Things you may not know about traveling to England:
- Despite all the signage alerting you to the fact that Logan Airport Terminal E is the place to go for American international arrivals, American international departures are still in Terminal B. Do not make this mistake when you are already running at least a half an hour late due to unfortunate timing arriving at the Central Square T station moments after the inbound train has departed, as well as having to wait for the new Silver Line airport service: handy, convenient, but not a hell of a lot faster.
- They haven’t yet started forcing you to pay for crappy airline food on international flights. This is a good thing when you are arriving at the gate as your flight is boarding, haven’t eaten a thing all morning, are totally exhausted already, and have no time to hit the Dunkie’s before security.
- Air conditioning: not so common! This is a huge problem when, in line for “passport control” (why is there a @ where the ” should be, huh?!), there are several planeloads full of people, all sweating profusely.
- Some toilets have two buttons: a full flush and a half flush. I think it’s pretty clear what this is for.
- Everything is smaller: cars, roads, appliances (oh, especially appliances), water heaters (this is amazing!), hallways (narrower), doorknobs (placed higher, seemingly all turning in the wrong direction (see below). This is one of a collection of things creating a general, underlying very-similar-but-not-quite-right sense of unease, that ever-so-slight unfamiliarity that keeps reminding you that things are just a tad bit off.
- Some things are backwards. The doorknob thing (above) is unexpected; the road thing is expected but still unnerving: you know about it, of course, but then you forget and are surprised when you arrive to see everyone sitting behind the wheel on the right hand side of the car driving on the left hand side of the road. This is another big part of the underlying strangeness of things.
- You become very, very self-conscious — of your bearing, your accent, your behavior, &c. — and are constantly afraid you are making a fool out of yourself and your country. Face it: you probably are, and there’s probably nothing you can do about it except continue to be super polite.
- The weather (so far, anyway) isn’t nearly as crappy as you’ve been led to believe. Not a humid or hot as Boston in the summer. Nice. Almost perfect, really. (Watch it pour tomorrow.)
- The coffee is as bad as you remember.
- Contrary to what the man himself seems to believe, no one here has any clue who Johnny Damon is. This is for the best.
- Keyboard layout: confusingly different! Just ever so slightly, though. See malaise (above).