Monday, June 11, 2012

Flying.


*Insert obligatory crap about how long it's been since our last post and subsequent excuses*

Moving on...

I'm at the airport, joy of joys. While travel is always very rewarding; getting to see new places or visit old friends or be present for major events in the lives of the people I care about(the purpose of this particular visit), it's also very stressful.

Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.
See, somewhere along the way in my life, I picked up the idea that planes are dangerous. They fall out of the sky ALL THE TIME. This is not actually the case, but I can't shake the feeling that my doom is imminent every time I get on a plane. I mean, they do crash on occasion, but the odds of being on a plane that crashes is slim. Physics supports planes being able to fly, but I still find the whole thing terrifying. Every change in engine pitch, every turbulent bump makes me clutch at my arm rest, like that will help.

I try not to be a bad passenger though. I sit quietly in my seat, waiting for the explosion that means an engine has gone out and we will begin our abrupt plummet earthwards.

Being over the age of 21, has made flying a lot easier. During my airport wait, I find the nearest Mexican restaurant and get a margarita. Why? Alcohol makes me care a lot less about the heightened potential for death I associate with flying.

What really pisses me off is that flying cross country, to the small hamlet in Southern Oregon where I grew up, always requires three planes. There are rare occasions where I can get away with only two, which means one flight is an epic 6 hour battle to keep myself entertained and prevent body parts from falling asleep. I never win that battle. The terror though, intensifies at take off and during landing, so I prefer the longer flights with fewer breaks because it means less chance for human error on the landing/take-off. The landing on my most recent flight from Baltimore to Newark was pretty harrowing. Our landing gear was out a full 10 minutes before we landed, slowing us down, creating more drag, etc etc while we were still thousands of feet above the ground. I especially liked the part where we wobbled around while coming in for the landing. It's so comforting to know your pilot can't keep the plane balanced or going in a straight line.

I also feel like pointing out that I just overheard an argument in the kitchen, which happens to be very near my table. Two people were yelling at each other, banging things around and when my waiter came out, he asked another worker if she had seen the woman hit him. He has not made another appearance since. Such things make me truly consider the dine and dash.... I mean, I have a flight to catch and I've got about two shots worth of tequila making me care a lot less about social norms. I'll give this place about 10 more minutes and if no one shows, I might just walk out.

Damn, he re-appeared. I was kind of looking forward to a free margarita.

Now it's time to pay my check and proceed to my gate so I can sit around for awhile. Eventually, I can stand in line so that I can then sit around for 5 hours while a the giant chunk of metal I am enveloped in flies through the air around 5 or 6 miles above the surface of the Earth.

At least I'll get some reading in.