Tom is here.
I left school immediately after lectures on Saturday and stopped home to finish picking up the house, because Tom is a bit of a neatnik and gets annoyed at excessive clutter. Threw the towels and bedding that I'd laundered that morning in the dryer, ran to M&S for some essential foodstuffs, and then headed to Heathrow to pick him up. (Always schedule trips to arrive on Saturday or Sunday and you get a friendly smile upon exiting customs and immigration.) I hit horrific traffic on the M1, but I'd allowed an appropriate buffer because organisation is one of my hallmarks.
Heathrow was a total zoo. Tom was on Virgin, which goes to Terminal Three along with virtually every other giant plane coming from afar on a non-BA carrier, and the stop and go traffic started before you even got to the big Heathrow roundabout. T3 has a great new car park, though, so at least it has spaces and was better lit than the old one. I seemed to arrive just as half of Pakistan was trying to get to their car, so I had to push my way through throngs of people and carts full of luggage. Made it to the customs greeting area just as his flight popped up as arrived. Perfect timing.
It was 745pm by this time, so I ducked into one of the snack shops and got us car food snacks. Came back and waited anxiously for My Friend Tom. I had to wait over an hour before I saw him wander out.
It was a pretty interesting wait, actually. There were flights from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India all arriving around the same time, and I was standing amid families who were waiting for grandparents to arrive, kids running around completely unable to contain their excitement. Many sons would see their parents coming out of the doorway looking dazed at the sea of faces, and they would come forward and bow, touch their mom/dad's feet, then they reach up and touch their heart and then embrace. Never seen that greeting before, but I googled it and it is actually quite a common Kashmiri greting for younger generations when greeting elders after long seperation, especially when the younger lives outside of Kashmir.
My favourite fellow waiter was an extremely skinny boy in highwater, kind of tight pants (he was about 6) who, upon seeing his grandmother being wheeled towards him by a customs agent with her cane in her hand, started whelping WHOOO HOOO, flailing his arms about and jumping up and down like a leprechaun (imagine him bending his knees outwards and hitting his but with his heels), only to stab himself in the gut when he ran into her cane with his tummy. He fell to the floor in a heap, but didn't lose his enthusiasm.
I think Frances McDormand and Joel Cohen were on Tom's flight. They came out about 20 minutes before Tom did. She looked just as cool in person as you think she will. I think I'm the only one that recognised her. Tom was very jealous when he found out about my star sighting. Suffer, fool.
Tom talked the whole way here about his job and the dumbass sales people he works with. There is nothing so awful as hearing about someone who would sell their grandmother down the river to make their quarter's quota. Took him here for dinner and we had a very spicy curry, and then we stayed up very late. But the cocktails were delicious.
I made toasted hot cross buns from M&S for breakfast with PG Tips, and now we're making a roast dinner of chicken, stuffing, and fine beans. I plan to drag him to IKEA this afternoon, and American Idol is just coming on. How great is that?