the daily doyle


Turbulence
May 21, 2011, 4:26 am
Filed under: General stuff

Since I’m writing this from seat 12E of American Airlines flight 674 DFW to Tampa, I think I’ll write about flying.

It sucks.

The truth is, I hate flying, commercially at least. The other truth is… I love traveling. Or perhaps I should say, “I like BEING in other places”, that’s probably a better description. New places intrigue me, places I’ve never been, places that are fun, places with good food, all that.

But the flying itself, the getting to the airport so much time in advance, the checking in, the security, the waiting, the following orders, the ENDLESS announcements, the delays, the dry air, and on and on, I really just don’t like it.

So why am I here on this plane? Work. Not just work though, I had a great time, met some good people, spent some quality time with my beautiful goddaughter, got in some nature walks AND spent 4 nights in a Hyatt eating whatever food I wanted on company expense. All those things I really like.

Back to the subject, flying. I really hate to be one of those people who loves to complain about flying. I am generally pretty quiet, polite and, when I can manage it, cheerful about it.

I called this article turbulence because most of the flight we have been beaten back and forth by it, so bad that they suspending serving drinks, a true tragedy. In this case though, I have no reason to complain. I got my drink, cranberry juice, cheap and crappy cranberry juice with high-fructose corn syrup. Yum. I try not to drink such things and protect my health better, but the pickin’s are slim here.

This flight is really kind of ok. It is a very full flight but there happens to be an empty middle seat between me and the stranger in the window seat.

I’ve had some bad ones though. Here are the highlights:

-Do you know how bad ferrets smell? I spent one flight with two ferrets in a pet carrier under my seat. Yuck!

-Once I flew from Pittsburg to San Francisco, in a center seat, with a Muslim girl on my right and a Muslim girl on my right talking to each other, in Urdu, Hindi or something all the way there.

-I got on a plane in Texas once then a storm came through and we sat on the ground waiting it out for over 3 hours.

-Flying Avensa Airlines, the Venezuelan local carrier, we had a former Eastern Airlines 727 that badly needed a coat of paint and lots of other maintenance. Halfway through the flight my seat belt broke off and there were no empty seats so I just held on.

-The dirtiest plane I’ve ever been on was Air India. Nasty. I took one of their planes from New Delhi to Mumbai. Remember I said I like to visit intriguing places? Well, India is intriguing, but I still don’t want to go back, ever.

Despite those unpleasantries though, every plane I’ve ever boarded arrived safely at its planned destination and every passenger survived every flight. From that perspective, I have had a great experience with flying overall. I’ve never even had any serious emergencies, never seen an oxygen mask drop of the ceiling above my head, never had occasion to use the seat back as a flotation device, and never had to work an emergency exit.

I’ve certainly had some beautiful experiences on airplanes too.

-I’ll never forget holding Logan at the tender age of 13 days, yes DAYS!, on our way from Columbus, Ohio to Phoenix and on to San Jose. I was so nervous he would break or something and I was so glad when we arrived.

-I’ve flown over the Arctic, near the North Pole 5 or 6 times, on flights to Asia. That’s always amazing, nothing but ice as far as you can see in every direction.

-Flying to Europe from the USA is always exciting. You leave the east coast in the evening. Then the next morning the sun is coming up while they’re serving coffee and croissants and such and when you look around you’re in freakin’ Europe!

-I think my favorite flight ever was Mumbai to Frankfurt. As I mentioned earlier, I really didn’t care for India. Arriving at the Frankfurt airport I just thought it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen.

I’ve met some really cool people at airports, pretty girls, musicians, politicians… I was on a flight once, first class, from Melbourne to Sydney next to the “liberal” senator from Tazmania. Tazmania! Really! That was cool. I just couldn’t think of anything except the Tazmanian Devil for the entire trip. Talking to the guy was fascinating, especially because I learned that what they call a “liberal” is what we call in this country a “conservative”. Wild. It makes more sense their way because liberal should mean freedom, but here it doesn’t. I should save that discussion for an article on politics.

So here I am, flying again. I’m not enjoying it but I’m infinitely excited to get home. I have a new longboard at the house that arrived today and my son has been riding it all day, damn him. I hope a pretty girl will come over and see me. And it will be so nice to pet my cat and fall asleep in my own bed. Maybe my bed isn’t as nice as the Hyatt, but it’s mine, and I do love it.

Dorothy was right, “there’s no place like home”.

But next week, I’m going to Philadelphia and New York! Can’t wait!!!

Doyle

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Delightful! thank you Doyle.

Comment by Rich Byrd

Intersting Doyle.

Forgot to give the reference data on L
Ron Hubbard’s quote. Then I sent it to your email. (The Santa Claus one)
Too late, I guess. I’ll remember next time.

Mary

Comment by Mary Collins




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