Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Flight

SFO - 9/11/2002
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We're here at SFO, waiting for our flight to London. We stayed up way too late last night, got up this morning after what amounted to a three-hour nap.

Cabbed from our house to BART with a driver of unspecified Middle-Eastern origin. He's pissed off about terrorism, pissed off at suicide hijackers, and pissed off at us for only understanding 3/4 of the conversation. We gave him a big tip. Nice guy, as far as we could tell.

Missed our bus connection to the airport from Colma BART because the bus wouldn't wait for us. Our cabbie caught up to the bus, then flew past it as it pulled over and its breakdown signals flashed. We laughed quietly to ourselves.

Peter and I, along with Belligero the Travel Clown, are heading to Amsterdam. Although he was made in China, Belligero is both a New Yorker and Jewish. Shalom Toy Company, Brooklyn, NY. For the two of us, this will be our first trip to Europe. Peter had the advantage on us, having lived in France before we met, and being generally more traveled than the clown and I. We're counting on him to keep us level. It's all very exciting and nerve-wracking for me. I've never been farther east than Nevada. Except for a brief step into Arizona, I've never left this time zone. We're about to board. More from the plane.

Somewhere over Canada
2:57pm PST 9/11/2002
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Peter's trying to sleep, as it's after 11:00pm in London. I should try to sleep as well, but I'm thinking that 11:00pm is too early in any time zone. I experienced airline food for the first time. Not as bad as one would think. Peter's meal looked great. The vegetarian meal had some kind of curry and barley mixture. The pie was great, and the wine was tasty.

Belligero caught the eye of one of the attendants. He's sitting on the arm of my seat.

The airport was strangely quiet today. Maybe, because it's the anniversary of the Trade Center attacks, nobody wanted to fly. We figured that there wouldn't be a better day to fly than today, for just that reason. We got from the curb to the gate at SFO in under fifteen minutes. Eight more hours on the plane. I should try to sleep.

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Retrospective --

I still can't get over how quiet it was at the airport. This was before all of the shoe removal and toiletries in a baggie nonsense, so you'd expect it to be a little less of a hassle than it'd be today, but that's what I'm talking about. I'm talking about an almost deserted international terminal at SFO at 9:00am on a weekday. It was eerie.

The other thing we noticed was that the interactive maps in the seatbacks were turned off. We had no idea what we were flying over. I don't think it was a coincidence that they were 'broken' on that particular day.

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