Morning came as it does and I dreaded it. I woke at 7am and knew that the next bed I would see lay in Seattle three plane rides and four airports later. I had a light breakfast and killed time until it was time to check out and head to the airport.
At check-in for my first flight. A short two hour hop to Johannesburg the agent asked me what my seating preference was. Certainly not center because I am not that stupid. I asked for a window and she apologized that the only window seat she had available was on an Exit Row. Oh, please, please Br’er Rabbit, don’t throw me in the briar patch !! I made the – Well if that’s all you have face – and snatched that seat assignment right out of her hand. Actually I thanked her and told her that was better than perfect, because of the next two long legs of the trip.
The rest of the tip was reasonably uneventful. A paid for extra legroom seat from Johannesburg to Atlanta, for that sixteen hour flight. I’m window seat, third from the aisle because I like having the wall to lean against. My fellow passengers sometimes take offense when I start leaning on heir shoulder trying to sleep, so I’ve found the wall a good substitute. The only problem is that I sometimes need to pee and I don;t like the idea of DVT. So I try to time my extraction from coffin sized cocoon to the same time as the others closest to the aisle get up to do the same. The only problem is that I am sitting next to to people from Nevada. You know that desert state with legalized gambling. Both of them are natives of Nevada and must have evolved some sort of camel gene over the generations. He never pee’s and she is good for four hours at a time. To make matters worse, she cam sleep on the f’ing plane I think I hate her. (actually she is a very nice woman, with an interesting history).
Eventually we made it to Atlanta, almost exactly at sixteen hours. The seat of the plane I was sitting in will dry out after two or three other flights and off to Customs and Immigration. Their Global entry is down so a smooth process turns into a bit of a cluster … but eventually I am putting my luggage back into the system and standing in line for the Take Scissors Away (TSA) theater of security. It doesn’t matter that we have just flown one one plane from overseas and didn’t blow it up over the vast stretches of open ocean we are no longer sanitary, because we talked to other federal officials and they might have loaded us up with pocket knives or atomic bombs.
I look ahead and don’t see a TSA Pre-check line. I do see shoes and belts in bins, crying babies, first time fliers and big circular radiation emitters. I pull out my three bottles of soap, shampoo and hand lotion I stole from a hotel three trips ago. Undress my feet, unwrap my waist, place my computer in it’s plastic cart and send several thousands of dollars worth of my property past the unseeing eyes of minimally screened, minimally trained, and minimally paid security actors. I do tell them they can xray someone else in my place,, because I am not going to experience any more radiation that necessary. I’d just spent sixteen hours at over thirty thousand feet, getting bombarded by unfiltered gamma rays and more I don’t want. Besides it is also a bit of my rage against the machine, I know this will break up their choreography.
A nice muse sized lady walks me past the machine that they promise won’t look at your “hoo-ha” and explains in great detail how she is going to search me, with the palms of her hands on some places and the edges of the hands on other places. Come on, let’s just get this over so I can go find a seat next to my gate. She does her thing, and something about my left boob bothers her. It doesn’t feel the same as the right. Lady, everyone has boob that don’t match. Some are larger than the other, some are higher than the other, haven’t you ever been to a locker room at the gym? So she uses one of her lifelines and calls a friend. Now we three are in a small search room and there are in low tones debating my breasts. Finally I reached down and grabbed my shirt’s hem and pulled it above my questionable tits and said, Okay now? – W-w-well you didn’t have to do that ! You can go. Shit they ruined my choreography too.
The next flight was a short five hour jump from Atlanta to Seattle. The seat was a normal seat, no extra legroom or exit, but the passenger in the seat ahead of me did not recline her seat and the people next to me were not born and raised in Nevada.
Thanksgiving in the USA. Boy was I thankful to see rain and temperature in the high forty degrees. The Airporter Shuttle does not run on three days of the year and Thanksgiving is one of those days. My best friends ever have offered to drive the two hours from Bellingham to pick me up and drive me home, but they have other friends over for supper and have a meal to prepare. Besides I really an tired. The hotel shuttle picked me up and whisked me to the hotel. I hand my credit card to the clerk, she hands me a plastic key and with a press of 5 on the elevator and a short walk I can again see a bed.
Thirty nine hours between beds. A new personal best/worst. I kind of lost about ninety minutes from the movie Get Hard on the plane from Johannesburg but the rest of those hours were branded in my non functioning brain. A three hour nap left me wobbly and unfocused. I went to a nearby restaurant for the traditional Thanksgiving meal and though I think of Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday of the year, found myself uninspired to eat myself into a triptophan (sp?) coma.
Back to the hotel for a little time killing television and dropped off to sleep during Wheel of Fortune, I couldn’t even stay awake for Jeopardy. I woke a few times in the night and then had that wake up that tells you, you aren’t going to sleep any longer. Looked at the clock and it was a few minutes past 7am. Almost twelve hours later.
The bus home was smooth as silk. Bags in the belly, butt on seat and nothing to do except look at the world from a different perspective from driving the same road I’ve been driving off and on for forty years. I saw scenery I didn’t know existed. Not to mention the voyeur I got to be looking down into the passing cars. Nothing of note, a few driving texters and too many nose pickers, but there was hope for something really interesting, which went unrealized.
My friend was to pick me up when the bus arrived in Bellingham, but was a bit tardy and in a different car. Her car had a flat tire and she had to substitute. I got home and found that the elves did not come to my house while I was gone and clean it. I did find that the plants that I forget to water before leaving nearly four weeks ago, somehow did not totally die. They weren’t happy looking, but they weren’t brown and crunchy either.
So that’s it !! I’ll settle in and review my images and post the best twenty within the next week. Thanks for coming along those of you who read all these narcissistic, sarcastic, sometimes mean posts. It means a lot to me to know that you too the time to look them over.