Hi, everyone, I’m home! What, I didn’t tell you I was going away? My bad. Anyway, remind me never to travel on the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving again. I know, shouldn’t I have known that? But you see, I have the good fortune to have grown up in the NY area and so going home means never having to travel too far. Sure, there was college, but that was Amtrak time. I mean, taking an Amtrak train right before Thanksgiving is no picnic either, but at least you don’t have to enter or exit an actual airport.
The second I got to JFK I knew I had made a big mistake. The line was practically out the door. Somewhere along that line I realized I was in the wrong line. Fabulous! I mean, it wasn’t like it was labeled in any way and they all ran into each other towards the back. Whatever. There was this one guy who actually went from person to person with the same speech, “My plane is at 5pm [it was like 4:40], can I go ahead of you?” It was kind of fascinating to watch him snake his way around the miles of queue. But every person said yes. I mean, what’re you going to say? “Yeah, yeah, I saw the other hundred people said yes, but not me, buddy!”
And I think they’re redoing the Delta terminal at JFK because everything was shoved into a corner and it looked like the whole thing was a stage set for a TV show. The little belt behind the check-in people didn’t even function, you had to bring your bags over to this area where TSA guys took it from you and dropped in a heap. That inspired a lot of confidence in me that a. my plane wouldn’t blow up and b. that if it did in fact make it to my destination that my suitcase would not actually be on it. I’m not sure which of those things would have devastated me more but luckily, neither happened.
I know a lot has been written about the whole “no liquids on board” thing but the worst part (to me anyway) is that the pharmaceutical industry hasn’t had time to adapt. So saline solution for contact lenses comes in 4 oz. bottles (the limit is 3) and is sterile so it can’t be moved to another bottle. If you wear contacts and have ever had all the moisture sucked out of you by a jet airplane, you will understand why this is necessary. I always make sure my bottle is half full so I can have the following argument with the Homeland Security people. “I know the bottle says 4 ounces but it’s clear and you can see that it’s only half full so that makes it 2 ounces.” “But our regulations say 3 ounces.” “I realize that, but it’s visibly less than 3 ounces.” Sometimes I get away with it, sometimes I don’t. They’re never consistent.
But back to the Delta terminal. There were like no shops and no restaurants and I hadn’t eaten. Well, there was a Chinese place but nothing I could eat there and if you want to eat greasy airport Chinese food before a seven hour flight where you have a window seat, have at it. And I ended up early, miracle of miracles, but there was nowhere to shop! What’s up with that? Stupid Delta. Stupid JFK. Well, not the president, I understand he was pretty smart. Just the airport.
I wish all airports were like the one in this video, Wyclef Jean’s Gone Till November, which I think is one of the most beautiful videos ever made. And what the hey, it is November, isn’t it?