I'm only about 20 yards (sorry, meters) from the departure gate, so it seems like I'll actually be able to leave as planned. But, for the record, Gatwick Airport is terrible. It's understaffed, indifferently designed, and it costs $25 to ride the train out to it (each way). I miss Stansted.
But it's not all bad. The airport staff have been uniformly pleasant. And security, although thorough, did me the favor of failing to locate the eyedrops I was smuggling. If anyone has any suggestions for how to terrorize a flight with about half an ounce of saline solution, please leave them in comments.
I'm glad to be going home, simply because at this point I've been exhausted for as long as I can remember — certainly dating to well before this trip. But I'm sad to leave England, too. I like this place. The people are nice, the beer is great, and if you can avoid getting hit by a car barrelling down an unexpected side of the street, you can have a pretty good time.
Mostly, though, I just like the Englishness. The urinals flush when you use the sink! I think it's that sort of sweet-natured belief in mankind's capacity for civilization that makes this country so admirable (while simultaneously dooming their empire from day one).
So I'll be back soon. Ryan and Lisa have a pull-out couch, I still have a pocket full of inscrutable coins, and there may be a training session for GPUK — I pretty much have to come back.
For now, though, I'm looking forward to seeing you all back in the colonies.