Flight One: LAX to Chicago O’Hare… I read like a third of “Into Thin Air,” written by the author of Into the Wild (read: one of my favorite books and movies) the narrative is arresting and the fact that he was THERE makes it more real and arresting. The summit of Everest is about the cruising altitude I am flying at right now… pretty much mind-blowing. Living in a base-camp at like 16,000 feet in tents for two months makes what I am embarking on look like a walk in the park. I guess its reassuring? Reading inspiring stories of what individuals can do makes my life look easier and my little tasks seem very doable.
Later, on a much less inspirational note I Watched an episode of the office on the in-flight TV. I listened to some baby cry (loudly) for the whole descent. The guy that I sat by during this flight looked like a weird cross between George Lucas and Richard Gere (I know, right?)
Chicago: Super short layover! I am sitting two chairs away from an attractive young man who looks like a young Dave Grohl. This is the last time I’m going to be able to text anyone in America until July 24th? 25th? I should really find out when I’m coming home.
Flight Two: Chicago O’Hare to Madrid: it has become evident that its physically impossible for me to sleep sitting up without leaning on anything. Right now I am in Madrid, unfortunately I’m not leaving the airport so I can’t really say I’ve “been” to Spain. Does spending three hours in the airport count as visiting? My gate to Casablanca isn’t announced yet so I am at my leisure to peruse the duty-free stores and smell the expensive perfume I am making an effort not to succumb to buying.
On the flight, I saw a menu in the in-flight magazine with prices listed next to it and I got all paranoid about whether they were going to serve me food or not. The announcements in the plane were made in Spanish and English, but it was so muffled that I couldn’t hear what they were saying, like, ever. So it was a mystery. FINALLY, they brought out the food–I was starving–I have no idea what time it was in any time zone but all I knew is that I was hungry. Say what you will about airplane food…. at the moment it was the most delicious meal served on Earth. Er, over the Earth.
Madrid: I am typing this update in notepad because they want me to pay 5 euros for 30 mintues of internet time… a little steep? Its the first rate I’ve seen so I have no basis to compare with. What am I supposed to do during this three hour layover? I have to report back to the info booth at 9:30 to get my gate assignment. It is 11PM California time [Saturday] and 8AM Madrid time [Sunday]. Trippy right? Time zones are so weird!
I snagged a bench where the arm rest was broken off so I essentially have a double seat. Naptime? Time to guard my valuables with my life and perhaps try to get an hour or so of sleep.
Update: that whole nap thing didn’t work out. I’ll post the rest of my journey from Madrid to Casablanca to Rabat next time… for now I should probably try to sleep.
Also, I tried to add a couple pictures but it gave my computer a heart attack so you’ll have to wait until I can find a stronger internet connection.