Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Observations at the immigration queue !!

When you reach immigration counter after 10 hrs of journey, you want to finish that final hurdle fast and get to your destination.
Now when I reached Heathrow, I saw two different counters
1. British and EU passports and
2. All other passports.

Of course,we lesser mortals ( all other passports ) reluctantly dragged our bodies and luggage towards a serpentine queue . I was just wondering why I was at the end of the queue , then I remembered the time I spent at the washroom searching for my hair brush and then restoring my makeup ..Some people have better sense to use washrooms after the immigration checks..a pointer for next time .

I had some 300 people ahead of me and a nerd of a guy behind me ,he was the only person after me ..and this fella was cursing all the while , sometimes his luggage , sometimes his phone , sometimes the immigrations , sometimes I couldn’t make out whom. And then I started observing people to pass the time, he wasn’t much of a company unless I wanted a lesson on cuss words.

The first person I see when I join this queue every time am there, is a Punjabi lady...This time again she was speaking to anther Punjabi brit and this is the conversation I overheard

Lady1 : Are u in tomorrow ?
Lady2 :Yeaaaaa
Lady1 : cheti ayi fer ( come on time )
Lady2 ..haan haan ..I know

Lady2 comes to lady 1 . Appreciates her thick gold bangles
Lady2: They are niceeee
Lady1 : haan I got them done last time I was in India …Hune gayi si 2 mahine pehle ..

Etc etc ….part Punjabi and part English conversation continued …and then I had to move forward missing their conversation ….. I absolutely love how they switch from perfect Brit accent to perfect Punjabi accent in the same sentence ..:)

Second set of people who attracted my attention were three ladies , In almost identical track suits.From my reliable fashion blog site, I know that it’s a designer one !! So, we have three good looking ladies in pink , blue and red tracks ..Same brand same style, and wearing goggs ( yea inside the airport ) with YSL tribute totes ( similar ones all three of them ) …I don’t know if they do bulk shopping or they like to look like a band whenever travelling , or someone sponsored their trip .

Next I saw a newly wed couple. Gal must be travelling for the first time. she was all excited and the sparkle in her eyes told it all , guy was being a proud guide , feeding her stories in bits and pieces. I smiled at them, they smiled back.

Then there was this cute kid, I had met him in the flight , whenever I ask him anything , he will sing like an opera singer .He must be 3 yrs old or so. He was placed almost parallel to me in the queue so I could bug him as we keep on walking.

Then I saw a Gucci mama, beautiful overcoat, nice pearls, a big rock, and an elegant grey flower clip on her hair .she was elegance and style personified. What a lovely sight!!…at immigration queue ??Never mind the place , she was awesome !

I saw someone wearing a big skirt,I looked up slowly, it wasn’t a girl , he was almost 7 feet tall and this huge guy was wearing a dress and coat ..from a distance it looked like skirt and a blazer …I was staring and so were others. Probably they don’t make pants of that size,or it was more comfortable .Was it ethnic wear or a style statement .I was too tempted to ask ..but then he didn’t have a friendly face ..

As we keep on moving at the surprisingly slow pace , I noticed that out of 22+ counters , we had immigration officers at only 6 0r 7 of them …cant they have more people there to speed up the process ??

There were many Indian students who have been held at immigrations, and were told to wait. I could sense the panic in their faces .what if they had t go back home? How different their state of mind had been when they boarded the plane few hours ago? how things change so fast.

And there were people from various countries , Indians , pakistanis , Chinese , Japanese , Iranians etc etc …It was a good mix of people , that kept me amused for whole 1 hour. Damn u Mr. Murphy !!!

p.s .I am at Uk for 2 weeks and enjoying it so far :)


Latin Sardar said...

Okay, honestly, that was a bit weird coming from you. If I am correct to draw from our previous conversations that this is not your first trip to the English shores, then I am amused that you don't know the traditional Scottish kilts that 'men' wear. And yes, they look like skirts and they are worn by men from Scotland. Those men do look brutish most of the times, but are quite nice people as such, very hospitable at that too. My experiences with the Scottish people have been very good. And each clan/family/village has its own chequered design and color scheme for these kilts and easily distinguishable, just like you could do between an Amritsari or Patiala Shahi turbans.

Aevi said...

good observations...!!!!

Luscious Sealed Lips said...

Observing people and their behaviors at any time any place is so much fun. It can kill your boring time like so damn well.

Have a great trip! :)


Carina Blogarina said...

Good times huh? If it makes anydifference, when we are passing the EU passport control it is just as bad...

Preeti said...

latin : u think i really cant differentiate between a kilt and a skirt like dress ...come on ...he wasnt a scot ..he was more like arab but then he wasnt wearing a white robe ..it was a dark grey long dress ...thts why i got confused :)

Preeti said...

thanks Aevi n luscious lips ..
carina , may be at that time , i could only see some 30-40 ppl there and our queue was like never ending ... murphy my frend is to be blamed ..:)

Latin Sardar said...

oh, well, then you did not explain it proper in the first place. So, my bad... :)

Renu said...

Nice observation..I also keep obserbing the people around me:)

BTW tell me also that reliable designer site?

I get very panicky when I see those long queues at immigration and I have to catch another flight.

Only thing I like at Terminal 5 heathrow is that they have a found counter manned by Indians:) and I get Indian tea:)

Pinku said...

nice read.

only thing....dont say pakis...its slang and in bad taste...

we can at least be courteous to our neighbors in words...

Preeti said...

yea ..may be i wasnt clear ..never mind :) ..i wish i cud have sported a kilt wearing scot here though

..Renu : its highheelconfidential.com ....its awesome dose of fashion ..indian way ofcourse ..

Pinku : thanks for the correction , i never meant that ..its changed now ..i use it as abbreviation thats it ...will take care ..

Americanising Desi said...

so it does strike everyone.. the out of place fear feeling :(

i sure hope ur observations are sweet for the time u r stuck there!

Iya said...

hey, nice.i had written a similar post on airports some time back - http://thewhiterain.blogspot.com/2009/05/airports-are-strange-places.html

Imaweiner said...


akd said...

I saw similar kind of things in Bhubaneswar when I boarded in the AI flight..

Vijayshryaln said...

these kinda listening skill will drive ur time joyfully... absolutely kewl.

Preeti said...

thanks everyone !! i was a bit busy ..so was just reading and not comenting ..will ve visiting your blogs and reading soon ..:)

Haddock said...

That was a good one.
Observing people is an art (and you learn things in the process)

John Papers said...

This is amazing list like the previous one..
Thank you for this post..

John Papers said...

I read the article and I really liked it..
Thanks for the great post..



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