Hello from The Tin Goose, in London Heathrow's Terminal 1, where I am enjoying a pint of London Pride and am in the process of digesting a full English breakfast.
The Tin Goose is fast becoming one my favourite pubs because, though it would fail in the normal world, in the world of airports it is a haven of good beer and hearty food. It's usually busy, but I can always find an agreeable seat (today I'm nestled in the corner next to a power socket) and unlike its rival pub in Terminal 1, it has some nice big windows so that I can see the blue sky and large planes land. Having been through Terminal 1 so many times in the last year or so, it's become a kind of regular, and always a nice way to spin out some time between flights.
In this case, I'm not between flights, rather I'm pre-flight. My flight leaves in about two hours, but I arrived ridiculously early to ensure I got aisle seats for the long haul ahead - about 11 hours to Incheon, Korea, a few hours there, then another 11 hours or so to Sydney, Australia. Having suffered the indignity of a "middle" seat on a recent flight, there was no way I was tolerating it for two long stints this time. Plus, I quite fancied a few pints of London Pride at the Tin Goose.
I arrived in London yesterday afternoon, and was reunited soon after with two old friends known from Korea, Mary, who was visited not long ago in Berlin, and was visiting London, and JuHyeon, who has lived in London for a few years now, married to a New Zealander. With my snappy new clothes bought just a few days ago, both girls looked suitably glamorous by my side, and this was complemented further some hours later (and after a delightful Korean meal in JuHyeon's garden) by a further sweet-faced beauty, another Korean, a friend of JuHyeon's with the not-dissimiliar name of JiYeon, in a bar for some pre-club drinks. Three pretty lovelies and Nev: gosh.
I took a number of photos, but unfortunately left the camera USB cable in my checked-in bag, so you'll just have to imagine.
We thrust a number of drinks down our throats and I tried to charm JiYeon with my utterly useless grasp of Korean, which after years of non-use has crumbled into total rubbishness. Fortunately JiYeon was a lightweight and was drunk easily, so seemed to think my babbling idiocy was acceptable. We stood in a very long queue for a club for some time, watching a group of Spanish get enraged with a group of ghastly, tacky blondes and their stripey-shirted beaus, before finally managing to get into the club - £20! - and realise we were surrounded by hordes of ghastly, tacky blondes and their stripey-shirted beaus. When I say the word "awful", I want you to ponder it a while. A-w-f-u-l. In fact, the club - Pacha was its name - had a few virtues, such as being a pretty nice venue and... hmm, one virtue anyway, but was let down by the rampacked masses, the insanely expensive drinks (£5 for a bottled beer) and the muscular but expressionless thump of workmanlike bore-techno. The clientele were of a low class, and if the doors had been bolted and a fire turned the venue into a collapsed mess of charcoal bodies, I honestly feel the newspapers could accurately headline the story "No Great Loss".
Still, I did a little boogie with my three pretty ladyfriends and was glad they were too polite or drunk to critique my style, and we didn't hang about in this club-of-dead-souls too long, though it was still about 1am when we left. We then went on a wild goose chase for some distant, mythical club before realising that in the battle between tiredness vs desire to dance, tiredness was the victor, and I was relieved to get some sleep.
Thus catches me up till now, as today has simply been a nice lazy day at JuHyeon's, eating more Korean food, and enjoying the sunshine. In about half a day, I'll be in Korea, but only for a few hours (on the return leg I'm taking a couple of days there), and in about 24 hours I'll arriving in Sydney, and meeting Handsome Matt. He has chucked out his flatmate and broken up with his girlfriend especially for the occasion. Well done, Matt.