Thursday, December 30, 2004

A bit about the journey

Well, I am back in LA safe and sound. I seem to have picked up a nasty head cold at some point during yesterday's travel marathon. As the day wore on and more and more flights were cancelled and delayed, the airline folks became progressively more surly. When at long last my flight out of Las Vegas was boarding, they seemed to want to pick a fight, honestly. First they told us we would have to check most of our carry-ons then they yelled at us when we did not intuit the boarding instructions and then they bellowed out that there would be no beverage service "because we just can't wait any longer!" That was the point when I told the woman as long as we weren't going to be flogged or in some other way physically abused, we were happy to finally board any flight. A comment which got me pulled out of line and ID-ed. Sigh. Usually I try to maintain civility at all costs, but when you've waited seven hours to get on a plane and then they have a recorded message playing over and over that says "Please help us depart on time by quickly taking your seats and storing your carry-on luggage," it's enough to push a person over the edge.

I will not recite the whole litany of difficult circumstances except to say two more things: 1. It took my 18 1/2 hours to get from door to door in my trip (DC to LA), and 2. When I had to pick through the heaps of luggage piled willy-nilly all over the floor to find my bag and then got to the curb in time to see the tail lights of my bus pulling away, I very nearly wept at LAX. In a word, it was gruelling. But in the main, the travelers I ran into were far less nasty than usual. I think the tsunami put things into perspective for a lot of us and most people were just happy to have a home to strive to get to.

I am very, very happy to be back and Nic the cat is very happy to have me here as well. So I should be at work today, but instead I am home nursing my cold getting ready for my big outing to buy juice, coffee, laundry detergent, and vicks vaporub.

More on the trip itself to follow...

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