Monday, October 09, 2006

the airport wing that time forgot.

I'm in the airport, waiting to board a plane to Spokane, WA, to catch a shuttle to Coeur D'Alene, where I'll be staying for a few days to speak at and particpate at a regional conference. As fate would have it, my plane is delayed 40 minutes, so I'm sitting here in a row of identical chairs, surrounded by overweight aging white men, spaced every one or two seats apart. They're trying to discreetly watch me eat an oatmeal-raisin cookie. I thought I was grabbing a chocolate chip cookie, so I'm a little disappointed. But it's good, and I also grabbed a pack of vege-sushi to eat during my delay. I spy a "Coffee People" about 20 feet to my left, but I am doing my best to fight the urge to get a cup of coffee. The only thing I hate worse then sitting on a plane crammed between large people is having to use the plane bathroom. There are some real animals that go in there and wizz all over everything in that 2 foot by 2 foot space.

This wing of the aiport is visibly different then the other wings; the first thing that caught my attention in here, is the large amount of garbage on the floors, under the seats, in the aisles, it really is out of hand, and surprising. There are several patched off-white spots on the walls where pay phones have been removed and reduced to 5 from 15. The furniture looks a little dated, not 1960's mod or anything, but it does seem like the last remodel happened about 1988. Some of the ceiling tiles are inconsistently yellowing, and there isn't enough space in here to accomdiate the amount of travelers, given our desire for quantites of personal space.

I don't feel entirely comfortable with the new "self-service" at the airport. To retrieve my "E-ticket," I had to punch in 1 of 4 things: my confirmation code, my credit card, my frequent flyers/Airline club card number, or something else I didn't have available. I started looking around frantically for a service person to help me (this is before I learned there was a 40 minute delay) and when I located one, she helped me bypass to the "enter your name" screen.

The security checkpoint was as much fun as I envisioned it would be. Four bins later, I manager to get my carry-ons, my shoes, and my jacket all through the magic tunnel without incident or any further searches. It didn't take as long as I thought it would, but I also didn't pack anything but clothing and shoes. I guess as soon as I get settled I'm off to find a store to get shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and anything else. With any kind of luck, there will be a health food store nearby.

I brought a magazine to read, and I'm finishing "Sirens of Titan," so that should be enough to keep me busy for the hour flight. Traveling to the airport and waiting through delays amounts to longer then actual flight time...Amazing! My boss drove, I think it is a 7 hour trip. I didn't thoroughly weigh out the pros and cons, but I chose flying because I've been really busy lately so I felt like I could spend more time doing other things instead of sitting in the car, on a road trip.

Which I don't mind usually.

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