"Today is not a beautiful day for flying. Delayed flights, Christmas panic, people who don't know how to control their children...or their baggage carts. Being questioned in Japanese by a person who speaks French and repeatedly rams a baggage cart into your legs when the queue hasn't moved in twenty minutes are grating reminders of Christmas warmth.
Baggage carts collide. A lowly ticket agent suddenly becomes a demi-god when they announce your destination. You hope like others that this will mean mercy and release from the queue of death. No such luck.
The queue moves half a foot. Overeager the Japanese man speaks to me. Again the queue moves. Again he rams his cart into my legs. As if I need this sort of thing.
He tries to speak to me again about where I'm headed. I write this, trying to look incredibly busy when I'd really rather attempt trigonometry again.*
We're moving at a decent clip now. New problems arise in people trying to squeeze themselves between the stalled baggage carts. I don't get it.
Are they contortionists? Do they expect a reaction to their grimacing faces as they attempt to squeeze themselves through? Do they really want to risk the aggressions of people who are waiting in that long of a queue?
Someone does it again. This time they grab the arm of the guy in front of me to aid in their smooth passage. It surprises him as much as it does me.
The Japanese man is at it again, this time "Ssssssssssssss!" It comes again: "Sssssssss!" I can see out of the corner of my eye that it's me he's after. I look ahead.
Two and a half hours later I'm at the ticket counter, my father's flight is already pushing back from its gate two terminals away. We left the house together this morning. Forty five minutes later I'm on the smallest transatlantic plane I've ever been on with the most outdated film and television repertoire ever.
One ten hour flight, four hour layover, and a two hour flight later I make it home.
We know why you fly, they say.
I sincerely doubt it."
CDG: Two and a half hours to check-in...
CDG: Empty terminal on the other side...
DFW: Do iPods ease holiday rage?
*Note to those who didn't know me in high school:
I lasted exactly one week in trigonometry before I dropped it. Math is my worst nightmare. It reciprocates this feeling towards me rather generously.