Its just been 2 days since I moved to London and I already experienced Deja-vu this morning. Whether you are going to believe it or not, I took my first early morning flight, for work (not holiday).
London to Salzburg. Very very similar feeling. Mumbai to Delhi.
Flight duration : 1 hour 45 minutes, a little less than the flights I am used to taking back home.
Flight time: 9 am ish. I thought it wasn’t that early. I stand corrected. Read below.
Time to get to the airport: Now, this was an adventure. After all, I’m the spoilt little girl from Mumbai, who web checks in, wakes up just in time to take a 20 minute auto ride into the airport and breezes in through security with only a small bag and falls asleep on the flight as though it was an extension of my bed.
London. The story is slightly different. I spent a slightly sleepless night worrying that I won’t wake up when the alarm goes off. I got out of bed a good half hour before the alarm and spent all that time wearing layers and layers of clothes so I wouldn’t freeze. I didn’t get my usual cup of coffee as I’m camping in this new apartment with zero groceries. Walking out the door, I walked as fast as I could to the Tube station and managed to get there before my fingers lost sensation. A 40 minute Tube ride changing lines, I only reached Victoria Station. Then, I purchased tickets for the Gatwick Express, ran to the platform only to see it already crowded beyond belief. 10 minutes more. Walked through the train and managed to find a spot. 40 minute ride, what should normally take 30. Reached Gatwick airport and breathed a sigh of relief, too quick. Learnt that my flight takes off from another terminal. Took a shuttle to get there. Another 10 minutes. Self check-in. God bless those little kiosks. Security check where my stupid shoe buckle delayed me by 10 minutes. All in all, more than 2 hours to get to the terminal without my morning coffee.
Flight : Just when I ought to be getting into the flight and dozing off, I bought myself a coffee. I stayed up reading the inflight magazine which had random facts about Britain – 17% of British consumers life is spent queuing (I am sure this includes security checks). 14% of British women wake up earlier than their partner to put on their makeup (Clearly evident when I checked out my co-passengers who all looked like they stepped out of a Fashion magazine).
Looking out of the window of the flight, I digested the amazing view of the snow covered slopes. Ooooh….. Ski holidays. I was the only one probably headed to Scenic Austria for work. Everyone on the flight seemed to be headed there on a Ski vacation. This was confirmed the minute I landed in Salzburg Airport and faced with larger than life images of Ski holidays. I made note of it for later. In this trip, I decided I would quiz everyone I met about how they manage to work in a place that looks like it is out of a fairytale.
Lesson : Whether it is the 2o minute ride back in Mumbai or the 2 hour ride in London, whether it is the wailing Indian babies or European babies on board, terrible breakfast et all, early morning flights are the worst things that can happen to you.
Survival tips : Be giddy with excitement (like I am about working in Europe). Drink coffee. Notice all random stuff that you can make fun off in your blog later. Make a wish list of all the things you can do in the place you are visiting, if you did not have to go to work. Finally, nothing works, just keep your fingers crossed you’ll meet a George Clooney up in the air.