Monday, December 20, 2004

Now With More Sadism!

I find it interesting that I am unable to have either a completely positive or completely negative travel experience. Things will trend either one way or another all day, but then at the end something will happen which is totally off from the pattern. It's like Murphy's Law, but crueler: anything that can go wrong will, but not until we get your hopes up about it.

The preceding is my incoherent attempt to give some sort of reasoning for the airplane experience I had Friday.

It started out bad, but not too bad. I had to take my stuff to the airport on the Metro, and man, those bags were heavy. Heavy heavy. So heavy, in fact, that my back and shoulders still hurt from wrestling with them. Heavy. But I got from my house to Barajas in an hour, which isn't bad if you consider that it took me 10 minutes to walk the three blocks from my house to the station (heavy). I was still running early. It was cool.

The airport was inundated with American coeds waxing poetic about peanut butter, dryers and fabric softener, and their boyfriends. That was bad, too, because they were doing it in English. There was so much English, in fact, that the Delta people took one look at my passport and didn't even attempt to speak to me in Spanish. I was pissed. My last shot at Spanish practice wasted.

But then I got up to the ticket counter and gave the guy my stats. He typed my name into the terminal and looked up at me suspiciously.

"Oh, here we go," I thought.

"You're flying tourist class?"

"Well, yeah, of course," I said, very confused.

He started to grin. "No you're not. You're in 3A, business class."

"You guys better not have lost my reserv-waitwhat? Business class?"

"It looks like your father logged on and upgraded your seat."

"Oh! Oh, wow! Wo-I don't have to pay for it, do I?"

"It's paid for with frequent flyer miles." He grinned at me again. "You have a good father, huh?"

I limited myself to smiling and saying "I have a very good father," mostly because I figured "I have a father who oscillates between incredible acts of kindness and making me wonder if he was brought up in a barn" was a little too indepth for the Delta ticket counter guy. Just, like, my opinion, man.

Have you ever paid $200 for a one hour flight and wondered "Where the hell could all this extra money possibly be going"? I'll tell you where that money is going. It's going to business class. It's going to the Airport Elite Lounge - the one that has free food, drinks, coffee, pastries, and...what else...oh yes, A FREE OPEN BAR. It's going to the Barcalounger that I had for my seat (with electronic controls, no less), the china I ate my five-course-meal off of, and the 28395 bottles of water I drank. And let's not forget the bonus that the flight attendants get for acting subservient and, through their subservience, making me feel like an uncultured hick.

Oh wait, I AM an uncultured hick. Sorry, I'd forgotten.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that business class is ridiculous. Not necessarily good or bad ridiculous, but I will say that I think it made me a little more Marxist inside. So maybe that's bad ridiculous.

So we landed at JFK (nine hours later...auuuugh). Passport control was smooth, I was in the front of the line, got a good spot at the baggage carousel...wait, is our stuff coming down on two different carousels? and getting mixed up with the stuff from Santo Domingo?...wait...why do I only have one suitcase?...ok, these are clothes, clothes good...where's the bag with all the stuff I GOT for people?

Ahahaha. So, um, if you were expecting a Christmas present from me...umm, yeah. Blame Delta.

Excuse me, I have to log off so I can go scream at a "baggage handling representative" now*.

*I wouldn't really scream. I don't scream at service people - I know better. I work at a coffee shop. But I will give them the voice equivalent of puppydog eyes until they cough up all that Swiss chocolate I bought.


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