I’ve been through a few very hectic days attempting to leave Ithaca – moving furniture to Claire and David’s, emptying the apartment, giving or throwing SO much stuff away – some of which even I, the opposite of a packrat, may live to regret – leaving boxes and suitcases with Mary Scheidegger (thank you ma’am), leaving my car with Johnny Kontogiannis (thank you sir), cleaning my apartment to the best of my abilities – the lower back almost gave way several times – and will someone please explain to me why no good angel balanced upon my shoulder and whispered, “Dottore, that red wine you just spilled all over your beige carpet – it needs lots of salt to clear it up,” on that wonderfully tipsy evening when I just didn’t bother – and there goes the deposit! These last days weren’t hectic 24-7 – there was the celebration at the Nines after JMAN Theatrical Movers – great fun, the dinner on Tuesday night with Claire and David – you know who I mean, yes? Dear friends and colleagues Claire Gleitman and her husband David DeVries – at the fun restaurant Ciao! But I was exhausted at the end of it.
There is also to consider the enormity of this move for me. I’m moving, as I noted in my introductory blog post, that I am heading into Act 4 of that great play (as all the world’s a stage) La Vita di Dottore Gianni – it’s a BIG transition, and while exciting in the extreme, also daunting, in too many ways to relate while the focus is on “Crossing the Pond.” Let me just say, “Whew!”
So…this morning I awoke at 4:45 am and at 5:30 am was in a taxi, driven by the nicest cabbie I’ve ever met in Ithaca, from the vastly overrated (if anyone really bothered to give it a high rating) Ramada Inn (I could go on, but no, dottore, you really mustn’t) to the Ithaca Airport. Everything there went smoothly and efficiently, even though as usual people had to strip to their knickers for fear that the alarm might go off when they passed throu security, causing a full body search to ensue, then hurriedly and clumsily re-dress. Even with that, one of the great things about beginning an international flight out of Ithaca is that Ithaca deals the security and passport checks. Walking into any really large U.S. airport and seeing a sea of humanity waiting first to check in, then to get through security is daunting, whereas in Ithaca a “sea of humanity” equals at most about 30 people – then, when you land at the large airport, in this case Newark, you’ve done all that, bags are checked thru to the final destination – a benefit, no question. The flight was not full, and left a bit ahead of schedule, the journey in the turbo-prop was smooth, the day beautiful, and we landed at Newark well before the appointed time.
I noted on our little plane’s long drive after landing to the Newark terminal area an ominously large gathering of large jets jockeying for position to be next to take off which foreshadowed the only real glitch in the trip. I got to the gate for the Newark-Heathrow flight easily, the boarding process started on time, that flight too was far from full, we pulled back right on time – and then we waited on the tarmac…and waited…and…yes, waited some more. It was only a 45-minute wait, which is short in comparison with some ridiculously lengthy ordeals while waiting to take off, but it meant that we arrived on time in London, whereas because of the kind prevailing winds blowing east across the Atlantic you often get in an hour earlier than expected. But again the flight was mostly very smooth, the movies mediocre but what else is new, babies were on board but not one of them cried and screamed (wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles) and the wait at passport control was MAYbe two minutes! If you’ve been through that at Heathrow you know it can be another ridiculously long ordeal – I waited another maybe five minutes for my luggage – I was at Paddington Station less than an hour after the plane touched down. The cabbie that brought me to the London Center took me for a “ride,” which surprised me as I don’t find that taxi drivers in London are like that, but I crawled up the six flights lugging more luggage than usual, sweating profusely, growing weak, but at last attaining the summit – I am unpacked, a bit tipsy from the very large Stella Artois and now, after jabbering probably too long about a relatively uneventful trip across the great pond, I am really ready for bed – and am going to fall onto it immediately!
More interesting stuff I should think next time, when I write from North Wales…
ps – I was so tired I forgot to publish the blog – so, here, on a Sunny London morning, it is!