Thursday, January 27, 2011

So Out of Here

Saturday is another miserable weather day, unsuitable for our work, and the client hasn't given up to send us anywhere else. All evidence points to my replacement coworker having boarded the plane to here, so I pack, check out of the hotel and get a ride to the terminal. It's a wooden shack at the end of a mostly empty parking lot. The driver jokes, "Do you think this this the right concourse? I probably won't get towed if you want to go in and check." The airplane hasn't landed yet, but I'm sure it will be along shortly.

I check in, with a human, no kiosks and they're nice to me. We're too far north for security, so that's it. I sit down in the waiting area where there is a 3D jigsaw puzzle for waiting passengers to work on. It's not a 3D structure, but the picture on it is 3D, kind of disconcerting, as it's difficult to look at and hard to actually tell what matches. I and a geological engineer work on it for a bit, matching a few blue pieces, sea or sky or little wooden houses in Newfoundland, I don't remember which, then we board the flight. There isn't much space under seats and no overhead bins, so they offer to gatecheck bags, but they stipulate no computers allowed in gatecheck, so I find somewhere to stuff mine in the cabin. There's a young Chinese male FO; that's more unusual than a white female one. Considering the number of people in Canada with Chinese ancestry, there are incredibly few in aviation. I can't think that I've ever seen a Chinese female flying an airliner in Canada. I'm in an exit row and he gives me an extra exit briefing, plus I look at the card. It's the usual stuff. Obey flight attendants, ditch door, leave stuff.

We launch into the murk. In the top-of-descent briefing the captain informs us that the destination airport weather is "sunny with crazy winds." I love small airlines. They haven't had the honesty beaten and memoed out of them. The descent is predictably bumpy, and we're yawing on final, back and forth. There's no cockpit door and I can see the runway lurching back and forth through the cockpit windows.

This is where I landed after the thunderstorm. It's the same runway and the same very abrupt turn off onto the taxiway. The crew parks, we disembark, and I wait for my checked bag. I take it to security and they clear it through to be loaded on my connecting flight. It "connects" in the loosest sense of the word, in that it will be at this airport in a couple of hours, but what are you going to do. I go to security and stand behind a man who appears to be in line, but he indicates that he's not waiting, just watching "the little one" go through. I peer ahead to see the unaccompanied minor off on his or her first flight, but the man's son is a fully-grown adult of what appears to be normal physical and mental function, the sort of guy you'd have no qualms dropping off at the curb. Parents!

There's more turbulence getting out of here, but that's to be expected. The flight attendant gives me a handful of extra snacks, woo! Flight attendants always treat me well. I wonder if it's a reward for my paying rapt attention during the safety briefing. I eat my way through all the snacks and my computer battery, and then I'm home. Double woo! My stuff and car are all safe and waiting for me, and my insurance hasn't even expired yet.

I'm not using the car really, so I was just going to say "who cares" and let it lapse for a while: I don't have anywhere to go that I can't walk to, but the same insurance covers it if the parking garage burns down or it's stolen, so I'll pay up and renew it.

Dinner is NOT Boston Pizza. And the next posts will be in chronological order.


Anonymous said...

OK, then... Welcome home!

GPS_Direct said...

Oh dear lord! Please remove that bit about "We're too far north for security."

If somebody at the TSA sees that, you'll be in for body cavity searches and naughty scanners!

We're so damned paranoid down here now that a guy was "taken into custody" the other day for having an animated conversation on his cell phone while sitting in his truck at a Wal-mart. Apparently, somebody thought he was acting strangely, and was holding a "gun" to his head...