"" Writer's Wanderings: Flashback Friday - Our First International Trip

Friday, May 26, 2017

Flashback Friday - Our First International Trip

Our very first passports in hand, we flew to New York and then on to Heathrow Airport in London. It had to be the late 1980s. There was no fuss with security and once through immigration we were greeted by Bob's sales rep, David, who was English but had lived for a few years in the US. He popped us into the car with our luggage and we were on our way.

Of course the steering wheel was on the wrong side of the car and we were driving on the wrong side of the road. With little sleep and anxiety over being in unfamiliar territory we began our crazy journey through the streets of London. Roundabouts made me dizzy and then I happened to glance at the speedometer from my place in the back seat. He was doing 100! It wasn't until later that I realized it was only about 60 mph. All I could think of was, "I'm gonna die!"

Finally it was time to check into the hotel and see if we were lucky enough to have our room ready for us. Thankfully it was. We may have napped a bit. I can't remember but I do remember the visitors we had. A knock on our door and we kind of looked at each other. Had David decided to stop by? Had we left something in the car?

Bob opened the door which was around the corner from where I sat. I could hear a female voice but couldn't understand what she was saying. Bob's voice came through loud and clear though.

"Uh, no. No. That's won't be necessary. Thanks anyway. My wife is here with me."

He closed the door and gave a chuckle. He explained there were two ladies-of-the-evening who had offered him their services. I laughed. He looked so uncomfortable.

Later we saw them hanging out in the entryway to the hotel. They didn't acknowledge Bob. I guess they didn't want to embarrass him with his wife. When we returned to the hotel, they were gone. We assumed when we never saw them again that they had been removed or just moved on.

During the day, Bob worked the trade show (our reason for being there) and I got to explore. David had shown us how to use the tube (the subway) and I ventured out several times. My only scare was hearing a rowdy crowd headed in my direction and I feared it was one of the demonstrations that were happening around that time with the IRA. They were upon me before I had a chance to react but I realized with relief that it was only a group of young men all dressed in soccer gear and celebrating. I breathed a sigh of relief although today I know that it could have been just as dangerous a situation. Those soccer fans can be intense.

Sadly David is gone now but while he was still with us we always blamed him for getting us to travel to London. It was the beginning of a wanderlust that has not yet abated.

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