I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday bird blogging

A magpie at Skansen.

I'm home, jet-lagged and wide awake at four am after one of those awful flights that make you vow never to leave home again.

My flight was at 9 am, and I got to the United kiosks a little after 7, where I made my first mistake, and  checked in. By myself.

Oh no! A horrified woman ran over. "You're not allowed to check in yourself!" And in fact every other kiosk had an employee hovering over the passengers, pressing the buttons for them. Since I was, in fact, already checked in, and had a boarding pass, a supervisor would have to be called to determine what to do with me.

A very nice woman led me to a bench at the side and asked me to wait. "You were just so clever, checking in by yourself, that we have to ask security what to do." Since checking in at a kiosk involves swiping my passport and tapping on a couple of buttons, I didn't think it was all that clever, nor did I see how unsupervised checkin posed a security risk, but I kept my mouth shut and sat down.

And waited. And waited. Eventually the second woman went over to the first, and pointed to me. Oops! She had obviously forgotten all about me. I had already been cleared by the mysterious security supervisors, and could proceed through security.

I now had only twenty minutes before boarding, so my plans for a nice breakfast and a little shopping were ruined, as there was another security checkpoint to get through at the gate. I bought a cup of coffee and a bottle of water on the way, and figured I'd buy something to eat once I was at the gate.

Oh no! After going through security checkpoint 2, it turned out that my flight was in a special waiting area behind still another level of security, an institutional little room with chairs and toilets and a vending machine, which ate 20 kronor without spitting out the bag of nuts that was my last hope for breakfast.  But it was just an eight hour flight, and they'd be serving us a meal in a couple of hours so I'd just have to suck it up.

Oh no! Apparently it was not going to be an eight hour flight. Due to very strong headwinds, we were going to have to land in Goose Bay, Newfoundland, and refuel. By the time we were sitting on the ground in Canada, the lunch was many hours in the past and apparently the plane was about to turn into an aviation age Donner Party, because there was an announcement every few minutes that yes, there would be another meal as soon as we were in the air again.

Which turned out to be a sandwich slathered in mayonnaise that I couldn't eat, and a bag of potato chips that I inhaled. I'm pretty confident that no one has ever greeted the sorry food options in the arrival hall at Newark airport with as much joy and anticipation as the weary passengers of United flight 69.

So ends another travel, and lovely though it was, I am happier than usual to be home again.


Anonymous said...

I just added this feed to my bookmarks. I have to say, I very much enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks!

Kathleen said...

Thank you!

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