Monday, January 13, 2003

Monday, January 13, 2003

Today's update is coming from 35, 000 feet.  I'm on my way to the bitter cold, and let me tell you it's not so easy to use a laptop in peasant class.  I'm not such a big person, and I'm having to make a HUGE effort not to elbow the woman sleeping next to me.  :)

I allowed extra time today at the airport since I know they made all kinds of changes effective January 1.  I can not believe how effortlessly I breezed through the airport and security.  They have these new giant bomb-sniffing machines that checked bags go through.  I checked my bag at curbside since I assumed there would be a long line inside.  Plus I didn't relish wheeling my bag around anymore.  I was already carrying my laptop, my coat, and my purse.  Within 2 minutes from being dropped off at the curb, I was inside receiving my boarding pass from a self-service electronic kiosk. 

Because I didn't see a seat number on it and because there was again no line at all at the counter, I asked the agent there for a seat.  He told me (when asked) that my flight had been oversold by about 4 seats and to ask at the gate for a seat.  Hehe, I was already mentally preparing my argument of why I would not be the one to get bumped.  I knew logically that wouldn't happen as they frequently get more than enough volunteers.  Also, because I'm a business traveler, they are usually more considerate.

oh goody!  Turbulence

As I was walking away, I heard a dog bark that sounded hauntingly familiar.  It turns out it's the same dog I heard barking this morning while I was getting ready.  I bumped into my neighbors checking in with their very large, very friendly Rottweiler.  It's the same neighbors whose wife/mother recently died of cancer.  I never got a definite confirmation that she did die, just rumors from other neighbors.  I knew she had been sick and since I hadn't seen her lately, I assumed it was true.  Anyway, I had no idea what to say after my initial hello.  I wanted to express my sympathy; however, I wasn't entirely sure it was warranted yet.  Plus, it seemed to me to be more compassionate to not bring that topic up in the middle of an airport between casual acquaintances.  So, I chit-chatted for a minute and then went off to find my gate.

Again, security was incredibly easy & fast.  I walked through miles (well yards anyway) of empty winding temporary barrier-lines (a la Disneyworld) to get to the security gate.  Again, there was no one in front of me.  I waltzed right through and didn't get searched.  Yay!!  I hate that added indignity of getting felt up in front of strangers.  Okay, sometimes I like it but not usually when I'm in a hurry.  ;)

Who knew I didn't need to hurry in the slightest?  I sauntered towards my gate which was still not even open because I was more than one hour early.  Fuck, how did that ever happen?!?!?  So, I was off to the pizza place to get food as I was starting to get jittery. 

Finally!!!!  There was my mile long line that I had anxiously anticipated.  I watched a captain argue with the minimum-wage worker about how he was buying a whole pizza, so he should be charged for one @ $12.49 instead of 6 slices @ $2.50 each.  This would be why I had allowed the extra time today.  :)  It was quite a long battle.  I wasn't sure who would win based on attrition.  A manager was called over, and the worker & manager argued in Creole about the price.  The worker kept repeating to the captain that it was the same amount of money either way.  And when it was finally rung up, the captain just meekly paid it and realized it was time to concede.  Who really wants to argue with someone who barely speaks the same language and doesn't understand the concept of volume discount?

I walked back to the gate where they still didn't have a seat for me; however, they did reassure me that I wouldn't be bumped.  And, there was my neighbor again.  He was on my flight to Pittsburgh where we both were changing planes to different destinations.  I took my pizza and went in search of a quiet place to eat.

I did in fact get on my flight (said hi again to my neighbors as I passed them in my trek through first class into my peasant seat) and proceeded to question someone who didn't know the difference between seat A and seat E.  Sigh.

I called my Galahad from my cell phone before takeoff to squeeze in that last "I love you" and to tell him about our neighbors.  He agreed that I did the right thing by not bringing up anything deep.  I also left Maximus a voicemail saying hello and let him listen to me bored & rambling on an airplane.  Hehe, I love talking to voicemail sometimes.

So here I sit, contemplating my tiny packet of airline pretzels and wishing I had been brave enough to bring my new book with me.  It just seemed too much like asking for trouble though --- reading a book entitled The Highly Sensitive Person while surrounded  by zillions of strangers just waiting to fuck with me.

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