Saturday, June 7
Another breakfast at the hotel, then a cab to the train station at Crewe, a train to the Manchester airport, and a flight to Aberdeen. Traveling is easier alone. Although one might think that another person would help find things, and avoid mistakes, and share the load, in practice, it isn’t so. I watch myself traveling very efficiently, very smoothly, except for moments of confusion that a moment sorts out without much difficulty. I watch myself glide smoothly from the train through the maze to the right place to check in for the flight, and even my movements are smooth and sure, usually. Far more so than if I were with someone, my attention half on the companion. This of course has nothing to do with the companion and everything to do with the way I operate.
I like the British ways so much more than commercial-American. At Dulles airport, every 15 minutes came a strident warning that “for security reasons” you mustn’t leave your baggage unattended; unattended baggage would be seized for inspection and might be damaged or destroyed. Here in Manchester, a pleasant voice merely asked passengers “to reduce the number of security alerts by keeping your luggage with you at all times.” No threats, no stridency. Same message underneath, but all the difference in the world how it was delivered. Continue reading A Trip to Iona — June 7, 2003