Friday, December 23, 2005

Fingerprints and Fettuccini

OK, so in the end, the worst I can really say about the flight is that it was boring. The seats were reasonable and neither of the babies in our section bawled enough to be properly irritating.

The formalities at DFW were interesting. We’d only filled in one Customs declaration because we were travelling together and the people on the plane had said one would be fine. When we got to immigration, before you get to the desks they have ‘helpers’ (dressed in uniforms that reminded me of nothing so much as Swiss yodellers; green felt jackets and brown hats. They looked like some kind of community volunteer group (i.e. all of pensionable age) and I expected them to burst into ‘Eidelweiss’ given half a chance.) Anyway, getting back to the plot; our ‘helper’ decreed that even though we were travelling together, because Brett had a US passport and we didn’t have the same surname, he had to fill in his own form; regardless of the fact that he’s my partner and we were travelling effectively as a family. So off he went, while I went through to be photographed and fingerprinted (because, not being an American passport holder, clearly means I am highly likely to be a criminal, if not a highly dangerous terrorist!)

Admittedly it was fairly painless. I got over it quickly enough and we were through to the land of the ‘free.’ (Am I sounding bitter tonight? Oh, well…)

It is lovely weather over here though; I was perfectly comfortable in my t-shirt and realised with dismay that I’d left my sunglasses at home. I suspect I’m going to need them.

Ali, Brett’s brother-in-law, had come to collect us and he drove us to Brett’s parents’ place where his mum was baking cookies; a pleasantly American homecoming I think. As we were sorting out all the presents, Brett realised that he’d left the bag containing all the goodies he’d bought this morning in the lounge at Gatwick. Doh! So we headed out to the local superstore in search of yet more presents.

When we came back Susan (Brett’s sister, Ali’s wife) and the kids were there, ready to set off to the family’s restaurant for dinner. They own an Italian restaurant about half an hour from the house which serves HUGE portions. I’d been caught off-guard by the portion size last time I was there, so this time I only ordered a main course. However I didn’t do myself any favours by helping out Donna and Sarah with their pizza and ended up leaving a lot of my fettuccini. I skipped dessert (yes, you read it right; I skipped dessert!)

Right now we’re back home and my consciousness is beginning to dissolve around the edges; my wrist watch says it’s 9pm, but my laptop insists it’s 3am. I suppose the fact that I’m still functioning is a good sign; probably all the late night’s recently are actually helping… even so, I think I’m going to stop writing now as I detect that I am rambling somewhat and will probably become totally incoherent shortly.

Good night.

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