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William Byford owns up

Yesterday I drove around the M25 to the South terminal of Gatwick Airport in order to collect my son Barry, who was arriving on a flight from Faro in Portugal.

Perhaps inevitably – and partly it was my fault because I had allowed extra time because of the ‘reduced lanes’ road works that currently beset the southbound M23 – I arrived an hour early for the scheduled touchdown of Barry’s flight at 1335 hours, which by then in addition had been delayed by 30 minutes.

Undaunted, I bought a couple of magazines, then located a coffee shop at which to buy a latte and settled in. Once I had confirmed that the flight had landed on the screens, I moved to the ‘Arrivals’ gate and joined all the other chauffeurs and drivers waiting for passengers with their placards and/or tablet computers bearing the names of their quarry.

A perfect opportunity for one of my favourite pastimes, i.e. people-watching.

During my forty-minute wait for Barry to come through, I was able to devise an impromptu system for categorising the various types of people who either (1) wait for friends, relatives or paying passengers; and/or (2) fly around the world, for whatever reason they do.

I’m not going to itemise the fruits of my labours here – beyond (out of potential interest?) revealing that three of my categories of traveller were ‘Students’, ‘Geeks’ and ‘Student Geeks’, which may indicate the way my mind was going – but I did surprise myself by how few categories I needed in order to cover about 90% of the types who passing through.

And what sights one sees at a major airport! I had two favourites yesterday.

The first was the young lady, travelling with a similar male (presumably her boyfriend), who came through towing her luggage behind her whilst wearing a head-to-toe (pale blue with pink edgings) rabbit outfit, including a hoody over her head complete with rabbit ears poking skywards, without an apparent care in the world or any self-consciousness at all.

logoThe second was a large gentleman possessed of a pot belly, aged between thirty and thirty-five, who was wearing a thin coat beneath which he was sporting a complete ‘London 2012’ Olympics volunteer helper shirt and outfit, including a peaked cap with that dreadful graphic representation of ‘2012’ upon it. I must admit to laughing inwardly as I speculated whether he was wearing it for a bet … or alternatively was a bit soft in the head. I really could not think of any other plausible explanation.

Wasn’t it music hall and radio star Wilfred Pickles who famously said “There’s nowt so queer as folk …”?

 

About William Byford

A partner in an international firm of loss adjusters, William is a keen blogger and member of the internet community. More Posts