Hopping the pond …

Our stay in the States was both enjoyable and interesting. A very big thanks to the people who welcomed us into their homes and showered us with kindness and hospitality. But the time had come to move on, this time to the UK to visit my oldest friend in all the world, my birth twin.

We were born on the very same day, in London, must have been more than twenty years ago. She likes to remind me that I should respect my elders and of course she is my senior by a couple of hours.

We flew the Atlantic United, wipe the smirk off your face. That joke is ancient and no longer amusing. They have taken the art of miniaturisation to new heights providing the world’s smallest in-flight entertainment screens. At least they didn’t drag us screaming from our seats.

“After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologise for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities,” the spokesman said.                news.com

The quote is irresistible for two reasons. It provides a whole new meaning to the word voluntary. Then apologises, not for dragging the poor bastard trying to get home for work off the plane, but for the overbooking. At the beginning of our stay we cleared customs in LA then flew United to Chicago then again to Jacksonville. Overbooking is clearly a practice they have no intention of giving up, they were calling for volunteers to give up their seats almost from the moment we arrived at the gates.

Contemplation, Seneca style, is very comforting before and during air travel. It can even prepare you for Heathrow.

And then the undergound to Leytonstone. A young man gave up his seat for Gayle. That wasn’t the only revelation. There were people on hand to help you work out how to get to your destination and what’s more you could pay with money, or the local version of dedicated transport card or just tap on and off with your regular credit card. Melbourne could learn a lot.

The locals practise their own form of contemplation as they travel whilst staring at United sized screens which they hold in front of their faces in total silence.

The London correspondent picked us up at Leytonstone Station and whisked us home in time for breakfast. Ahh, London …

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