lac mahon, la peche, qc.

lac mahon, la peche, qc.
photo by graham law.

Friday, January 31, 2014

frankly, i druther walk.

frankly, i'd rather walk.

louis c.k. does a brilliant routine regarding people who complain about flying. he jokes about how folks bemoan their fate, relish the narrating of their horrible flying experiences: having to wait on the tarmac for a while, the seats being uncomfortable and having to pay for a sandwich. then he points out, in his typically graphic way, how spoiled we have become, what a miracle it is to be able to cross nations in a matter of hours instead of years while braving death along the way.

well, here i sit in a very lovely hotel in fort lauderdale, florida, having flown yesterday from ottawa and i absolutely hated the trip. it was awful, nightmarish. we had to sit on the tarmac in toronto for nearly an hour, my seat didn't recline at all and i certainly wasn't going to pay for the insipid, unhealthy sandwich they offered. sorry, louis, but i really think i'd prefer the years of plodding across the country, braving death along the way. in fact, in that case and with all due respect and affection for my nephew and his lovely fiancé, i would've had a valid excuse for not coming at all.

the day began quite nicely, actually. i drove to the ottawa airport, which is a relaxed and almost charming place, if you can really ever call an airport that. then, i immediately met up with some wakefield folks who i joined for a coffee while waiting for our respective check-in times. my flight to toronto was fine. i'm someone who doesn't like flying. rather, i'm someone who really, really doesn't like flying. however, within that context, i can say it was a decent, relatively comfortable flight that was only around an hour. that's fine. that's doable. but, that was that. it all went south after that, literally and figuratively. i know, that was a lot of 'thats,' but that's not all.

the toronto airport is a fine reflection of the city: very crowded, noisy, hard to figure out, kind of edgy, a little,scary for anyone not used to it. my bag did not come off the conveyor belt and when i finally enquired, the attendant scolded me for not listening to the announcement she had allegedly made earlier regarding people flying on to u.s. destinations. i told her i'm seventy-years-old, mentally challenged and recently lost my hearing aid. she said i look good for my age and pointed to where my bag could be found and what to do with it. i wanted to tell her what she could do with it, but i had a plane to catch.

going through immigration and security, of course, is horrible at the best of time. if you're not up on the newest procedures, it can be worse. so it was worse. nevertheless, that done, it was just a matter of languishing in an over-crowded gate area, a delayed boarding call and an extended wait on the tarmac. louis said people compare the experience to the cattle-cars of the holocaust. actually, those people have a valid point. as well, i easily agreed to trade with a lady so she could sit together with her friend. both were isle seats so it was no skin off my legs. soon, however, i learned that i was in a row, in front of the emergency exit, where the seats do not recline at all.

anyway, anyway, here i sit this morning, after less than a day, miraculously ensconced in a very lovely hotel in fort lauderdale, florida, wearing shorts and about to eat some granola and fruit. i can't complain. whoops, too late.

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