austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Where a man can fly over mountains and hills

It's always anxious just before a trip. But bunny_hugger didn't get really nervous until we checked in for our flight to Paris. The first leg on Air Canada would take us from Detroit to Toronto --- marking by the way the first time I'd actually set foot in Canada --- and it turns out we would be on a tiny plane. We expected it would be a regional jet. It was a regional prop plane, one with nine rows of one seat on each side of the aisle. I have, actually, been on a tinier plane. She hadn't. Tiny planes, propeller planes, these tend to be jumpy things, turbulent in flight. She expected the worst.

I didn't think it was that bad. It was shakier than a large jet to Toronto would have been. But besides the stretch passing through the cloud layer it didn't really shake that much, I thought. bunny_hugger disagreed. She thought every moment was unspeakably awful. There wasn't a door separating the cockpit from the passenger cabin, and if there was a curtain they didn't draw it. We could see out the front windows. I thought this was fascinating. bunny_hugger thought we were bouncing around so badly we were going to miss the runway.

So, I thought the flight was worse than it might have been but not all that bad. bunny_hugger pointed out one of the plane's light fixtures fell out of place and bonked her on the head. She tried to hold on to it, but in the turbulence near the end of the flight she lost it. (It was on the floor.) Also there was another light fixture hanging loose from the interior of the plane. And one of the windows we weren't sitting by had a large X drawn across it. She has legitimate points.

She complained about the landing especially to me. Especially because she'd have to fly this same plane again in two weeks. A guy who'd been sitting behind her, wearing a Fleetwood Mac T-shirt, inevitably began talking about how he'd been through much worse flights than this one. I hissed at him, ``You're not helping'', and as inevitable when someone is sharing his flight horror experiences to a terrified person whose companion is saying to shut up, he spoke more about his awful experience. Thank you, Canadian Fleetwood Mac Fan.

As mentioned this was my first experience in Canada. I had previously assumed Canada to possess adequate signage. Or, really, any signs that point to anything useful, anywhere, at all. In fact, Toronto's airport is a baffling mass of directions that do not adequately direct people. We were baffled enough that we had to fill out customs forms, even though we weren't going into Canada, just passing through it. But we were shuttled through customs for whatever reason, followed the sign to connecting flights and were snottily informed that (a) we were supposed to go to international flights and (b) we had somehow left the security-quarantine area and had to go through security again. Also, we might have to get our bags and have them re-scanned.

So. We went to baggage claim, where our bags didn't appear. We went and asked again and were told that our bags were checked through to Paris so we didn't have to do anything about them. We got through security and went looking for our gate. The gate numbers petered out in a swampy delta of potential connections.

But we did manage, after surprisingly much of our three-hour layover, get from one gate to another within the International wing of Toronto's airport.

Trivia: On 16 June 1919, the German delegation to the Paris Peace Conference was notified they had three days to accept the Treaty of Versailles. The deadline was later extended to the 23rd of June. Source: Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed The World, Margaret MacMillan.

Currently Reading: Walkers On The Sky, David J Lake. It starts from a great setting, the ships that sail the force-field dome set at varying heights above the people they rule as gods. Yes, sometimes there's sky islands. Lake created lots of really great settings that had average stories set in them.

PS: A Summer 2015 Mathematics A To Z: jump (discontinuity) to begin the fourth week of my A to Z. First post since the last mathematics roundup.

Tags: animal liberation 40 years on tour
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