Posts Tagged ‘airport’

Stuck at the Airport

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012


The airplane accelerated for takeoff, and I braced myself. Faster, faster, faster… Suddenly we were slowing down, screeching to a halt. As soon as we started slowing down during the takeoff strip, I knew something was wrong. I turned to look at my mother. She knew it, too.

An announcement said that we would have a routine checkup for the engine. We taxied to the gate, and every ten minutes, the pilot would inform us that it would be another ten minutes. My dad joked that we would be there for hours, being told “ten minutes” every ten minutes. Finally the pilot told us that the engine and the back-up engine both needed repairs, that it would be at least two or three hours, so we should get off the plane and take all of our belongings.

As we sat at the airport stranded, my parents said that at least we wouldn’t miss the wedding. We flew in two days early to see family and attend the rehearsal dinner. My parents speculated that if we had stayed on the plane, we would be dead by now.

Even while disembarking the plane, people were angrily pushing and demanding their rights, as if the pilot were God and intentionally messed up his two engines.

I was tranquil. God wanted me here, or I wouldn’t be here. I looked around to see if I was supposed to minister to someone. Everyone looked preoccupied and busy.

The airline told us they were repairing the engines, and it would take two or three hours (it took six). I slipped the book I was reading out of my bag and started reading.

“Did you ever notice that Jesus gave thanks before breaking the bread and feeding the 5,000?” I asked my mom. “Daniel prayed three times a day, giving thanks. We are commanded to bring our petitions to God with thanksgiving.” I paused and quietly gave thanks for the broken engines.

The gray-haired woman across from me was looking at me as if I were an angel. She smiled, and I smiled back. For hours, we had small chit-chat, then I would continue to read my book, showing my mother another verse about being thankful. I knew that even though I was speaking quietly to my mother beside me, the woman across from me was hanging on my every word. I was tranquil in my soul and I had joy.

We were given $6 vouchers to eat dinner, but since I had already eaten, I got my parents coffee. I was trying to explain to my dad how to dance, since my sister said he had the first dance. He said he would just stand there and sway. “You can’t just stand there, Dad. The spotlight will be on you and the bride. Look,” I said, standing up and swaying from the ball of my foot to the other. “You can get away with doing this.”

The people in the coffee shop were all staring at me, too. The intercom announced that our flight was ready for boarding again.

At the wedding two days later, my dad did great with the first dance. All eyes were wet when my sister laid her head on my dad’s shoulder as they were slow dancing to the Carpenters’ song, “Close to You.”

Susan’s Wacky Travel Tips (Airplane Edition)

Thursday, September 15th, 2011


Here are some wacky travel tips, in case you are traveling by airplane any time soon:

  1. If your feet stink, don’t take your shoes off in the airplane. But for people with non-stinky feet, taking your shoes off makes you feel so much better. Your mood will improve. So go ahead and make yourself comfortable.

  2. If the seat beside you is not occupied, put up the arm rest, and you can actually sit cross-legged. If not, stand in the aisle and do stretches. Don’t be self-conscious. Everyone else will be jealous of you, that you have the audacity to do what they are hankering to do themselves.

  3. Don’t step into the airplane bathroom without your shoes on. The floor is suspiciously sticky.

  4. Don’t go to the bathroom in an airplane that has turbulence when you’re trying not to sit down or even touch the toilet seat. You will only add to the stickiness of the floor.

  5. Be aware that you will be ravenously hungry all day, since the airlines have decided to starve their passengers. Go ahead and bring food in your bag so you don’t faint.

  6. Time goes by much faster if you watch a movie, even if it’s lame. I watched the same movie three times on three different airplanes within the same week, and it was much better the third time around when I had earphones. It was actually funny, and it made more sense. (The first couple of times, my husband and I did voice-overs and tried to guess what was going on.)

  7. Kindness is better than yelling at people. A mother was fuming about her rights, because she had been seated apart from her 12-year-old. No one rewarded her rude behavior by changing seats. On the other hand, when I was seated apart from my husband on the way to the Bahamas, I told the people around me that I was finally going on the honeymoon I never had. It took no time before everyone had re-arranged themselves to make sure I was sitting next to my husband. I told everyone they were awesome, and they smiled at me.

  8. I’m not sure why being degraded and humiliated by the archway of nudity and shame is acceptable in our society. (I’m talking about the body scanner.) If you are a woman who has any abuse in your background, go directly to the pat-down area. Yes, it’s invasive, but there’s no way you’ll go through that archway.

  9. If you only have one carry-on when you’re traveling, it’s much simpler. Your baggage doesn’t get shipped to Tahiti.

  10. And now for number 10. Drum roll please… I never knew this, but most airline seats now have head rests that are bendy. So go ahead and bend the head rest into a U-shape and pretend you’re taking a nap…