December 20, 2007

*&%$#$@$%^ Northwest Airlines!!!!!

It's always a good thing to be able to tell the difference between a real problem and an inconvenience. Real problems are the kind of things that turn your life on it's head and all the other stuff is merely a temporary annoyance.
Stated simply; I love to go places. I work very hard to be able to get myself out of familiar surroundings and the daily hum drum that makes up much of my life and expose myself to a different reality for a short time or long. Like many people out there, they're are things that I do not enjoy about the actual "getting to" of travel. Everyone who likes to travel or who has to travel has a horrific airline story and in many ways they are all similar. The tales of actually getting to the airport, getting through security, finding the right ticket counter, getting your bags all settled in and the interminable wait before the magic words
'We are now boarding flight blah blah blah to __________________ .'
Of course you put in you own destination, this time mine was Detroit. In fact, most of today's post was written on my cell phone while waiting in the Motor City airport because my connecting flight was delayed for more than an hour and I had nothing better to do with my time than sit in a shitty airport bar, chain smoking and drinking a $7 beer, $7! $8 if you count the tip.
Before I get ahead of myself I really must go back about fifteen hours or so to where the start of my journey began. Moving from one place to another often instills a sense of apprehension within me and when that happens I like to relax with a smoke. Japan used to be very smoker friendly, but that isn't the case anymore. There is no smoking car on the bullet train nor on the Narita express which I find ridiculous. Smoking may be a disgusting habit, but there ought to be at least one car out of ten that allows you to enjoy your vice in the company of other addicts. After all, the cars are separate and if you don't want to sit there it's your choice.
I can understand, even though I don't like it, why they have banned the puffing of tobacco on airplanes. You're in a tube with wings and everyone has to share the same air. That's why I believe that farting should also be banned. The guy sitting in front of me could have fueled the plane on his noxious effluvia.

Aside from the inability to partake in one of my vices I made my way through all the crapola and boarded my plane without any major mishaps and yes, I am thankful for that. My seat was well toward the back of the plane and I was thinking about the frustrating wait when I would disembark some twelve hours in the future.
When I got to my seat I was pleasantly surprised to find my overhead compartment empty. WOW! It absolutely drives me batty when someone from another row has stuffed all their shit into the space above my head just so they don't have to carry it down the aisle later on. Doing the usual things that folks do before take off, I took out my book and assorted necessities and settled in. Looking around I discerned the anathema of the airways, babies. I was literally surrounded by babies. There were seven kids sitting near me and six of them cried throughout most of the flight. There was almost no lull in the aural assault. Once one had taken a break from belting out their airborne aria another would kick in. The in flight "radio" was broken so I couldn't even stopper my ears with music. Why, oh why didn't I take my music player with me? About forty minutes after takeoff drinks were served. Now after forking over close to one weeks salary for the ticket, not to mention the surcharge for fuel; they wanted to charge me $5 bucks for a sip of whiskey. WTF?!
Since I needed something, anything to calm my nerves, which were unraveling at an exponential rate, I forked over ten bucks for two tiny shots of Jack Daniels and knocked them both back in one sweet slug of belly warming splendor.
Eventually I started to relax and then the dinner service started. You usually get a choice of foods, you know, 'Would you like the chicken or the Asian beef?' My stewardess was extremely efficient and simply said as she plopped the tray on my table top, 'we have beef.' I'm kinda glad I didn't get a choice because I tend to worry over predicaments like that. I spent the next twenty or thirty minutes playing with the mystery meat and broccoli sludge until the roll jumped up on top of the chocolate cake and told me to stop. Then it went over to the cup of coffee and proceeded to slap him around a bit. It might have been a different story if the coffee was strong enough to defend itself.

I'm glad I made it to New York. I was certain that I had arrived when the very first thing that happened as I left the arrivals lounge was that some guy came over and bummed a smoke from me.
Not wanting to mess around with buses and such I decided to take a cab home. Traffic was ruthless and unforgiving, but my cabbie was a real hustler and caused much horn honking as he bobbed and weaved through traffic like O.J. Simpson in those old Avis commercials.

It doesn't really matter what happens to you as one makes their way home so long as when you get there a six pack of cold beer and a pizza with pepperoni on it are waiting for you...

To be continued.


Pink said...

Great. I'm getting on a plane in 5 hours. You just reminded me: take earplugs!

Hope you got the beer and pizza!

NYD said...

Hi pink. Thanks for dropping by.
I got the beer and the pizza, but I Just havent had time to upload the pics.

leelee said...

Well come home to the USA!! Loved your flight was almost like being there, except for the babies crying, the farting passenger and well come to think of it...all of your

glad you made it there safely..

looking forward to pics!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back :) I'm glad you made it safely...the annoyances make arrivals splendid~
-Cora :)