Arrival in Liverpool

by chris cunningham

A long day awaits me. I woke up this morning and went to work as normal, but with the added stress of knowing I wasn’t going to get back to the house if I forgot anything. My flight wasn’t until 9:30pm so I just had to get there a few hours before. No big deal right? No. Big deal.

I got my bags out of the car and go down to the lobby to call a cab. I ask security to call dispatch to get me cab. OK, all done so I’ll go out and wait out front. 45 minutes later I go back in and now I’m worried because it’s getting late. I get the number from them and call and they didn’t have my call logged. Ack! So I say “Can I get a cab then?” “Yeah, 40 minutes.” WHAT!?! That’ll be cutting it close. So I ask why so long and she finally tells me no cabs are going to Culver City because of a labor dispute. The cabbies are supporting the protesters. So that’s why those people are out in front of Culver Studios with big banners? That doesn’t help me one bit. This isn’t how it was supposed to begin.

I’m actually thinking I might not make the plane at this point because it’s 7pm Friday night and everyone has left and no cabs will come get me. Eek! That would be a total nightmare. Last ditch is I take my car and pay an arm and leg for 11 days of parking. So, I call Bau to see if he’s still at his desk as a last hope before taking the car and he’s still there. I sheepishly ask if he can take me to the airport, which is fortunately on his way home. He’s just getting ready to leave!! ahhhhhhhh…. what a relief….

So we pack his car up with my stuff and all said and done I got there with just enough time to check in, get through security, buy some water and snacks and have them announce my section to board the plane. I get settled into my *middle* seat as that was all that was left because I was so late. So I sat between this older couple who talked across me the whole flight. They were nice though, but took a lot of pills. “Here Jerry, take your pills, it’s time.” I lasted about an hour and actually fell asleep, which is probably the best thing that could happen for this flight. The flight went really quickly and before I knew it I was landing in London. And then…

The lady at the gate in Los Angeles warned me that you can only have one carry on a domestic flight in the U.K.. Hmmmm… I should be able to cram all this in my back pack when I get to security. Not. Even. Close. OH NO. I have to exit terminal and check a bag and then come back through security in the domestic terminal. And passport control mind you. Then I stood in the wrong line and only had about 10 minutes to get to the plane! I’m still outside. So sad. Well, at least I’m in the country, I could call Liza and tell her I’m having fun in Heathrow in the meantime. No, not really.

Anyway, everything came together and I found the entrance and there was no line at security and I got to the gate just minutes before. Whew. OK, gettin’ tired of just coming in under the wire.

The flight to Manchester was quick and now I just had to get my bags and walk out those doors. Oh, those doors. Right on the other side of thoooose doors. She’s right there. There’s like one pane of glass to go through. It’s just now my damn bags won’t come through the little flappy door of the baggage claim! Come on already!!

Finally! I was one of the last three people standing around there and I loaded up the cart and off through the doors I went… and there she was.

>>insert really great moment of meeting someone for the first time that you’ve known for over a year<< So, after about an hour of sitting in the airport we headed out to her car which was, somewhere, over, there, someplace, next to the, um, across the, ummm, where is it Liza? Well, we eventually found it and we were off. Off to Liverpool! Rather exciting! Got back to Liverpool and unloaded and just had a look around her place and neighborhood and then went out to eat at a brazilian place. I was starving for some real food, not foil covered mystery meat and a mini cadbury flake. Then the photos started. click click click haha My own little paparazzi. Had a great meal and then took off for a walk around Liverpool. Down to the docks and through the heart. It was Saturday night and busy busy busy and a good laugh looking around at all the people. Accent overload. Photos above by Liza. As most of them of me will be. I didn't really shoot a whole lot the first two days as I was a bit loopy from jet lag / shock / fish out of water mode. Sometimes just plain forgetting I was even carrying a camera. But all was really good. And thus was the first hours of Liverpool. Exciting, overwhelming and perfect.