Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The drama continues.....

The unfortunate and fortunate aspect of every trip is that you usually return to your starting point (unless of course if you are moving). My return trip did not improve much.

Firstly, the rental bus dropped me in front of the terminal. Unfortunately you can't get to the actual door without first having to get past these terminal offices and then returning to the spot parallel to where you were initially. What you need to know is that this involves a lot of needless backtracking that cannot be avoided. I feel like I am playing some god-forsaken computer game, written by satanic programmers bent on world domination through monotonous repetition.

Past the door, is a short escalator ride upstairs and back the other way we go. Going through the security checkpoint, you praying for this zig-zag madness to end. I can almost hear Schwarzenegger in my head saying; "WRONG. DEAD WRONG." After the checkpoint you are confronted by a long, long, long and narrow hallway. You only have to go down the hallway for a little bit (about 50-100 feet), followed by a door and then the stairs. That's right. The official route to the terminal involves climbing down stairs.

Once there you feel like some great explorer, discovering the terminal that time forgot (a.k.a. the terminal where layovers go to die; a.k.a. the terminal from the time when the Detroit automakers actually made good cars). No air conditioning, just 1 rickety metal fan pointing at the ceiling.

We are all then given carry-on bags tags, because 90% of the bags, that will normally fit in even a small airline, do not fit in this one. I mean why bother with carry-on, if you can't actually carry anything on. Regional flying does not have to be so regional. On a recent trip from Bucuresti to Munich, I traveled on a Lufthansa regional plane which (from the outside) looked more like a military drop-ship than a regional flight. I suddenly became aware or felt like I was in a system that was in decline and decay. Nothing lasts forever. Even the Mona Lisa is falling apart. Even the fueling trucks are old. This thing looks older than what my father first drove (a POS '78 blue International cab over).

At least this time it is a jet and not propeller based. Maybe Detroit is smaller than I thought, at least for American Airlines? The NWA (NorthWest Airlines) terminal is quite new, air conditioned and has a little internal red rail. To be quite honest, all the airliners are so SOL. Save us Quantus!!!

I frankly love walking the runway. All flights should be like that. What is ridiculous is that they even bothered to split the passengers into sections. 30 people, seperated by sections. What is this, the bronze age of airline travel ?? I half expected the plane to have a sleeping berth. Thankfully it is nonstop flight.

It sure beats the plane and flights I had on friday. I'll take getting smacked with a rubber chicken by a guy in medieval armor over traveling on any of the 3 flights I was on.

My Friday departure flight was listed as 90% on time and was 100% cancelled, while the 40% on time flight was on time. Just because we boarded the plane doesn't mean we left on time. Something about the electronic weight something or other (insert technobabble here) was malfunctioning. So there we sat on the runway, in a plane without air conditioning, with the door ajar, for an hour.

Furthermore the flight time is listed at one hour and fifty minutes. The actual time, however, seems to be a combination of handicapping and misinformation. So actual time in the air was approximately an hour and fifteen minutes, with an hour delay. We still ended up twenty-five minutes late. This
is a significant improvement over my departure flight delay (10 hours approximately), though still not at all a pleasant experience.

Flying is some subliminal torture technique, by which you are first roasted pre-flight and then freezing you in the air. I'm surprsed the stewardess don't hit passengers with pillows or blow air at passengers who fall asleep (sleep deprivation torture ).

Nothing compares to returning,however, to returning to the Big Apple. This is all the more impressive when flying directly over the familiar Manhattan skyline and the slightly less familiar skyline of Queens; the blood orange sunset in the background. I especially enjoyed the close fly-by of Rikers Island (named after the Dutch settler and his family, who owned the island until they sold it to the city). How's that for a legacy to be named after? Someone, please name a prison after me when I die. Really.

My taxi ride back, again, was quite exceptional. It was a short zoom-zoom through Queens and over the Queensboro Bridge (a.k.a. - the mined 59th Street Bridge Snake Pliskin had to cross). And my trip is over and I am glad to be home, finally. I am definitely not enjoying flying to Detroit. I have been there twice this year and both times I have gotten sick. Is there something in the air, water or food?

I would have written this yesterday, but a tragedy befell my D-Link DI-624 router, when the George Forman grill expectantly tripped the fuse box. When the power came back on, the router didn't.



Celebrity Sightings Mapped

View Celebrity Sightings in a larger map