Happy Atheist Forum

Airport Adventures

xSilverPhinx

  • Non Dvcor
  • *****
  • 18098
  • Gender: Female
  • I Spy With My Googly Eyes...só folia!
Airport Adventures
« on: June 11, 2019, 03:04:03 AM »
Brasília International Airport

Last day of the Congress on Brain, Behavior and Emotions and as I made my way to the airport in a taxi I was replaying memories in my mind -- both of recent few days and remote, from when I lived in that city more than 12 years ago. I missed seeing the common sights of the Brazilian savannah -- soil redder than I had seen anywhere else, trees growing from it with twisted trunks and large red termite mounds that looked like they had sprouted from the ground, like fortresses scattered across the landscape. I had always thought the red soil was fascinating...if Mars ever were terraformed it would probably look a little like Brasília.

It was around 4 p.m. as I got out of my taxi, collected my bags and proceeded to a check-in totem so that I could print my boarding pass. The flight was scheduled to leave at nine thirty p.m. I looked outside to see the sun was still glowing in the sky and sighed as I looked for an empty seat near a power outlet so that I could charge my phone.

The Waiting Game is not one most 'normal' people like to play, and much less play in an airport. Games are supposed to be fun, and this was anything but. I watched the sun go down as the sky went from clear blue to pink and orange hues. Finally it was dark outside and I went into the passenger terminal to board my flight. 

Guarulhos International Airport: the second busiest airport in Latin America and located near the most populous city in Brazil.

I arrived in Guarulhos near midnight after what had probably been the scariest flight of my life. The Chilean company aircraft was old and made all sorts of noises as it took off, was airborne, and landed. The loud, buzzing engines sounded like they were going to explode and every now and then buzzed like they were rebelling against keeping the aircraft in the air. More than once I had to close my eyes and calmly wish my heart stopped pounding like it wanted to break free from the chest that caged it.

Constantly darting my eyes to the crew for any signs of fear, I had almost two hours to negotiate with the FSM and make all sorts of promises. Oh FSM, I thought, please let me live to kiss the floor! I promise I will never procrastinate or ask for an extension again!

The FSM was kind, blessed be the FSM. We landed all in one piece and unscathed. I left the aircraft.

Then the Waiting Game: Hardcore Mode began. 
I lose myself infused in something more than what they've seen
I'm not a slave to greed
I don't embrace your make believe
I've never been for sale no matter what they think I need



xSilverPhinx

  • Non Dvcor
  • *****
  • 18098
  • Gender: Female
  • I Spy With My Googly Eyes...só folia!
Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2019, 04:00:02 AM »
(Continues...)

Okay, I thought. I can do this! I glanced at the time and the despair started to set in. I can't do this, how can any sane person wait 8 hours in an airport to board their next flight home? The feeling sunk in and I realised what I had gotten myself into.

I started walking. It is a large airport and I figured walking from one end to the other a couple of times would not only help some time pass but let me see where my terminal was located. Off I went on my recon and time-killing mission.

Twenty or so minutes later, I had not only found where my terminal was, but realised just how empty one of the busiest international airports was getting at that hour. All the shops and restaurants had closed, save for MacDonald's and there were less and less people scurrying around as time passed. I was both starving and borderline sleepwalking so I ordered an edible styrofoam resembling a burger from MacD's and ate it. The fries were cold, last of a batch that had been fried lord knows how long before unlucky me came along. The fast-food restaurant began closing soon after I ate and once again I had nowhere to stay where there was a reasonable amount of people.

It was 10 degrees Celsius and I hadn't come prepared for a cold night. I had thought wandering around some more and looking for a place to rest would do me some good, but in the hour and a half that had passed up until that point I was approached by three beggers. Since I had valuable goods with me, not to mention all my documents, I decided I would not try and find a place there where I could put my feet up and hopefully catch a few winks. Sleeping outside the terminal in an empty airport was not safe, so I went to the passenger-only area. 

There I found a place where I could rest with some privacy, facing towards the window where planes were coming and going outside. I lay on the bench, using my backpack as a pillow and hugging my carry-on so that it would still be there in case I fell asleep. I finally closed my eyes and allowed myself to rest.

Since very passerby and sudden noise behind me alerted me and left me feeling vigilant, I was unable to sleep. Still, closing my eyes helped recharge my batteries. I lay there in the cold until about 5 a.m. and when the shops started to open and people started pouring in I had some extraordinarily priced non-extraordinary breakfast which included a large cup of coffee before going to the gate where I would board the plane at seven fifty.   

The rest went smoothly. The plane did not sound like it was falling apart and I arrived home later that day, a day I took off so that I could sleep. And boy, sleep I did.

I survived the odious Waiting Game! :yes!:
I lose myself infused in something more than what they've seen
I'm not a slave to greed
I don't embrace your make believe
I've never been for sale no matter what they think I need



jumbojak

  • Chandler's Pale Cock Slurper
  • *****
  • 6848
  • The Iconic Iconoclast
Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2019, 04:18:33 AM »
Either of these would make a wonderful short film. My waiting games have been in hospitals recently. I'm not sure which I would detest more.
 

"Amazing what chimney sweeping can teach us, no? Keep your fire hot and
your flue clean."  - Ecurb Noselrub

"I'd be incensed by your impudence were I not so impressed by your memory." - Siz

Magdalena

  • Butterfly of Doom.
  • *****
  • 9180
  • Gender: Female
  • Angry hippies need to smoke cheap weed.
Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 06:19:01 AM »
Quote
I missed seeing the common sights of the Brazilian savannah -- soil redder than I had seen anywhere else, trees growing from it with twisted trunks and large red termite mounds that looked like they had sprouted from the ground, like fortresses scattered across the landscape. I had always thought the red soil was fascinating...if Mars ever were terraformed it would probably look a little like Brasília.
--xSilverPhinx


I agree with jj, they would make a wonderful short film.  :tellmemore:

“I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe.” ~Recusant

Dark Lightning

  • ****
  • 1298
  • Gender: Male
  • Curmudgeon
Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 03:02:03 PM »
You write well! I like your story, though I don't envy your experience.
This chisel type is called a "skew". I ask you, do I seem a little askew?

Davin

  • *****
  • 7664
  • Gender: Male
  • (o°-°)=o o(o*-°)
    • DevPirates
Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 03:07:37 PM »
I liked those posts. Very good stories about something I'm am very reasonably not excited about.

Whenever I have to go somewhere to wait, I always try to do something productive or relaxing with the time. The problems for me are that those places where I have to wait are not good for either. I try to read, but the noises and activity around me make that strenuous. I try to play games and the same things make trying to relax playing the same. Drawing is the same thing on top of not liking people to see what I'm drawing until I'm done with it... mostly because I toss out many drawings that are crap so I don't want people to see. Sitting still and closing my eyes drives me to tears of boredom. So air travel to me is always a terrible experience. Driving is better, even if I'm doing most of the driving.
Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

No one

  • *****
  • 2236
Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 04:31:48 PM »
Where I come from, congress and brain are not allowed in the same sentence.

xSilverPhinx

  • Non Dvcor
  • *****
  • 18098
  • Gender: Female
  • I Spy With My Googly Eyes...só folia!
Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 08:59:47 PM »
 :blush: Thanks guys! Just getting people to read a double wall of text is a plus, heh.  ;D
I lose myself infused in something more than what they've seen
I'm not a slave to greed
I don't embrace your make believe
I've never been for sale no matter what they think I need



Randy

  • *
  • 250
  • Gender: Male
  • Learned everything from cartoons.
    • My Comic Books
Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2020, 04:57:07 PM »
I thought I'd share this bit from my own travels:

Many years ago I worked for a company whose sole purpose was to make a single product, a manufacturing software system. My department was located in Birmingham, UK while I was still located in Georgia, USA. I flew out probably twice a month to meet with my crew.

One day, in the airport, I went to the ticket making machine. I swiped my passport like I always did only this time it came up with some kind of error. After a few more tries I decided to get in line for customer service. The line was fairly long.

After waiting two hours I finally got to the counter. I explained what happened and of course they looked me up in the database. Yep, sure enough I was scheduled for a flight to England. The only trouble was that I would not make my flight in time.

So the receptionist asked me how long I had been in line and I told her at least two hours. She put me on a standby flight and had me go to the gate.

I got to the gate, realized I had a bit of time to spare. Scratch that. I had a lot of time to spare. It was afternoon and there were plenty of places to eat and I had a corporate credit card. I could expense whatever including beer! So off I went looking for beer and food. I forget what all I had but I enjoyed it while I talked to two others who happened to be catching the same flight.

Finally, I walk back to the terminal. It's crowded. I find a chair, pull out my laptop, and started surfing the web. They started calling for boarding and I put my laptop away. Then there were just a few, maybe four I guess besides myself, waiting for a standby boarding call. I was the last one.

There was a delay of sorts and I figured that I'd have to make the next flight when suddenly my name was called! I hurried, why I don't know, to the ticket counter where they gave me my ticket and had me head down the tunnel to the plane. On the way, a flight attendant met me and asked if she could take my coat and luggage. I told her that I was told that I'd have to check it. She tells me, "Not for business class. You are in business aren't you?"

I look at my ticket. "1-C". "Why yes, yes I am!" I pleasingly said. She takes my coat and luggage to the plane and I follow her. A nine hour flight where I could stretch my legs, drink wine, have a meal of my choosing from the menu, and dessert! In case you haven't figured it out, this was my first time flying business class.

I'm tall. 6'2" and leg room is nice to have.
"Maybe it's just a bunch of stuff that happens." -- Homer Simpson

Dark Lightning

  • ****
  • 1298
  • Gender: Male
  • Curmudgeon
Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2020, 05:47:27 PM »
I liked those posts. Very good stories about something I'm am very reasonably not excited about.

Whenever I have to go somewhere to wait, I always try to do something productive or relaxing with the time. The problems for me are that those places where I have to wait are not good for either. I try to read, but the noises and activity around me make that strenuous. I try to play games and the same things make trying to relax playing the same. Drawing is the same thing on top of not liking people to see what I'm drawing until I'm done with it... mostly because I toss out many drawings that are crap so I don't want people to see. Sitting still and closing my eyes drives me to tears of boredom. So air travel to me is always a terrible experience. Driving is better, even if I'm doing most of the driving.

Back when I traveled for my job, I was so worn out after a 5 hour flight with all the engine noise. I bought noise-cancelling headphones and they made a world of difference.
This chisel type is called a "skew". I ask you, do I seem a little askew?