Friday, September 25, 2015

We Apologize For The Inconvenience.

I have flown on airlines from various countries all over the world. From efficient German Lufthansa to the small single prop Bolivia Amazon carrier Línea Aérea Amaszonas. Without a doubt the dubious distinction of having airlines that are always late or delayed belongs to the good old USA. American, Delta, US Air, United, Southwest or United it does not matter. Today it's American flight 921 to Miami. Who knows, who cares.

I honestly believe that if you stop and watch the world around you it is the most entertainment you can have without having to go to the ATM. Even the simplest routine moments have their value. My day started at 4:45 am. I had to catch the 6:00 GO Bus to Burlington and change over to the GO Train to Toronto Union. From there it was going to be the new Union Pearson Train to the Airport and finally the roller derby that is going to be Airport check in when traveling through the States.

Easy start to the day.  The dark morning smelt like Fall. I packed my rucksack into the car, drove to Timmies for some morning life blood, drove back home and woke my mother who agreed to take me to the bus station. From the look of disheveled confusion on her face at 5:00 am it was best not to tease her AT ALL about this act of courageous volunteerism! Off we went through the dark quiet and bleary streets of Niagara Falls.  I bounced along the GO bus for the hour to Burlington, grabbed my rucksack and headed for the train. It suddenly dawned on me that each time I put on my rucksack it's just a little bit heavier and harder to manage. Aging Ain't For Wimps!
The GO Train for those who do not know is a commuter train into Toronto. It is filled with routine, mobile device addition and 1000 yard stares. Guys are wearing ill fitting bad suits and unpolished shoes but they tend to carry an air of arrogance. "I work in Toronto". Well good for you! Most woman look sad, overweight and seem to be relegated to their fate. I was a GO Train commuter for 2 years which were the worst 2 work years of my life. Rush for the train to work, rush for the train home. Sit and stare out the window when your not bobbleheading to sleep out of sheer boredom.

The upgrades to Union Station are nice. It bright and there is lots of signage which is perfect for me. A guy who refuses to ask direction at public transit facilities. I jumped on the new Union Pearson Express. The price of $27.50 for the 25 minute ride has some people up in arms. Well compare it to similar services world wide and its on target. Its only at 10% capacity and masses are screaming for a price reduction. A quick hop on the airport terminal train and 3 hours later I thought all was good however I found myself at the Gates of Hell.

Welcome to Pearson International and the American Airlines for self check in kiosk. Stand in line and watch the chaos and confusion. Ok, got through that then..oh look a lineup at the AA desk to check that you used the automated check in properly. The inefficency of efficiency.
Now sire fill out and sign your little blue Customs card and wait in the lineup that snaked for 1.5 hours for American Customs and then to declare I had nothing to declare, I have not visited a farm and I am not traveling with over $10,000. A curious but questionable stare a stamp then off to the lineup to hand over the little blue card to 2 workers who looked as bored as anyone could possibly be.

With that mellow drama over....wait what is that over yonder? Its a new lineup for a checked bag scan, then a lineup for Security Clearance and carry on bag scan. I looked at the full body scan machine with a twinge of apprehension. Something was up with my shoes as the TSA woman kept bringing them back and forth under the scanner. Does an XRay machine detect smell? 2.5 hours later and feeling like I had just been anally probed and physically mauled by an angry Grizzly and I headed to the freedom of my gate. As I ate my oddly fresh sandwich from Freshii and sipped my pipping hot Seattle's Best I reflected on what had been the airport process.

Just then the soothing voice of the lady in charge of gate A12 wafted down over me like a fine mist.
"Ladies and Gentlemen may I have your attention. Flight 931 to Miami is delayed and will not depart at 1:35 (from the scheduled 12:15). "We apologize for the inconvenience". You know I think that is probably the most condescending sentence that can be tossed at anyone for any reason. Most likely because they really don't give a shit and there is nothing anyone can do. "We apologize for the inconvenience". You could just feel the lunch bag letdown and see the shoulder stoop from the crowd at A12. After running the gauntlet of  trying to get to the gate would it be so much to ask for a flight that is on time? I just wish instead they would say "Sorry suckers, the Plane is delayed and there is nothing you can do about it. It is what it is so go get a cookie and sit quietly. I can not continuously reassure you that you will make your connection. " I think I would respect that more.

Flight to Miami was painless. 3.5 hours of sleep. Wendy's spicy chicken was jammed with jalapenos and then so was my colon. I placed my order in Spanish and had a decent Spanish conversation with the girl behind the counter who was from Peru. A few times she looked at me, laughed and corrected me but she got what I was saying. The Flight to Managua was 2.5 hours. Met my ride at the airport and off to Leon I went.

Its 35 degrees Celsius at 10 00 pm. I have traveled by car, bus, train, train, shuttle train, plane, plane and van. I deserve to sweat while I drink this beer. Hola Nicaragua

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I truly enjoy your writing and blog. I hope this adventure is immensely satisfying. I will check in regularly as I have in the past. Stay safe and happy, Kent.