Friday, October 24, 2008

Travel Day

I don't think there is anything I enjoy more than participating in an organized road race, whether in my hometown or somewhere not-so-close to home.

One thing I am not so fond of (read hate) is the physical act of traveling. I'm not so fond of airports, crowds, four dollar coffees, eight dollar sandwiches and airplanes, well actually, I think airplanes are cool and I love the actual flying part, but I'm not so fond of limited leg room, uncomfortable seats and having no control over any aspect of my life for the duration of the flight. And I'm not a germ-a-phobe, but why is it I always end up with a head cold or something a little worse a few days after a flight? Like right now, I'm feeling a tickle in my throat. C'mon immune system, kick in already.

And because our flight takes us over water, they decide to give us a special demonstration on the proper use of the life vest, yeah, 'cause that thing's gonna' save my bacon when we drop out of the sky from 30,000 feet. On the one hand, they think we're too stunned to know how to buckle our own seat belts, on the other hand, during your last few minutes of life, they expect we should be able to figure out how to operate our oxygen masks, inflate our life vests and follow the in floor lighting to the nearest exit, before gently swooshing down the giant yellow slide into the cooling waters of the Atlantic Ocean. And I just got a look at the guy sitting next to the emergency exit -- we could be in trouble, he looks a little more stunned than the rest of us; they may have to go over all this a second time for this guy.

And when you live where I live, unless you're flying to Halifax, a trip anywhere else is always more like a transatlantic journey taking the better part of the day to reach your final destination. Here I am, on the second leg of my flight to Hamilton. Upon arrival in Steeltown, I pick up a rental car and head a little further west, well, actually more southwest, for an hour or so, arriving in Niagara Falls at approximately 9:00 PM Newfoundland time; I will have left my house in St. John's a little over nine hours ago...puleeeze!

One thing I've done today is really notice people. It seems we all have somewhere to go, somewhere important to be. People shuffle in and out of airport corridors, cell phones attached to their ears rushing for the gate or the baggage carousel or just the washroom. And while a few faces look familiar to me, most of these people I have never laid eyes on before, and most of them have still never laid eyes on me. Makes you realize how big the world must be; how insignificant our little place on this planet really is, to them at least.

And kind of keeping with the "rushing around" theme, I noticed too that there are an awful lot of people requiring pre-board assistance these days. Now I don't know what their issues may be, but a requirement for this privilege should be at least a noticeable limp or two or three screaming young ones hanging off you. And while contemplating this, a vision popped into my head -- it's September of next year and our Running Club is returning home from completing its first marathon. There we are in the airport and out goes the pre-boarding call. Next thing, twenty or so souls outfitted in red and black jackets let out a collective wince as they attempt to prop themselves up on their feet before limping a slow, penguin-like stride to the gate. Kind of makes me smile.

Take advantage of the privilege, gang. You will have earned it. Just don't forget your life vests.

Run for you life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...