I took a trip recently to visit a friend in Toronto and decided to spend my downtime in the airports and on the flight writing. What follows is the jumble that went directly from my hyper, excited, travel brain to my iPad.
Part 1 – The airport
Ok, so where I’m from we have this tiny little airport because we are a tiny little island. I have been to this airport a zillion times and last year I made my sister miss a flight because I told her “oh ya – no worries, you can totally show up 20 minutes before your flight. It’ll be fine.”
Well, apparently they grew up a bit since the last time I was there and started trying to be a real airport. Frankly, I liked it better the other way. But now they want you to be all respectable and show up hours before your flight like you have to at other airports.
So when I was flying today I thought I should be an hour and a half early. That is not how my life goes however. So it was looking like I might be more like an hour and 15 minutes (maybe only an hour) early for my flight. So I called the airport.
“Hi! I’m flying today at 6:30 and I know they say you should show up ridiculously early but let’s be real for a minute and acknowledge that my gate is a two minute walk max from the front door, therefore really I only need to arrive an hour before my flight right?
“Ummm, no. We have three different flights leaving at that time so checking in and getting through security is gonna be your main problem. That makes it really hard to say.”
“So I guess I should try really hard to be there an hour and a half prior…?”
“Yup, that would be a really good idea.”
Part of me suspected that he was just fucking with me – and trying to be a real airport – but I was like “FINE LIFE – HAVE IT YOUR WAY” then my anxiety kicked off for a really fun two hour road trip that lasted until I was sitting in front of my gate.
And you know what helps that anxiety? Almost getting into an accident on your way to the airport. Seriously, there were screeching tires and swerving. When both vehicles came to a stop, the front of his truck was an inch away from my passenger side door. I was inspecting the bugs on his grill. I looked at it and went “Nope. This is fine. I’m totally calm. YOU WILL NOT WIN TODAY LIFE.” And then I just continued my story about how I was going to check my small suitcase because one time they confiscated my nail clippers at airport security because they thought I was going to, I don’t know, take over the plane by threatening to give somebody a bad manicure or something.
So I arrive at the airport and there is literally NOBODY waiting to check and NOBODY at security. Seriously, I had 6 airport employees just staring at me as I went through. The guy on the phone was totally fucking with me.
To be fair – I’d probably fuck with people too if I worked at an airport (where 90% of the people are stressed-out travelers). All’s well that ends well though. Or something profound like like that.
And then I immediately sent this text to my friend who drove me:
So here I was –
way too early on time for my flight – and frankly a little bored. I had brought a book but I didn’t much feel like reading. Also, I believe in engaging with the people around you when you travel – it makes life more interesting. So I struck up a conversation with the guy waiting next to me, which was fun. He was a plumber and told me some crazy plumber stories and I told him about my hangover pipe bursting situation. If you missed the tale about that time my radiator blew up, you can check it out here.
But then he had to go as his flight was much earlier than mine. So I started texting all my friends again. Then THIS GUY sat down (I’ll let the texts explain it):
I think he was a little tipsy. I eavesdropped on his conversation (but I think half the airport waiting room did) but he primarily talked about his nephew failing gym. His (much less succinct) opinion was “Who fails gym? There much be some underlying issue.”
And while I understand his viewpoint, gym IS pretty easy, I almost failed gym. Mainly because I skipped A LOT of school when I was in high school. And I missed even more gym because it seemed even less important than the other completely irrelevant subjects they taught in school. Except for dodgeball. I always showed up for dodgeball. That shit rocked.
And badminton. I was kick-ass at badminton.
I actually only passed because the teacher said to me “Look – if you just show up for the last 12 classes [which was two weeks I think] I’ll pass you. You don’t even have to participate. You can sit your punk ass on the bleachers and look sullen. I don’t care.”
And I was a COMPLETE punk-ass teenager, so I took no offense and actually thought it was a pretty sweet deal (as I had never actually failed anything and didn’t relish the idea of starting with gym – what a stupid thing to fail).
ANYWAY – I considered telling him all this but then didn’t. Which was probably wise. As I only had an opinion in the first place because I was eavesdropping .
Coming soon! Part two – the flight! Which totally isn’t like that time I told you there was a part two of the New York road trip and then never posted it. But there is actually a part two. That I will post someday. Shit, you should probably just stop reading my blog now.