Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Observations from a Plane Window

I had to catch my flight at 7:45, which is too early to think about anything. I got hot chocolate, since I don't drink coffee, at Caribou. I pretended to look all professional and sophisticated with my coffee cup, but I can't pull it off like the real coffee drinkers.

There was no hope of sleeping on this flight. Storms the entire way with an extreme amount of turbulence made that impossible for me, although the girl next to me slept peacefully the entire way. But since I am the world's most difficult person to get to sleep, I instead sat listening to the iPod my brother so generously gave me for my birthday and pretended the plane didn't seem like it was going to crash at any given moment.

Phoenix-Salt Lake City
The plane I flew out on was tiny, easily the smallest I've ever flown on. I swear I could have been sitting next to the pilot. In Utah, we were let off on the tarmac and had to walk outside into the airport, which seemed to be mainly made up of cement and steel beams. I wasn't sure if I should have set my watch back 30 or 40 years.

Salt Lake City-Denver
Rather uneventful. I slept most of the way. I've given up any chance of understanding what time it is at this point. In Phoenix it was two hours behind Minneapolis because they don't do daylight savings, Utah was an hour behind Minneapolis, and I don't even know where Colorado stands on this.

When I got to Denver and checked in, my flight was delayed an hour. After two hours of waiting beyond the time of my layover (which was two hours), the woman at the gate announced that they could not fix what was wrong with the plane, but they got us a new one at another gate. My father had so nicely set up text message alerts with the airport on my phone to keep me updated. I received four text messages during this time telling me my flight was delayed.

The woman announced that they were waiting for the cleaning crew on this plane. It was a moment in which I didn't realize that what I was thinking was also coming out of my mouth at an obnoxiously loud volume when I said, "I don't care if the plane is dirty; I just want to go home." An overwhelming majority of people waiting at the gate clapped. The woman sitting next to me patted my shoulder. I received two more text messages.

During the safety presentation, finally on the plane, a guy in the back seat got angry and hit the woman next to him. Four flight attendants swarmed around them and tried to get him off the plane. He got confrontational, and the cops were called. The woman, who was clearly too drunk to make the decision on her own, sat for 20 minutes debating with the flight attendant on whether she should get off the plane with her brother. I called my dad to let him know that we still hadn't taken off and why. The two men sitting next to me laughed at my side of the conversation: "No, we haven't left yet....because some guy decided to hit his, they have to be at least in their, I couldn't have made this up if I tried...okay, bye." I got another text message telling me the flight was delayed.

After finally getting her off the plane, we had to start all over again with the safety procedures. About 2/3 of the plane mimed the speech with him for fun. I finally got into Minneapolis close to eight. No Denver, you cannot keep me.

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