Welcome Home!

Another business trip in the books. More people watching, at the airport flying out and flying back, is a never ending source of entertainment. On the flight out the plane was booked to capacity and when I checked in for the flight I made sure I had an aisle seat. I don’t want to be stuck by some stranger who is in no hurry to get off the plane, I want to get out as quickly as I can. I sat in my aisle seat, first one to sit in our row, got settled in and a man stopped in front of me and said he had the middle seat so I stood up to let him in. A couple of minutes later another man stopped in front of me and said he had the window seat. As I was gathering my papers, he said that if it was easier, I could just scoot over and let him have my aisle seat. I looked at him and said, “No that’s not how it works.” The other guy moved over so he moved from the middle seat to the window seat, and the second man took the middle seat. Lucky me, he hadn’t bathed in a few days and he hogged the armrest.

The flight home provided much more entertainment. As the boarding process started, the gate agent made the announcement that people with small children and anyone needing assistance getting on board to come up and check in. I watched as a long line of people being pushed in wheelchairs, some walking with canes and some that I suspected were scamming the system just to get on the plane early queued up in front of the gate. Added to that group were parents with small children and babies, one woman came up pushing a double wide stroller and she plowed her way through the throng almost knocking one man wearing a walking cast over.

I sat there thinking, “Oh great a plane full of crying babies and people in wheelchairs, this is going to take forever to get boarded and with my luck I’ll get to sit next to an unhappy baby.” Then I remembered that I was in an exit row, no babies or small children in exit rows and I breathed a small sigh of relief. Don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for mothers of small children and most of the ones I flown with have more patience than I ever had. I was just tired and ready to be home.

The biggest welcome home came from Orso. He barked at me as I walked in the house and let me know how displeased he was that I was gone for nine days and I left him alone with Mitch. He showed me just how rough it was to be sequestered for nine days with Mitch, because as I started to walk up the stairs to the bedroom, I saw that he had diarrhea. All over the floor. At least it was not on the carpet. So at nine o’clock at night, after spending three and a half hours in a plane with one hundred and sixty-eight people and being awake for seventeen hours (not counting the time change), I got to mop the floor.

Business travel is so glamorous.

People Watching

Another business trip and more people watching. This is rapidly becoming my favorite thing to do and as soon as I master my Gopro I will share some videos of my finds. Because our airport is always so busy I get to the airport extra early and hang out until my flight boards. This affords me ample people watching and with practice I am becoming quite the “professional voyeur”.

Sitting next to me also waiting for boarding to begin, was an elderly woman who had just made it through security and was not pleased with the amount of time it took to get through the checkpoint. She also was not adept at using her cell phone. She tried repeatedly to leave a voicemail to her son without much success evidently, either that or he got the benefit of listening to the same voicemail four times. She held the phone in front of her and spoke into it like a walkie talkie, so all of us around had the privilege of getting to hear the same message four times. Now I know where she fills her prescriptions and that it takes a long time to get through security. (Good to know).

Another passenger that was flying with me was a man I assume was in his late twenties to mid-thirties. He was tall and normal sized about one hundred fifty pounds with hair long enough to pull back in a ponytail. He was wearing shorts, short sleeved T-shirt and a vest, so far as attire goes, there was nothing special about him. What really caught my eye and almost drop my jaw, was his roller board carry on. He was pulling a small hard case roller board that was shaped like a pirate chest complete with pirate chest graphics. There was jewels hanging out and pirate swords next to the chest in the design. So cool if you are a ten year old boy. He dragged it behind him with his head held high like it was what his main piece of luggage. And all I had was a briefcase and a black tote, I definitely need to up my game.

On the return trip home I was seated in the aisle seat one row behind and across a man who as soon as we took off and leveled out, dropped his tray table and pulled out a brown paper bag from Noodles & Company. From the bag he extracted a round bowl about 8 inches in diameter filled to the top of the bowl with noodles and chicken. Then he reached back down into the paper bag and pulled out a pair of chopsticks. I sat there in awe watching him dig into the bowl with the chopsticks grab some noodles then stuff it in his mouth. He didn’t drop any of the food once, quite an accomplishment while flying in a plane air turbulence and so little elbow room.

What really surprised me was not that the man was able to eat food with chopsticks but that he didn’t stop eating for the entire three and a half hour flight. As soon as he was done eating the noodle dish, he tore the corner off of the free pretzels and ate them. But no, he didn’t eat the pretzels like the rest of us, you know we mere mortals tear open the package, pour the pretzels into our palm and put them in our mouth one or two at a time. He would push one pretzel up to the open corner and put each little pretzel square in his mouth by bringing the bag up to his mouth to biting on the pretzel. He did the same thing with a very large chocolate bar in his lunch bag. He tore to end of the package off and fished the bar up and took a bite, chewed, then pushed up the bar a bit more and repeated the process until it was gone.

After the candy bar, he poured granola mix into his drink glass and ate the granola by tipping the glass up and into his mouth, like you would if you were eating the ice out of your glass. After the granola it was a bag of pistachios. These he had to touch because the pistachios were still in the shell. I couldn’t believe how much food he carried on the plane. I was stuffed just watching him eat and he was not a large person, fairly normal sized, probably five foot eleven inches or so and about one hundred sixty pounds. I wish I had his metabolism, because I ate everything he ate for three hours, I would be so miserable and seriously overweight.

Aww, the joys of flying.

All I Want for Christmas

I already know what I want for Christmas. Normally I have a gazillion wants on my wish list and as soon as someone asks me I draw a complete blank. Everything is gone and I’m left sitting there with a blank face. But not this year, I know exactly what I want. Now that I’m living in Seattle but work for the same company I have for eleven years that is in Kansas City, I’m doing a fair amount of travel back there to check in, do some training and let everyone know I’m still alive and kicking.

One of my most favorite things to do is to “people watch”. It is so entertaining, sitting in the airport waiting for my flight and watching all of the different people walk and run by. As I was sitting in the airport on my return trip to Seattle I had wait for the plane to arrive that would unload its passengers, load us up then turn around and fly back to Seattle. I got to the airport early and had plenty of time to sit and watch my fellow passengers’ position themselves around gate area looking for the best vantage point.

There was the “super important” business traveler that walked up to the front of the First Class boarding line and looked around for everyone in the gate to acknowledge his presence and awesomeness, then went back to reading his cell phone. Behind him strolled up the woman business traveler who had ignored the sign right in front of her that allowed two carry-on pieces, a personal bag and one other bag. No, she had her purse, tote and rollerboard bag, three bags, no wonder there never is enough room in the overhead bins. Then there was the couple that walked into the gate area, the man carrying a portable oxygen canister and his wife. The man sat down six seats away from me and since there were no more seats around his wife decided it was best to just plop down on the floor in front of the arrival doorway and spread all of their bags around her in a semi-circle. This was going to be entertaining when the arriving passengers tripped over her and her bags.

About thirty minutes before departure the inbound flight rolled up to the jet bridge. It was only a few minutes later that people started coming through the gate from the jetway. The first man off looked like he had rolled out of bed after oversleeping, jumped in the car and flew to Kansas City in his pajamas. Seriously, he had on red plaid pajama bottoms on. The next three people that came walking by had dazed looks like they had just experienced the worst ride ever and were just glad to be alive. Then there she was. All I could think of, was does your mother know how you are dressed? Did you not look in the mirror before walking out the door and going in public? The woman came walking into the gate area wearing the strangest hat I’ve ever seen. The hat was a knitted hat, at least five or six inches tall, round and stiff sitting high on her head, it didn’t droop over like a stocking cap, made of brightly colored yarn and there was a long blond braid of hair sticking out on each side of the hat. And no it wasn’t her hair, her hair was dark brown.

I sat there and worked overtime not to laugh out loud, which would have been rude, but still it was so entertaining. I wish I had a camera with me, but that would have been too obvious and again rude, so the best option brings me to my Christmas wish. I want a GoPro camera.

Wouldn’t that be a hoot? I could strap it on my chest, camouflage it with a scarf or something and just sit and wait. I know, I have way too much time on my hands.