.
Posted by at Febrero 12, 2004 10:34 PM
I meant that just in general.
Like, as in, "...on anything."
I was at Gatwick this past December 4th. How it survives in the shadow of Heathrow I don't know. I took the Gatwick Express from Victoria Station. I was happy, sitting on that train, watching shitty london suburbia go by. Public transportation seems safe, especially in europe. not safe in the accident prevention way, but safe from the unexpected. you're on the train and that is it, you can't fuck around with indecision or paralysis due to all the choices.
it helped that when i got to Gatwick i got to take some weird bastardized rail bus thing from the south terminal to the north terminal where a ticket on some terrible cheap cheap british bargain airline (in fact called Bargain Holidays) was waiting for me to take me to Malta. i could hear the maltese people standing at the counter as i walked up - the like to argue and be visibly impatient. all familiar to me. these were the sounds i heard growing up, visiting the ethnic side of the family (the WASP side didn't argue but they didn't bottle everything up either, this is no Annie Hall split screen thing).
i was really early so i explored the terminal a bit. there is a small mall in the main waiting area. i looked at books about malta in the british bookstore. they had a big conspiracy theory section. i wanted to buy a coffee but i couldn't find a proper coffee place. just bars with expresso machines and the men with pints at on the bar stools didn't look inviting.
the walk to my gate was probably 2 kms all indoors. wonderful. i walked fast and passed people, then went to the bathroom, and got to pass them again. people who complain about waiting in airports, or long walks to gates should shut the fuck up. they are lucky.
the plane was cramped and dirty and 6 of the most common fat british holiday-ers were in front of me, passing a bottle of something around. worse than terrorists (in regards to the worry they caused me that somebody would blow up and start a fight with them). they threw food at each other. the grabbed each other's crotchs and called each other poofs while massaging crotches and poking fingers into each others asses and saying "he loves it the faggot". the women who belonged to these soccor holligans held their spare tire belly's that were exposed due to their short tshirts and complained of the need for "me smokes". the plane landed in malta, we got off, i smelt malta, first time in 11 years and it was also a familiar thing and certainly euphoric. my bag got searched by customs. they didn't understand why i had a maltese last name and i didn't look maltese. they thanked me after and let me go. i said thank you back and smiled. i smiled at the main guy who did the inspecting, and also his funny sidekick who kept pointing at different things in my bag to search.
my dad and his partner and her kids were there to meet me. european kisses were exchanged. people smoked in public buildings. i sat in the backseat of dad's car as it drove through the maltese evening and people asked about my trip to london and cardiff. i gave short answers - mostly my head was half out the window looking at things.
we went to valetta but we were early for our reservations at a restaurant so we went for a drink at the bar where Oliver Reed died during the filming of Gladiator. There were Reed pictures all over, and you could buy "Ollie's Last Bar" mugs if you wanted. I didn't. I had a scotch i think. i don't usually drink that but they drink hard in Malta sometimes, in that british way, so i did too. it gave me a headache. there were some depressed looking british expats on the thatcher early retirement plan sitting adjacent to us.
a week later i was back at gatwick. not as fun or free. the flight was late and i raced to the weird bus-rail thing but it wasn't working so i had to wait for a bus to get to the gatwick express and i was worried i'd miss the last tube to my friend's house - i got one but another was late and i had to take a london cab but i only had 7 pounds but it came to more and i didn't have it and the cab drive told me to just get out.