Saturday, August 25, 2012

Coffee and Culture Shock - Day One out of Cyprus

Night flights are no fun, but sometimes they make financial sense. So, our outward flight with Monarch was at 3.00am Thursday morning. That meant checking in at 1.00am as we didn't want to pay another 14 euros to choose seats online. We didn't start packing until about 8.00pm - I'd done the important things like charging my Kindle earlier, and had also mopped the floors, and other random non-essentials. Choosing a few clothes isn't that difficult. So by 9.00 they were mostly sorted. I had been planning to go to bed around 8.00 so as to get a few hours' sleep; but that obviously didn't happen. However, I did get to bed at 10.00 and must have fallen asleep almost at once because the next thing I knew was Richard waking me to get dressed to go to the airport. At 12.15.

I can't sleep on flights. I never have managed to, but I rested, and drowsed a little. Richard did manage to sleep for about four of the five hours we were in the air,which is just as well since he had to drive later.

We landed just after 6.00; I watched the sunrise,which was rather pretty and we were glad to see that it wasn\t raining at Gatwick. It felt like we had to walk miles to the luggage reclamation place.. at least it woke us up slightly. We got a bit worried when our luggage did not appear, and almost everyone else waiting with us had gone, but then we realised we were at the wrong carousel.

By the time we had our luggage safely, it was past 7.00 and we knew we needed coffee urgently. As we left the arrivals area, we were greeted by a Costa Coffee sign. There was no discussion; We didn't even look for an alternative.

I had a latte (delicious and extremely welcome) and Richard had an Americano, which gave him the required caffeine, but - he said - was disappointingly bitter, not as good as he expected.

Then we popped to the loos. And there I had my first reverse culture shock of the trip. Each cubicle was nicely decorated, about three times the size of any equivalent I'd ever seen before, and each one was equipped with its own washbasin! Richard had waited outside with all our luggage, but I could have wheeled it in with room to spare. There was a mirror, and an automatic dryer- everything was motion sensitive,so I didn't even have to touch anything to flush the toilet or turn the taps on.

I felt so awed by this super-loo that I didn't think to take a photo. Apparently the men's were just the same. Amazing.

As ever it wasn't particularly quick to confirm and sort out the car rental, even though we'd booked it online a couple of months ago, but at last we climbed in the car, and were on the last leg of the first part of our UK trip. Despite being slowed down by road works we arrived only a couple of minutes later than expected. around 8.30am. We had more coffee and breakfast at Richard's mother's house, then thought we might like down for a bit.

I didn't expect to sleep - I almost never can when it's light. But evidently I was so tired that I managed it... and woke feeling at least slightly more refreshed at 12.30, in time for lunch.

Last night we were both asleep by 9.00pm and I slept soundly for nine and a half hours... 

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