I don’t really have anything to say about today. Today didn’t happen. I sat in a timeless, uncomfortable chair and the world rotated underneath me. I traveled for 20 hours of body time and 28 hours of clock time. That is all. Here are some brief notes on that period of time.
LAX Tom Bradley. I got to the airport at 4:15 and was at my gate at 4:45. Pretty good start. I stood at an empty terminal desk arranging my euros, some of which are too big to fit properly in my wallet. Only some of them though so that’s fun. A lady walked up to me and asked me if I knew if this was the gate for St. Louis. I told her I didn’t know, which was the truth. I didn’t elaborate. Maybe it was the St. Louis gate. Maybe the international terminal handles some overflow domestic traffic. Maybe Missouri seceded. I saw her a little later walking with a new friend. The friend looked at me and smiled. I think somehow she knew that I knew what was going on there.
I went to the bathroom. The paper towel dispenser that I used was motion activated like you might expect but once it started dispensing towels, it didn’t stop until you ripped it off. Incredible, I thought. You take what you need and then stop. This is how all these things should work. I walked out of the bathroom. Was this how all these things work? I went back in and watched a couple other people get paper towels from different machines. They were normal. Wave your hand, get a slightly too-small piece of towel, rip off, repeat. Mine was the only one set on automatic.
Saw this. What am I supposed to do here? Plug some quarters into it and go to town? Doesn’t someone need to be supervising for me to use this? If I play this game, do I get to say I’m CPR certified? I think this got left out by accident.
The bomb sniffing dogs have little vests on that say “DO NOT PET.” But how’m I supposed to do that you so cuuuute. You sweet baby with a job. You adorable narc. One of them sat down next to a suitcase and I thought we were about to have an incident but her handler was just training her. She got her chew toy and appeared to be a very happy girl. Glad to see it’s not all work.
As I was waiting to board I heard the final call for the flight to St. Louis. Gate 151. Right where I had been standing. I was relieved. You weren’t lost and confused after all. Good for you.
I flew Turkish Airlines. The flight attendants wear smart little red caps as part of their uniform. Only for boarding though, not for service. They’re just welcome caps.
I could have sworn the guy next to me ordered cherry juice. “Did he just say cherry juice?” I thought. I looked around. Everyone was drinking wine. Maybe he said sherry. Sherry, please.
An older lady in front of me watched a Dame Judy Dench movie called Red Joan and then moved on to Walk the Line. Deep cuts. Another lady in front of me listened to Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms start to finish. I like these people.
During the flight a lady fell into me. I was asleep when it happened so I woke up to a sharp pain in my shoulder, a woman lying on the ground, a shocked flight attendant gesturing towards another passenger, and the passenger offering excuses and apologies. I went back to sleep.
I checked out the list of “Block Buster” movies on the inflight screen. The first four movies on the list are: The Meddler, Meadowland, The Matrix, and The Shawshank Redemption. The Meddler is a movie staring Susan Sarandon and Rose Byrne. It’s about and aging widow from New York City who follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life. It opened on April 26, 2016 and took in $54,022 its opening weekend. I thought maybe I had landed in the M’s but those movies aren’t even in alphabetical order. I watched Detective Pikachu. I didn’t care for it.
The Istanbul airport is large and consists mostly of terminal-long duty free shops. I wanted a Turkish coffee but all I saw was a Starbucks and the even more American sounding Gloria Jean’s Coffee. I got a coffee from a different shop but it came out of a machine and was an americano. The only thing Turkish about it was that I was in Turkey when I drank it.
On my last leg into Athens, I was sitting next to a new guy who wanted mango juice. The flight attendant didn’t understand him so he said it again. Mango. Mango juice. Oh I’m sorry, she said, we only have orange, apple, and cherry.
I’m finally in Athens. It was late when I got here. I recommend getting to a new city during the day. When I got here it felt like I’d missed it. Luckily Joe was here and hungry so we went and got food at a place called Vissili’s Grill House. It was delicious and open. As we were walking back from the restaurant this guy stopped and asked us, “Hey do you know how to get to the Grill House?” As a matter of fact, it is the ONLY place we know how to get to. Down there and take a left, man. Get the chicken gyro.