The streets are thronged with people of all shapes and sizes, many speaking in foreign tongues. We are surrounded by multi-coloured messages and glorious images, and our nostrils are assailed by the scents of rich spices, elaborate perfumes, and sweet confections. Our taste buds are tempted by a mouth watering choice of street food, beers and beverages. It’s a fascinating experience for the uninitiated. And we haven’t even left for India yet.
Terminal 5 at Heathrow is a huge metropolis in its own right. We arrive in good time and wait patiently in the security queues amongst the multitude. I am picked out for closer inspection and suffer the ignominy of having to empty my bag so that the lady can thrust her security probe into its innermost recesses. If it keeps us safe then it’s a price worth paying.
We opt for the walkway to the C gates in preference to the train, and travel down in the lifts to find ourselves in a deserted world of endless corridors, the travelator humming beside us. It’s like a scene from Star Wars as we encounter BA flight crew coming the opposite way in full uniform. They chuckle as I ask whether they are lost too?
Eventually we emerge into the natural light, and look out over a forest of red white and blue tailfins. Which one is ours, we wonder?
Our holiday has started as we hope it will go on.