The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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10:28am on Thursday, 1st November, 2007:

At Stansted


As is my wont when waiting at an airport for ages, it's time for an anti-airport blog entry. This one is made a little more exciting because I don't know what Iceland's electrical sockets are like, so it's possible that I could be carelessly draining my laptop's batteries. Hmm, well actually I don't care about doing that, so "careless" is the right word.

Checking in for Iceland Express was a breeze. There were no queues at the desk whatsoever. It's quite possible that I'm the only person going to Iceland from England today, although I dare say others will show up close to take-off.

Getting through security wasn't as painful as it was in the past, but the government's determination to grief its voters was still evident. They've now introduced a rule on the weight of the one piece of hand luggage you're allowed — something like 8kg. My bag weighed 11kg when they tried it at the check-in desk, so in theory I was supposed to put it in the hold. In practice, I took my laptop out "ready for the X-ray" and got through. A student a few people behind me was also 3kg overweight with her bag. She was stopped and told she had to lose that amount, so she opened it up and took out a 70cm wad of course notes in folders, whereupon she was allowed through. As soon as she was through, and in full view of the guy who had declared her bag overweight, she put all her papers back. He didn't object.

My toothpaste, in its special little plastic bag, was tested separately. The test consisted of opening the cap and looking inside. Memo to potential terrorists: if you want to hide your plastic explosives in toothpaste tubes, put a dollop of toothpaste at the end.

Next was the shoe X-ray. I object to having to remove my shoes at the best of times, but when the man on the machine doesn't even look at the picture then it's worse. I feel as if I'm not getting my money's worth. The reason that the security officer didn't look at my shoes, by the way, or those of the half dozen or so people behind me, was because he was describing someone who had just been sacked to one of his colleagues. Appartently, the sackee was a man who "wore beads". I suppose there must have been a danger he might have used them to buy Manhattan or something.

I managed to buy some Icelandic Krona. They work out at about 1p=1k, which should be handy for working out prices. Given the size of Iceland's population, though, I don't expect there to be vast shopping streets in Reykjavik — it's about the same size as Colchester. Still, if I can get my kids a woolly hat and something cute with "Iceland" written on it, that should be enough to secure me their favour...

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).