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O Fim duma Viagem

What About Aeroplanes?

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 11 August 2014 | Views [337] | Comments [1]

At 2:00, our taxi driver came to pick us up. He was pretty friendly, talking about his family and his favorite highways. (He's the first person I've met who's had a favorite highway, as far as I'm aware.) He was also much more interesting than Waverley, the book I was trying to read in honor of going to Scotland.

 The title of this work has not been chosen without the grave and solid deliberation which matters of importance demand from the prudent.” It's such a pompous line, and the worst part is that he was right. The title of his novel was important, because Waverley train station ended up being named for it. Imagine needing to take a train to the Mordaunt station? It was a good thing Sir Walter Scott had the prudence to choose an uncontaminated name.

 Once we were at the airport, we checked in our bags. The woman checking us in called out “flight to Edinberg”in such a thick Southern accent that I could not parse it into the name of our destination city. Once we figured out it that it was, in fact, we continued on through security.

 Security was running psych tests on us. At the back of the line, a woman kept swiping her tablet to direct us. It would pop up with an arrow and the words “right” or “left.” My father was directed to the right, my mother and I to the left. My father's line didn't need to take out their laptops or remove their shoes.

 The man checking our passports wrote three orange Ls on my mother's boarding pass and informed her that she was the lucky winner of a random generator of TSA's (words I have never heard non-sarcastically before) who did not need to remove her shoes. Although our bags went through the same scanner, she went trhough an old-fashioned metal detector and I went through the more common (US only) scanner that required holding my hands over my head.

 My security experience was as traditional as they come, but my scissors weren't taken, so I'm counting that as a win.

 We had two passes to the United Business Class lounge, so we went there. We were hoping that they wouldn't check too closely, and if they did we'd be able to get a third person in because it's not like I was going to drink alcohol. I even put my hair in pigtails so I looked younger and therefore not able to be left alone.

 It didn't work. The first thing they did was ask for our boarding passes, and the second thing they did was explain that since I was over two years old, I could either pay $50 or get out. My mother generously volunteered to leave instead.

 United's lounge was nice, and it was certainly large, but overall, it wasn't that impressive. There was tea and hot chocolate, but nothing good enough I was seriously tempted to steal it for later, and there were some cookies and trail mix-ish snacks. The free wifi password was entered after selecting that you were in the business class lounge (and not a business class flyer or paying separatly.) It was a pain to enter on mobile devices, and was probably slower than real business class passengers got.

 The downside of the plane was that it was a normal seat again. The upside was that I could keep my bag in front of me instead of in the overhead compartment.

 The woman next to me had never been on an airplane before, at least not for a transcontinental flight. It showed. She was nervous, but incredibly impressed by the range of in-flight entertainment. (Dexter and House!)

 For the entire flight, nothing held my attention for more than half an house. My surefire method for staying awake on planes (every time I feel tired try and get into the most comfortable position possible, put in headphones to listen to my music, close my eyes, and try to go to sleep. 10-20 minutes later I'll give up and be more alert than ever) held true. Waverley was boring. I had three books on the “Nook”- Nook Quick Start Guide, Nook User Manuel, and Pride and Prejudice. I at least like the last book, but I'd reread it under 8 months ago.

 I tried watching movies. My attention span was really shot with those. I didn't want to watch something in English (I don't know why not) and their language options were kind of limited. I found one film in French (Beauty and the Beast, not a version I'd seen before) but for the most part, I tried films in Japanese. Captain America was the best, because it was hilarious to hear a perfect Japanese accent coming out of the mouth of an actor who looked as stereotypically American as could be. Unfortunately, language difficulties and lack of knowledge of the film stopped me from understanding more than basic greetings, beating people up, what the man was saying to the hostages (double-linguistic aid of the man talking in French and the subtitles being in English), computer hacking being done, and the word “Romanov.”

 Back to Waverley I go. Slightly better when the author isn't gratuitously talking about himself and his writing process. Oh. He never truly stops, does he? I wonder what else is on this plane's TV?

 And so the flight dragged on.

 On this plane, getting up to stretch and walk around wasn't exactly an option. Even if I didn't care about disturbing my fellow passengers by walking over them, I would very quickly find myself trapped behind a food or drink cart. This did happen the two times I got up to use the bathroom, and I needed to wait until they had either served the people in front of me or backed all the way out and started putting the cart away before I could get back to my seat.

 And so the flight dragged on.

 Despite being physically and mentally exhausted, I couldn't help smiling as the plane began it's descent and I stared out the window. We were here. We were back.

Tags: airplanes, airports, boredom, taxi, waverley

Comments

1

"Unfortunately, language difficulties and lack of knowledge of the film stopped me from understanding more than basic greetings, beating people up, what the man was saying to the hostages (double-linguistic aid of the man talking in French and the subtitles being in English), computer hacking being done, and the word “Romanov.”

For a Marvel film it seems that's the main thing to get, right? :) Enjoying hearing about your trip. Hope you see lots of great musicals at the Fringe, and also other stuff.

  Jacob Aug 13, 2014 8:14 AM

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