Several people had already told me as much, but it was only about a few hours into the flight that the real insanity of this trip really dawned on me. As far as I know, I am going to be spending more time on the way to the airport, back from the airport, and on the airplane than I will be spending at the actual place I am visiting. This seems like madness.
Indeed, this alone makes the trip unconventional — I am not on a business trip but rather a trip for “fun,” so to speak. I am trying very hard not to think about the finances involved with my coming over here. Nearly five hundred and fifty dollars for the round trip ticket, coupled with one hundred dollars for the car service I took to the airport.
I am going to a wedding reception — my own, actually. My wife and I have had two wedding receptions thusfar. The first was immediately following the wedding, and the second took place a few weeks later for friends of my parents who could not make it to Queens for the wedding. The third one is for all of our friends and family living on the West Coast.
Being a Sabbath observant Jew, I cannot fly on a plane on Friday night or Saturday — and Saturday evening flights cost even more than Sunday morning flights for some reason. From the airport, I am going to my favorite restaurant in Seattle (Pabla Indian Cuisine) and a little later my wife and I are going to the reception. I only hope we can go to the Stephen King bookstore at some point. I call it that because the owner bears a strong resemblance to the author.
I am quite fond of the place because a few dollars will get you two or three paperback books. Considering that I read two magazines and most of an entire Sookie Stackhouse novel during the flight over (as well as writing about veganism on the plane and all of this) it will be good to have more reading material for tonight.
Yes, tonight I will be flying back to Newark. By the time I get back it will be about seven thirty in the morning. I will have to take the train from Newark to Penn Station and then walk to my office on 5th and 36th. I hope I am more comfortable tonight than I am now because I am currently cramped beyond hope and surrounded by loud, screaming children.
Nearly twelve hours later, I am back on the plane and not only is it less comfortable but I now have loud children directly behind me. Moreover, some of the passengers aren’t properly seated and so our flight is delayed.
The visit itself was quite pleasant and even included a two hour nap. That nap may be the one that will save me later on today. I ended up getting four books by Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse mystery series. One of them was a present for my mother-in-law and the other three were for my flight.
While writing this, I honestly wonder if anyone watches the safety videos that are shown before flights. The information hasn’t really changed much in the last twenty or so years other than to tell us to turn off our electronic devices during takeoff and landing. The one we watched had the CEO of the company talking about how great the company is. It makes me wonder as well — who is learning about how to put on a seat belt for the first time this evening? At the end of the video, a child behind me asked, “That’s it?” That is it, indeed.
I find myself in extreme discomfort. I am at the same time having a hard time keeping my eyes open and yet I cannot get actual sleep.
What seems like a very short while later, I wake up, having apparently found a comfortable position. I do not know what time it is because I rely on my phone for this knowledge and we cannot have our phones on during the flight. My iPod tells me that it is 5:21 but this seems impossible — could I have been asleep for that long? Writing by the light of the iPod is interesting. There are overhead lights but I am sure they would disturb the man sleeping to my right.
Half an hour later, the captain makes an announcement that is a game changer to me. He says that we are going to be landing in half an hour. That means that the time on my iPod was correct and I did get about three to four hours of sleep somehow. Against all odds, I genuinely fell asleep — I suppose the body will fight for what it needs when it needs it most. I no longer dread the eight hours of work ahead of me, nor do I fear falling asleep at my desk.
From this point one of my major points for thinking that the trip was insane has been calmed. I am still having a hard time coming to terms with the vast amount of money spent to go to Seattle compared to the short amount of time spent there. Then again, in many ways my colleague at work had it right when he said that money is a renewable resource.