Part 4- Out of the Dish
Row 30. I hadn’t paid any attention to my seat assignment when it was issued in the Dominican Republic. This was truly a mistake, one that I will never make again. The only thing further back than me on this plane, are two toilets, the galley and the rear exit! Next time I pay attention!
Honey and I have seats 30D and 30E, and even though I should have been in the middle seat as per our pre-existing travel agreement, Honey prudently chooses to sit in 30E, the middle seat. Her mood had slowly gone from dark-grey to solid black as we had made our way down the plane’s aisle and she realized where we were sitting. She buckles herself in and I know this is one of those moments I swore I would avoid; The fuse is lit and I wasn’t going to be able to say or do anything, to change that. Past travel-days had taught me that if I do anything, I would set off an explosion. Maybe not at that moment, but later when we were off the plane. It is best to leave her alone in her personal misery. I quietly sit my numb-ass into seat 30D, the aisle seat, the seat from hell.
There was no room in the over-head compartments. The four that were close to my seat were filled with the crew’s bags and safety gear. Is that an inflatable raft?? This is a prairie flight!! What good is one raft going to do for 180 people in a wheat field?!! Ditch the raft and let me put my case up there!! I have to stash my case with my laptop eight rows forward! All the over-head bunks are filled with small pieces of carry-on luggage. Since the airlines are now charging for every bag that goes under the plane, most people are taking two small carry-ons so they don’t pay anything! By the look of the plane’s bunks, there might only be three pieces of luggage under the plane… Mine!!!
I am not happy about having my electronic life so far away from my protection, and I spend most of the flight worrying about its safety. There will be no way for me to get to it upon landing, when everyone stands up to leave and some other passenger might decide to abscond with it, there will be nothing I can do. I didn’t use to think like that, but I seem to have developed a strong distrust of my fellow man over the years. I keep an eye on my case until the flight-attendant shuts the bunk and the plane moves away from the gate.
We leave the gate a full hour behind schedule and make our way to be de-iced before take off. The storm is making the job difficult and planes are lined up. I can’t believe that the first delay in the DR has followed me all the way to this flight! It should have been dropped in Toronto!! We finally leave the ground at ten minutes to twelve local time, close to two hours behind schedule. I had messaged IT Genie, who was going to pick up us when we arrived, before we boarded and informed him of our delay. There was nothing more to do now then close my eyes and just be miserable for the next two and a half hours.
The first thing that hits me is the service cart that comes out of the galley once the plane has leveled off. I scrunch into my seat tighter but it is too narrow for my shoulders, and I spend the next two hours being brushed by any one that goes past me. What is the problem with you people??? There was a perfectly good washroom across from our boarding gate! Why didn’t you use it?? The flight is less than three hours!! Cross your legs!!! I understand one or two but I get hit by a steady stream of people for the entire flight!! The noise of the suction flush and the cool breeze shooting up my pant-leg every time the door opens are driving me mad!! Where’s the turbulence when you need it!!!
We land once every single person on the flight has gone to the bathroom… twice; it is 2:10am local time. We collect our bags and exit the terminal post haste and at half past the hour, Honey and I are seated in our car… having a smoke.
IT Genie behind the wheel asks, “Anything you want before I leave the city?” Honey and I have not eaten since the Dominican Republic.
“A Hamburger,” we reply in unison and laugh.
“Wow,” the Genie says, “sounds like you had a good trip home. Better than last year at least.”
It was truly a better day than many other travel days, even though we were constantly waiting. Honey and I had shared our misery together and had not become adversaries. The day still sucked but we managed it as a team and because of that we made it home safe and no one lost an eye.
It has been 17 days since I started writing this tale. I have published as I have written it, but honestly it was a struggle to finish. The world does not look anything like it did on February 26th. Planes are now empty, as are the airport terminals. Society has ground to a standstill as we wait for Covid-19 to pass, and hopefully leave us and our loved-ones untouched.
It’s very sobering, to realize that from this point forward, life will never be the same.
I hope you and yours stay safe and healthy.