Saturday, November 19, 2011

In flight

I woke at 5:30 this morning, struggled with my life for a short time, and then got up and had breakfast. All week I've been eating porridge (rolled oats in American nomenclature) and the staff at the hotel restaurant seem more and more amused by this, as though I'm some strange European eccentric that eats something fit for a horse. Every day the bowl seems a bit bigger, as if they're experimenting to see exactly how much porridge they can feed me before I admit defeat. Five days wasn't enough - I'll have to go back and try two bowls next time.

Having breakfasted, I took a taxi to he airport. One of the hotel staff had told me I should take a car about 7am to be sure to catch my 10am flight. (This was on a level with my mother's aversion to arriving late for appointments, which reached its apotheosis in scheduling two hours of slack into a journey across London that should take 30 minutes at best.) Happily I waited until 7:30 to take a cab, because the journey back to Sea-Tac was 20 minutes, and then a joyful wait in the airport to get on a plane and sit down.

Sea-Tac's grumpy security staff didn't fail to disappoint as usual: they've arranged three lines for security, of which one is for first class passengers, but all three lines start in the same place. To try to add some premium to the first class line, they've extended the cordon for the other lines with an extra six feet of ribbon, which means you have to walk slightly further away from the security line before you walk towards it. I suppose the first class travellers have to feel they're getting better treatment, even if only because it's been made ever-so-slightly worse for everyone else.

United's ground crew and staff seem ok though; boarding was efficient and on-time, rather than two hours of waiting around and queuing. I'm just paranoid that this is lulling me into dropping my guard, and after a calm and uneventful flight to San Francisco, I'll have twelve hours of turbulence, sat next to a blocked toilet, all the way back to Hong Kong.


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