I travel. Probably more than the average bear. And with these travels I have discovered many things. I have seen most of it (it would be a bit extreme to say I’ve seen it all).
People checking in-this is a time and a place that many forget what they learned in kindergarten, how to form a line. When left to ourselves our line appears to be a cluster, with the occasional traveler pushing his or her way to the front. This is usually the result of lack of experience, impatience, or fear. The rhythm of travel.
Over weight luggage is one of my favorite moments. There’s such shock and disbelief on the face of the accused. The conversation goes something like this:
Counter agent-your bag is over 50 lbs., you can take some things out or pay $100, or check a second bag for $35 (for up to an additional 50lbs). Why is that? Why can entire extra bag cost me only $35 but an extra 10 pounds in my existing bag costs me an additional $65? What kind of math is this? What is this magical amount of $100, does this compensate the luggage handlers for their hard work or is this just airline logic (an article all its own).
Now the accused is like a deer in headlights, she (almost always) is literally shocked that her bag is over 50lbs. This seems to be mostly insulting, what are you calling my bag fat?! Que the entertainment. The traveler begins to empty her bag for all to see. More times than not, when she weighs it again, it is still over the magic 50lbs.
I so want to yell to her-jeans, take out the jeans! They each weigh 2lbs. It’s your fastest least embarrassing way to go. But I just watch the rhythm of travel play out until I am finally called up to offer my suitcase to the god of the scale
Next stop TSA. By now I feel confident that we all know we cannot take liquid on the flight. But tell that to the little Italian grandma in Miami trying to carry on a quart of chocolate milk along with other large containers of liquid. Who brought her to the airport, I am holding you accountable for this moment of shame. Proudly I stifled my laughter. Please do not judge me. The struggle was real as she continued to pull container after container out of her Mary Poppins carpet bag, I thought it would never end. Of course the rhythm continues, shoes off, laptops out, hands over head as a machine determines if you are safe or not. Then shoes one, laptop back in the case off to the gate.
Every terminal is filled with business men making deals loudly so that we will be impressed, people walking around with headphones on as if they are radio controlled and must not lose contact with the mother ship. Moms loaded down trying to feed their tribe for under $300. You know it would have been cheaper to check each one of them, remember only $35 for each additional checked bag, max 50lbs. Men women and children desperately eating before they board, after all who wants pita and hummus for 8.95? At this point I would like to thank Delta for continuing to offer peanuts, pretzels and those crazy amazing biscuits. Did you know you can order those? On the Christmas list!
Boarding the plane is a triumph in itself. Can we please get a reality show about what people try to stuff in the overhead bins? Are you kidding me? But nothing beats the deplaning. We all know (or do we) that when you land and taxi to the gate, you still have to wait. Wait on the airline crew to open the door, and wait on those ahead of you to gather items that they crammed in the bins. The rhythm of travel continues. Many with tight connections begin to sigh, LOUDLY. I have yet to see this help. If you have a tight connection, do what I do, stand up, announce you have a tight connection and beg the other passengers to let you off first .Because once the aisle starts filling with large suitcases and their owners you have no hope.
So here we are, at the end and perhaps you are wondering, what was that? Funny maybe, but why? Why did you just use 700 words and several minutes of my time?
Why indeed? Perhaps to encourage you to embrace the rhythm of life. Or to make you a better traveler, or to give you a small break from the usual. The rhythm of life, It’s everywhere. And instead of fighting the rhythm, why not just dance?!
Meet me here tomorrow for the rest of the story….