Monday, September 10, 2007

Don't Call it "Frisco".

Just checked in at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco after a ten-hour flight that actually took twelve and a half hours. The Captain noticed a problem with one of the fuel pumps as we pushed back from the stand at Heathrow this morning and we ended up sitting on the tarmac for 2 1/2 hours before finally taking off (the plane sat on the tarmac: we stayed in our seats).

I travelled with a friend from work and we'd arranged to have the aisle seats of the middle section of Row 40, and when we boarded we found that we had "book-ended" a newly-wed couple in the middle two seats. When they realised we were travelling together they asked if we would like to sit together, but we politely declined as it would have meant one of us moving to a middle seat, and when you've got an aisle seat on a long-haul flight, you don't give it up in a hurry. They must've thought we were a bit weird penning them in like that but they took it in good humour. The bride wore a black T-shirt with "Just Married" on it in silver glitter, presumably in hopes of getting some bubbly from the cabin crew. It worked.

Our taxi ride from the airport was white-knuckle: I think the driver must race Indy Cars in his spare time.

The hotel seems very nice but I'm too tired to take it in right now. As I write it's 3.50pm local time, which is 11.50pm in the UK and 1.50 am tomorrow in Riyadh, so I think I'd better go now and get a couple of hours' sleep so that I don't conk out over dinner this evening.

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