For a second, I was worried that wouldn’t have anything to write about this time. A trip through Newark Airport just wouldn’t be the same without arriving 2 hours early and not seeing anything that’s blogworthy. The shuttle ride was okay, security was relatively smooth; nothing terribly interesting. And then I saw it. A small sticker on the glass separating the lines of impatient people about to go through the metal detectors:
Have a suggestion? tsa.gov/blog
The Transportation Security Administration now has their very own blog. Well, I had to laugh. I wonder if they write about the same things as I do? (they probably have even more to say, I’m sure) I do actually have a suggestion, that they put interesting stories about airport misadventures in their blog. I think I’ll send them a link to this first.
If it were not for that sticker, I’d have nothig to write about today. A blog inspiring a blog. Blogs do have a tendency to make writings on seemingly uninteresting things readable. Example? What you’re reading now, or the “Stuff White People Like” blog. Okay, okay, admittedly it’s the writing that makes them readable, but blogs give this informal writing about oddball topics a home. Otherwise, it would stay on the pages of my notebook, where few would see it.
At Gate C7, it’s 6:22am and everyone in the terminal is in the same collective, half awake state of “WHY did I book a flight this early.” Leaning back, head hanging down or to the side. I can’t blame them; the sun hasn’t even come up yet. And it’s snowing. Even the TVs, usually looping the same few morning news stories read “NO SIGNAL.” Between the lack of CNN buzz and the half slumbering passengers-to-be, there’s an eerie, almost peaceful quiet in the terminal. The only reason I’m awake is the energy bar and the Starbucks frapp I had on the way here. A plane arrives and people begin to walk out of Gate C7. They look more with it than anyone else here, but some of them have T-shirts and shorts on. I guess they came from somewhere warmer where the sun has already come up.
Note to self: Take a vacation.
2nd Note to self: DO NOT book a morning flight.
Nobody comes back from an airport saying, “Wow, that was a really good experience.” The waiting through the slow lines of security, the crowds of traveling people, the food (see previous entries). Airports are modern day disasterpieces. I reason I say “disasterpiece” is because although airports are a bloody awful mess 11 out of 10 times you go, they do offer an environment which allows some very unique things to happen. 100 people stuffed into a pressurized cabin of joy. Of course, people do this sort of things every day on buses and trains; but at 30,000 feet, you’re stuck next to your new traveling buddy no matter how fat and stanky, old and senile, or young and obnoxious they are, proving that there are some things worse than death. (Most airlines stopped offering euthanasia in the mid 90’s, along with those little golden wing pins. *nostalgia*) They haven’t stopped offering drinks though. But the conversation a little different now a days.
Flight Attendant: Would you like any thing to drink?
Passenger: Yes, can I just have some water please?
Flight Attendant: You can purchase some water. That will be $3.50. Credit or debit only.
Economic recession has made for some very passive aggressive flight attendants. Not that I’m complaining, it’s just one of those bitter sweet quirks of modern air travel. (without the sweet part) Another one is when they announce, “This flight is a non-smoking flight and the no smoking signs will remain lit throughout our flight.”
I bet you $3.50 that those no smoking signs can’t even turn off. I’ve never seen them off.
Another airline rule- “No sharp metal objects such as scissors, toenail clippers, etc. All liquids must be placed in a clear zip top bag.” But there’s no rules against sharp pens filled with ink? Good thing, because if they didn’t allow pens, this entry would be much more… non existent.
Even with all the shortcomings of air travel today, going to the airport has never been more… interesting. Where else can you see lines of business people with no shoes on getting felt up by Newark Airport’s finest? If you decide to fly and turn a blind eye to these seeming inconveniences, you’ll be missing out on some quite interesting stories.
But hey, that’s what I’m here for right?