Day 567 Hell Is Air Travel

We are finally boarded on our flight from Miami to Toronto, two hours delayed. Without the delays we might have missed the connection; the flight out of San Juan was delayed on Tarmac for some reason then, on Tarmac after landing at Miami in queue for a free gate. Tempers frayed as we negotiated the absence of signage to direct how to get from D gates to F Terminal. We got there eventually to find nothing worth eating and our connecting flight already delayed an hour delayed a second hour.

My patience has been tested with a child in the seat in front talking extra loud and fascinated with the chair-goes-back-chair-goes-forward movement. At first I thought he was a particularly vile brat with no concept of other people then he said something that made me realise he wasn’t adapting to his environment in a usual way and was probably somebody with special needs with no concept of other people. My compassion lasted a minute at most. There’s only so much chair banging back into my face I can tolerate after 10 hours in transit. I was glad when he fell asleep.

Goodbye San Juan!
Goodbye San Juan!

We slept in this morning and went in search of breakfast as Julian, Bec & Alastair went to the beach one last time. The sky was overcast and then opened with a drenching downpour. The others joined us at the restaurant around the corner from our B&B.

Checkout was at eleven. We sat in the undercover area outside the B&B and played a game of Contagion. Bec read.

Julian pointed out that we should eat a good lunch in town before going to the airport as food options would be slim and we’d have two flights without a good service. I miss Australian domestic flights where feeding is a given. We pulled our luggage West to the Di Parma Trattoria outside the Radisson. I ate a rich chicken farfalle. Julian’s salad had a long dark hair in it which understandably put him off eating it. A replacement was made.

The taxi to the airport was quick; it’s not far. At the drop off the driver triple-parked. We stopped in the middle of the road along with other vehicles. We paid him with a generous tip and entered the air conditioned terminal to negotiate the self checkin counters.

I felt nauseated for an hour which was like a tentacled alien had burrowed tendrils into my eyes and nose and waves of nausea were being emitted from the suckers as the tentacles wormed through my skull base foramina.

Hello Miami!
Hello Miami!

On the flight to Miami I slept for a bit. I seem to consistently fall asleep at takeoff. Either it’s sheer boredom from Internet withdrawals or there is some anaesthetic quality to the changes in cabin pressure. I made good headway into my new ebook, a biography on Alan Turing. We plan to see the feature film that has recently been released. It depresses me how much creative and exploratory thinking he achieved while still at public school. All my secondary school learning hinged on my ability to rote learn reams of text and vomit back up in exams. Med School was the same. My work is essentially the same. I could be replaced by a machine that would probably do a better job without being distracted by fatigue or interruptions. I need to draw again.

I’m glad we chose a sunshine and beach holiday for our New Year’s break. It’s been below zero in Toronto all week and next weekend we are skiing. It aroused trepidation about moving home to Perth in 6 months: air conditioning and thongs and tank tops will be required.

2 hour flight delay = time to get food!
2 hour flight delay = time to get food!

We made it to Toronto at about 01:30.  Our bags did not.  Julian, Bec & Alastair’s checked baggage did but Dan and my carry-on, checked at the gate when there was announcement requesting it because of a full flight… ours must have gone on holiday in Miami.  Thankfully I had everything of value in my pockets.  And despite it being -5ºC in Mississauga it was a quick dash to Julian’s parents’ car (his brother came to pick us up) then into our building.

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