Monday, April 21, 2014

Locked Bathrooms

Going from Paris to Calgary through Dallas is not the quick way home. It worked for me, since it was the way I was able to book on short notice to get to Paris.

On my delayed return flight, Wyona begged a preferred seat on the plane for me out of the agent. “This is an old woman, 73, she has to get up out of her seat often.”

Lucky me, a preferred seat,  in the front and right next to the bathroom.

Mr. Clean-Cut-Forty-Year-Old stood waiting for his turn to go into the bathroom. He was the only one in line and I decided this was my chance to stand up.  We chatted for a while. He was grumbling. He had been standing there 10 minutes. A third party joined our line,  an outgoing and sweet, darling  Grade-Seven-On-Holidays-to-Paris student. She and I chatted. Her friend’s dad is a pilot and she knows that pilots get a chance to sleep on the long flights.  She knew our pilot was behind some curtained doors close by.   That knowledge seemed to be calming to her.

Soon the line was long.

Mr. Clean-Cut-Forty-Year-Old was fed up and said, “I am going to knock”. No answer. Another two minutes passed and he said, “That is it! They have got to get out of there.” He rapped loudly. I didn’t want to be there when that person came out and a confrontation began.

I suggested getting the stewardess, but no – he really banged on the door this time.

No sound.

The Grade Seven girl and I speculated. Is the person embarrassed because they can’t figure out how to open the door? Has the person had a stroke? Has the person died? I decided sitting in my seat was a better option now. I got out of there while he marched off to find a stewardess – it was one of those moments when you can’t find one at the front of the plane, nor at the back. I went back to reading but in a few minutes Miss Grade-Seven-On-Holidays-to-Paris came to me and said, “Your turn next.”

“Whatever happened there?”

“Oh, the stewardess checked. The lock was only half closed and there was no one in there.”

I only saw Dallas from the air and then only passed through the airport. I did notice that the food portions are bigger, the cowboy boots fancier and the airport – built for the future. Fantastic with that sky train every two minutes, the long escalators, the huge hallways. If I had been in the airport for longer, I would have ridden the sky train to get a good look around. As it was, I did get the joy of going from one posted gate to another when I saw the change for my plane. No use letting things go wrong at this point.

I love the welcome home at Canadian Customs. I hope the officers never quit saying welcome home. I was disappointed that I had nothing to declare. No liquor, no alcohol, no cigarettes, no food, no scarves, no books, no jewellery, no gifts. I did bring back what I could internalize. There is no way to estimate its value.

I am moving to a new way of travelling: bring money for every airport and pack lighter.

Oh, I know, Wyona says just use my credit card in the first instance, but I still can’t take the kick of the exchange of money at a higher rate than I can get at the bank and then an added 2 ½ percent fee on the credit card. Just doesn’t seem right to me.

I am acting like I came out of the depression, even knowing that was my parent’s era, not mine.  I wonder if I will be able to  modernize and believe that using that credit card is the way to go?


1 comment:

  1. You can do it Arta. But start packing two weeks before and not the night before.