Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Like Tom Hanks in The Terminal

I'm at Heathrow airport, getting kicked by a sleeping man taking up the rest of the long bench that I'm sitting on. I have 12 hours in between flights, for some reason, in an all-but -closed airport. I can't yet check my (three heavy) bags so I am forced to wait here in this holding cell - a long corridor with only one television set, which inexplicably faces an escalator that reads NO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL. I try to watch it at awkward angle, but can't make out anything. The sound is too low to hear clearly, but just loud enough to make reading annoying. Beeping floor-cleaning machines circle around like bumper cars. I have several films loaded onto the laptop but worry that the battery will give up on me, as I can't find an outlet. I'd be willing to pay.

I actually did just pay for an hour of internet access (at a price which would get me a week and a half at home) but it doesn't seem to work. And of course there's no recourse if you can't get online to report the problem. A clever scam.

I turn down the brightness of my screen to gain an extra 30 minutes of battery time and to make my eyes sting more than they already do. I wonder if I'd be able to load up movies onto my camera, allowing me a third battery -powered toy (alongside the ipod and laptop) to entertain me on long flights. So I never have to watch another romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant again.

I've finished the one magazine I was able to buy and expect to spend the next 8 hours staring into space. I've done the calculation, and in the last four days my ratio of hours awake to hours asleep is 6:1. I suppose it will prepare me for Nuit Blanche next week. Michel de Broin arrives from Montreal this week, and Matt Suib from Philadelphia. There's still quite a lot of work to be done. It's going to be a hectic four days, and then I'll sleep like the unemployed bum I'll be.

No comments: