Post 194: Return to London, UK
I'd been awake for most of the night, .... caught up in election fever and glued to 'CNN'. At around 11pm they'd announced that Obama had won the decisive State of Pennsylvania, .... there was no way back for McCain and Palin, victory for the Democrats was now assured, .... Barack Obama would become the 44th President of the United States of America. Along with the rest of the outside world, I cheered, .... I watched Obama's speech from Chicago and felt that I was witnessing a great moment in history. Americans had made their decision, they'd examined the content of this mans character and turned out in their millions to vote for him, .... America was turning a new corner. I was proud of them, I shared their feelings of hope for the future, ..... I was thankful for the opportunity to have witnessed this historical event unfolding.
Tired and disorientated, I'd been evicted from the overnight motel at 11am and had made my way to Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Air Transat?, ... I'd never heard of them either. The cost of the ticket from Toronto to London was cheap, ..... surprisingly cheap, ..... suspiciously cheap. I'd been sitting in the departure lounge for what seemed like a lifetime, arriving early in order to watch the Tiger being loaded onto the aeroplane. I hadn't seen it, .... I'd asked questions of those that I thought might know, .... they'd assured me that the bike would be on the flight, they'd been more confident than I, .... the Tiger hadn't appear on their manifests but with no other way of checking, .... I'd taken them at their word.
Thankfully it was a short flight, ..... the plane was full and the space was limited. AirTransat certainly understand how to fill an aeroplane, they were the smallest airline seats that I've ever used. As the crew shared the safety and service information with the passengers I began to understand why this flight had cost 50% less than the same flight with other operators, ..... everything was an optional extra. ''In the unlikely event that we should land on open water, .... life jackets are available from the vending machines situated at each emergency exit''.
At 9:30am GMT, on Thursday 6th November 2008, ..... a black Krauser Top Box slide through the plastic curtains and dropped onto the luggage carousel at Gatwick Airport. My baggage had arrived, .... but what of the Tiger? I sat around feeling lost and helpless, an hours wait, a tense hour spent wondering why UK Airports are the only Airports in the world where there is no free WiFi, .... an hour spent trying to confirm that the Tiger had actually been on the same aeroplane. At 11am, I had my answer, ..... the Tiger was on flight TS322, in fact it had already been cleared through customs and was now ready for collection from Gatwick Air Cargo Services, Building H, ..... 'Welcome Home'.