Sunday, March 29, 2009

China Trip #1: Newcastle International Airport

Time is standing still. On a much shorter scale the two minutes that must elapse before you can open your washer door are like this. Endless. 105 minutes in the departure lounge. 6300 seconds. I will count them all. Twice.
Fortunately, eventually, nature calls. My over heavy bag and I are travelling together alone. This is tricky at times. One of those times is now. Heading towards a urinal in a completely deserted toilet it occurs to me that the whole "which urinal?" problem is irrelevant at this precise moment. Phew! The hours... Anyway, on second inspection I decide against. There is a lot of splashage and my bag is very heavy to keep over my shoulder out of the puddles and... well, you know. So I head for a cubicle. Designed for poos. A poobicle.
The first has a smashed lock. I discover this after a struggle involving a 15 point turn with a heavy bag to face the door. The next has an inoperable lock. I can't see why but I'm no sanitary equipment operational engineer. The third looks like a shrine to the late Bobby Sands, IRA hunger-striker and dirty protest supremo. The fourth is a work in progress to emulate the third. I give up and go to the 16th. It is fine. My coat is hung on a hook that is there. My bag helps keep the door shut. I check the seat, then the floor. Dry, dry. Well, today is looking up. I sit. The gigantic Kimberley-Clark loo roll dispenser makes sitting vertically an impossibility. What were they expecting? Dysentery at Newcastle Airport? Maybe these loo rolls are meant to last the expected life of the airport. And then some.
Finished, I dried my hands using an air blower that could strip flesh from bones. It doesn't dry your hands; it blows the water off. The perma-damp wall sports a lovely commonwealth of the black mould aspergillus niger along each line of grouting, immune to the casual wipe of the cleaner's cloth.
Back in the departure lounge I decide on a Ritazza latte (large). Pronounced "lah-tay" all over the country but "la'ee" with a voiceless glottal plosive at the ' mark in Newcastle. Either way, it was very pleasant. Well worth an arm and a leg.
Got to go. My flight has just been called.

1 comment:

fiona said...

Love this! Great to catch up with your Dimly Lit Corner after our elongated, PC-World-enforced absence.

I know someone who used to teach a pair of twins called Kimberly and Clark.