Airport Race

18 12 2005
I had a 7.05am plane to catch from San Francisco to Los Angeles and was then supposed to transfer to a plane to sydney. Being such an early flight – and with my scottish flight in mind (the one where i woke up at my hostel after the plane had left), and given that this the last available flight to australia were before chrismas, I decided not to take any chances and just stay up all night and catch the first shuttle to the airport in the morning – just to be safe.
I went down to jack in the box(best fast food ever people! – put it on your list of places to go before you die) and then to a diner – then back to the hotel, given there were people sleeping in my room and i didn’t want to wake them i sat in the lounge at my hostel – where despite coffee and my best intentions my eyeliids became unbearably heavy and suddenly.. – I woke up… HOLY CRAP  – that means i’d been asleep! How did that happen!? I looked at my watch CRAP!!! (actually i didn’t say ‘crap’ but this is a pg rated blog and it was a word to that effect). It was 5.55 the flight was at 7.05 – i was nowhere near the airport-. CRAAAAAAAP!!!
I raced out to the reception dude and told him i needed a shuttle to the Airport – NOW!
Fortunately the hostel i was at just so happened to be serviced by the best shuttle company in the world. I raced upstairs and grabbed my bags and when i got back to reception – the shuttle bus was waiting. Damn thats quick! I threw my bags in and away we went – unlike the egyptian airport race – i didn’t even need to bribe this guy to speedily cut  through traffic. Also fortunately for me san francisco has some of the best motorways in the world. And this driver knew what he was doing – we caught 2 red lights on the whole trip and then i was there at 6.30.
Bags I’d read my ticket which said "bags must be checked in 45 minutes before flight". Crap. I spotted an express check in and raced  towards it (actually with my 3 big bags a more accurate description is lumbered towards it) but to my dismay it was only for domestic flights and my flight wasnt eligible. I pleaded with the guy and he took pity on me- taking me inside the airportm where my heart sank. Even though it was 6.30 in the morning, there was a MASSIVE check in line  – a steady stream of faces showing annoyance that despite their early rise -they still had to wait for ages to check in.
The Airport dude bless his soul took me right to the front of the line! Booyah! I threw my massive bags on the weighing scale and ignored the hundred or so death-stares i could feel boring into the back of my head from the indignant great unwashed behind me- who’d been there for close to an hour. 2  minutes later i’m checked in -i look at my watch 6.35 and i’v still got to clear customs.
This involves queing up to have oyur hand luggage and stuff x-rayed. Again there was a long snaking que of tired looking travelers and business men. I steadied myself for a que-jumping felony so big it would land me in a detention centre if i’d done it in australia, took a deep breath and walked parralel but alongside the que past the hundred or so people waiting – straiht up to the x-ray machine staff. Trying my best to ignore the new wave of resentment emanating from these queing yanks  that was so thick i could almost feel it. "I’m going to miss my plane!" i said in my best frantic voice – the staff took pity on me and agreed to inspect my stuff straight away! Booyah!
One thing about me and flying though – Every flight i get on i get special attention from the security before board. I get ‘randomly selected’ by airport security almost as much as the muslim guys do. ie.  I ALWAYS get ‘randomly selected’ to have the special checks – where they take x rays of you from 3 different angles and then make ‘friendly conversation’ about where you’re going and where you’ve been. Seriously – I could wrap a towel on my head and i wouldn’t get more airport security attention. I wonder if i’ve  got a mark next to my name for some ‘unaustralian’ act i’ve commited – like visiting refugee’s  – and now on some secret airport database it says "potential terrorist" next to a picture of me. And the whole time i’m nervous about missing my plane which to security probably looks the same as nervousness for smuggling bombs or drugs.. So afther a thourough ‘friendly conversation’ and extensive checks i’m through the security and  performed a half-power-walk-half-run-all-unco movement (which i normally reserve for when I have diahrrea and am trying to find a toilet) to the gate. They were just starting to check in. I MADE IT!!!!!
So after a two hour flight to L.A i waited around in LA for 4 hours and then got on a plane for Sydney.
It was when i got on the plane to sydney that i suddenly realised something that should have been obvious.  I’m going home… After 6 months of galavanting around europe and the middle east, i was going home.
Of course on an academic level i knew this but it was a  weird feeling to be making that decisive move away from my adventures and back to my life at home. I’d been in such a rush to get to the airport i hadn’t really thought about it – and all of a sudden –  ‘whoa… im going home….crap!..’.



3 responses

18 12 2005

welcome back to australia !!my biggest memory of San frans airport was when this chinese security guy comes up to me and my partner and says "are you two married?" and i say, "no, it is a defacto relationship" and he says "what? you are defective?" hahahaha yeah americans, real funny joke!!!but i am a stickler for time, only time i had problems was taking flight from london to frankfurt on one of those dodgy ryanair flights. they put the flight foward an hour and i didnt check email. was closed when we got there, but they let us on. called our name over PA about 10 times, then when we finally seat everyone stares at us. but to top it all off, we are delayed on the run way

20 12 2005

hey man,good stuff making it to the plane! u have never been known for ur punctuality!i agree with u about the "specially selected" crap, i have been searched everytime i step onto a plane, and that is alot of planes! Annoying! i finally decided enough was enough and i said to someone at detroit airport yesterday on my way to san fran (which i got to the day u left u turd!!!!) why am i being searched? she goes, it is selected by the company sir, anmd basically attempted to shut me up from complaining! but in reality all it is is americas arrogance in that anyone from anywhere but america is considered a potential risk, when in actual fact it is the american "citizens" that r the ones that do it all!but it is shit!i hope u have fun at home man, i will be back christmas day, i dotn know what ur plans r, but i would like to catch up with u boxing day evening if ur free, i, like u have no car, so i dotn know where we could go, but i would like to have some chats!love scotty

21 12 2005
How youuuu doing

Welcome home. Can\’t wait to see you, and I\’m glad you\’re back.

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