Monday, May 21, 2007

Flying

I took my son to the airport yesterday. He was supposed to be leaving with Tony - who lives next to us and who wanted to go to the US this summer. But Tony's passport was expired, so we ended up trying to figure out how soon he would be able to get a new passport, how to change his ticket, and all those fun things you do when a wrench gets thrown into the machine.
Passport - The US only accepts machine readable passports now, so Tony needs to get a new passport. It takes two weeks.
Plane Ticket - He has to pay a 100 euro penalty in order to change the date. I hope he can get a flexible date, because the passport can take longer than 2 weeks.
My daughter and I are going to the states on June 22, and I checked our passports. They are fine.
I missed my plane once. (overslept)
Twice I arrived very, very late, and the plane was held up while I dashed to the gate.
Once the plane was already on the runway, and they stopped it and let me get on. (At a small airport)
Once the radio wasn't working and everyone had to get off and get on a new plane.
Once the brakes didn't work, and we had to wait in the airport while they got fixed - and they we watched as they took off and landed our plane three times in a row.
Once we had an emergency landing. We ditched the fuel, turned around to land back at the ariport we'd just left, and there were eight fire trucks driving along the runway as we landed.
Once we had a bomb scare and everyone was taken off the plane by policemen with machine guns and dogs, and we stood on the tarmac a distance from the plane while the police emptied the baggage and the dogs sniffed everything.
Once I was in a brand new plane. It was for a short flight from Paris to London. I was reading a newspaper, and it said that the plane I was in had been taken off the long distance lines because it did unexpected barrel rolls. I asked the stewardess if that was true, and she said "Yes, so don't unfasten your seatbelt."
Ha ha.
Once I met a man in the plane, and somehow he found out it was my birthday. (I think it was when I was filling out the custom's form with my passport.) He asked the stewardess to get me a peice of cake with a candle and a glass of champagne while I slept. When I woke up, she brought it to me. I was really touched.
The man was from Brazil. I didn't speak Portugese and he ddin't speak English. We had some trouble communicating, but this is what I found out. He was coming to Paris because his son had been killed in an accident. His son had been working on a construction site in Paris. I knew a Brazilian woman who lived in Paris, so I called her when I got to the airport and I took a taxi with the man to her house. She took care of him during the time he was in Paris. She took him to the Brazilian embassy and helped him get everything organized. She made sure he was never alone. Before he left, we had dinner together and he gave me a good luck charm.
I still have it.

3 comments:

Rosie said...

The best adventures happen unexpectedly. I try to tell my boys to roll with the punches life sends you because you never know what sort of adventure lays (lies?) ahead.

Just your flying alone, my goodness! I've been removed from a plane for de-icing and ended up spending the night in an airport, but that's about it.

Are you excited to be visiting the U.S.? How long do you stay?

Oopsy Daisy said...

That is so sweet about the Brazilian man. It's rare to see human kindness like that anymore. People are too busy in their own dramas to care about strangers. That was so sweet of you to see that he was taken care of during his stay. Stop it or you'll make me cry!

I have had some interesting experiences while traveling. When I flew home from Germany last dec my seatmate wouldn't move when I got up to go to the bathroom so I ended up straddling his lap wiht my boobs in his face for about 2 seconds. I wasn't entirely pissed - until he passed gas!

Bernita said...

Airports are portal places - arrivals, departures, balanced between the dimensions of here and there.

Once I arrived at my birthplace, having been away for about 20 years and one of the customs types took one look at me and said "Welcome home."