Your holiday starts at the airport.
The nervous poos, the people watching, and the mad dash to your gate to join the Spanish invasion.
Each one a huge warehouse filled with other humans. But fear not. Airports need not be scary, let us hold your hand and guide you through them.
It’s massive. It’s confusing, and if you have a late flight back, the last thing you want is a game of ‘where’s the bloody car’ to colour your already darkened mood post-Malaga. Best thing to do is gaffer tape a traffic cone to the roof – job done.
Once you’ve shuffled around the stupid winding pathways of the pre-queue like the condemned, pick a desk and run to it. This can be a squeaky bum time as your main bag is weighed. Too heavy? Looks like half of Heathrow will see your thongs, then.
If you have elderly family with you, this will be hilarious – I mean a very confusing time for them. It’s best to tell Uncle Roger to remove everything, but expect him to moan himself into a coma in the process. Pass through the metal detector and breathe a sigh of relief – yes you do – as you collect your case knowing full well the most dangerous item in your luggage is that copy of Fifty Shades.
If you want perfume that costs the same as a third world nation’s defence budget and enjoy being pestered by pretty people, this is for you. It’s the one-stop shop that you CANNOT avoid.
This is a British airport institution. They stock every book that has ever been written, and they have every magazine published since 1485. You will not be left wanting in this Pandora’s box of travel consumables. So many sweets that you get a toothache from looking. Avoid the self-service tills – they can seriously make you lose your shit.
Pub Grub? Diarrhoea-inducing fast food? Jamie? Maybe a plate of meat/taste free slop, made by pygmies high up in the Andes? It’s all here. Be prepared to wait…and wait…there’s a lot of hungry souls here, demanding to be fed like cattle in a barn.
Be mindful of your fellow traveller here. Too much food will turn your bottom into a toxic cloud factory, and nobody likes a farter.
This sucks. Nothing can make this time pass quicker. Read your overpriced nonsense, fall asleep on your partner’s shoulder, or stare at the departures board until your eyes dry up and stop working. Oh – and good luck finding seats together, it’s like a Sainsbury’s car park mid-morning on a Saturday…all the time.
As soon as the gate is announced – run like Linford. You can’t miss it, it’ll be where the queue snakes back to the runway and is thirteen people wide.
Now go, drink, eat and burn.
Jason Moody for Pf Magazine