Have you ever missed your flight because you turned off the alarm clock whose ring was meant to wake you up but…? No, this is not what happened with me this time but it did happen about five years ago now. Since then I always have an extra point to worry about when going on a trip.
This time I made sure my alarm clock would wake me up on time and set it up (as I thought) at 5 minute intervals only to discover when already on my way to the airport that the first one was set to wake me up at 5.45 am and the second one … at 5.50 pm! Imagine I would have missed the first one!
However, quite unexpectedly I had another “alarm clock” wake me up as early as 3.11 am. I only heard it after 30 or so rings and first thought I was having a dream about missing my plane again! But when I finally answered the phone I learned that my friend was calling to ask me for help with taking a laptop with me to Moscow to give it to her daughter who is there now. Telling about it is another story, so I’ll skip it for now.
I spent the next three hours left before I had to go to the airport dozing not quite sure whether I was asleep or awake. Finally, it was 6 am and time to get up and get going. My friend offered me a lift to the airport as a way to thank me for taking her laptop to pass to her daughter. I’d otherwise have had to take a taxi but because of this unexpected development of events I cancelled the booking.
My flight to Moscow was not at all eventful. But my next flight was only in about 12 hours, so I decided to book a room in one of the airport hotels. I found one called Midland (http://secure.hotelsbycity.com/hotel/?rs_hid=b_263156)
(no idea why English name) in the vicinity of the airport. According to the description on its site, it is locacted in just a five-min ride from the airport which you can book by calling the hotel operator or filling out an online form. I decided to call the hotel upon arrival for some reason and had to live through a short period of anxiety because none of the contact numbers I had answered. Two ways out were to keep trying to get in touch with the hotel or to get to it by public transport. Well, I was not sure about the latter because it promised quite a few uncertanties from how often the buses are to where exactly to go once I got off the bus in the middle of nowhere. You can call me a coward I guess but I ended up at the airport’s information office, and its operator got in touch with the hotel, so that in about 15 minutes I was already at the hotel’s reception desk and still in 10 or so minutes after in my room without windows in full compliance with its name, “a capsule” or “a shell” if you like. It was all right for a relatively short time I had to spend there, but it’s hard to imagine staying in such a room for a couple of days or so. I was so to say cut off the world completely in a physical sense, in a “sealed” room, which in addition was very stuffy even though the conditioner was on. I was told I can’t set it up to make the it cooler in the room because it is not meant for this by virtue of its type. All right, I decided to go in the yard of the hotel to get some fresh air but it was about +30 that day in Moscow so… I was glad to leave it for the airport when the time came but actually did not regret that I stayed there. Even with the inconveniences I described it was probably better than staying at the airport the whole time… I am skipping the details of all the airport check-in procedures – nothing out of the ordinary and actually the flight too for the same reason.
I finally landed in Heathrow at about 10 pm in the evening having spent what felt like a week getting there because of the time shifts and all the waiting on the way. No need to say I was excited to finally leave the airport business behind and head to Oxford with my friend who met me at the airport. I am looking forward to my adventures – I’m sure I’ll have them – during my stay in England.