Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Taste of Spain Part I - Don't trust sushi on a conveyer belt.

The last time I took an extended trip around Europe, which was around 6 years ago, I went "backpacking." So why not, why not wipe off the dust of my old backpack, conjure up old memories, and use it again for my "Taste of Spain trip." (I call it taste of Spain primarily because we were trying to hit "at least" 4 cities in a week)

Here is a picture of the backpack of choice:

North Face Galileo L4600. Granted, it doesn't look that big, but in person its huge. The L in L4600 stands for "Large." If you pushed me over, I'd be a turtle on its back, struggling to get up. =) Having it on my back for about 2-3 minutes feels fine, but after 8-10 min, it feels worse.

After checking it in the airport it weighed in at 15kg, which is around 33 pounds on my back. Not only that, I carried an extra backpack since I have an obsession with over packing. Little did I know this would lead to my demise.

dk and Roy were arriving at Heathrow, but our plane was leaving Gatwick. I formulated multiple scenarios on how I could meet them
such that we wouldn't miss our flight to Spain. We only had a 3-4 hour window to meet and check in. The best way I found was to meet them at Heathrow and take a charter bus to Gatwick Airport. This would take an hour and a half. Perfect and efficient.

All was going to plan and we were even an hour and a half early before departure.

We make our way to the food court and I wanted to show them a restaurant called Yo Sushi. The idea behind Yo Sushi is that the sushi sits on a conveyer belt that rotates throughout the whole seating area. You basically sit in front of this conveyer belt and grab the dishes you want. Each dish has a different colour that indicates its price range. We sit down, relax, and catch up on the latest news. We're even intrigued by the sushi cooks who all happen to be Filipinas. (They were all speaking in their native tongue and since I understood the language, we were hoping they would talk about us.) Meanwhile, all this time I'm constantly trying to take a peak at the Departure board to figure out what time it is. I was a little worried because it seemed like we were sitting forever.

I was right. After finding out what time it was, our gate was closing!

There's nothing worse than the feeling of running to a gate and thinking in the back of your mind that you may miss your flight. We looked up at the board and the status of our flight had something flashing next to it in RED.. something like, "GATE CLOSING" or "LAST CALL FOR BOARDING." Whatever it was, it wasn't good.

I hate running to a gate. Especially if the gate is so far away. (Luckily I checked in my 15kg backpack) It immediately felt like we were participating in the Amazing Race. dk lead the way while I paid the bill. The hope was that he'd make the gate early enough to tell the attendants that we were trailing behind.

You really know when you are late when they page you over the airport intercom! I heard all three of our names while we were running telling us to report to the gate!What a terrible feeling.

Luckily we made the flight on time. It could have been worse. Luckily I checked in my 15kg backpack... this time.

To be continued...


Renato M. Tosoc said...

bravo... nice ending. I'm very intrigued again. Way to pick it up with the blogging. I can't wait till the next entry...

roy said...

Funny thing about the airport time was that I was saying, "I wonder what time it's in Chicago now. Wow, it's 6 o'clock in Chicago, so that means it's ... RUN!!! OUR FLIGHT!!!"

Sher said...

I actually kinda went through the same thing when I was in Heathrow remind me to trade stories w/ you ...it is not fun running for your flight, and I did have one of those back packs on!