A seat in the clouds

15 June 2011 
It’s been a summer of window seats… of a seat location that stays but a window view that changes. I’ve spent countless days watching the world go by as I’ve sat blogging in various Starbucks in South Florida and New York.  There’s something about scenes behind glass windows that relax me, helping further my flow of thoughts into a stream of words.

My window seat today is in the clouds. But unlike Starbucks, my free water has yet to arrive.

I’m officially on board my four hour and 52 minute trek to LA.  Once I land, I have a five-hour lay over prior to catching my connecting flight.

I checked in at Miami on one of the do it yourself machines. The options listed to check in were many; I chose to swipe my passport, which I did… a few times, on what seemed the proper location. Nothing appeared on the screen, so I motioned to the TSA lady on duty. The lady’s blonde hair was pinned back, about as tightly as the creases around her pursed lips. Obviously engulfed in the power of her job as “check out the check ins,” the lady huffed out a harsh "Wow", making no effort to conceal her dismay with my slight passport blunder. Oh her wow surely conveyed so much more than just wow, silly mistake. Ms. Prissy Pants wagged her pointer finger at a sticker at the top of the machine. “Swipe passport here,” it read. My Emma moment didn’t seem to thrill her obviously dull day.

The lady did, however, warm up to me after she saw my travel information organized in my secure, yellow folder. Apparently her daughter does the same. I think it let me off the hook for my passport mistake.

It’s 4:45 pm and I am exhausted (to which I issue the check in, luggage drop off and security lines blame for). But I refuse to fall asleep now, figuring it better to build up my exhaustion in exchange for a full night of sleep this evening. . To be frank, I’m not quite sure when I’m supposed to sleep; the time differences mess with my perception of time: LA is a three hours behind Miami, and Sydney is 15 hours ahead.

I wonder how it’ll be once I switch terminals, once I arrive at the gate for my next flight. I wonder if other members from my group will be there… if they’ll be sitting together or awkwardly spread around the terminal. I think I’d like to be the first one there… claim my territory so it becomes their task to decide to ask me if I’m on their trip. If not, I could always approach passengers who appear my age. Ask them if they’re on my program and plaster on a friendly, “I don’t really know what’s going on anyway” smile when they shake their heads in confusion.

Shoot, I completely forgot to check the names of my roommates. I hope they’re not offended when they realize I didn’t memorize their names, Facebook stalk their identities… you know, the sort of creepy, pre- trip drill.

I also forgot to check which direction the toilet flushes in at home.
I’ll be upside down. Who knows…. perhaps the toilets swish the opposite direction on the other side of the world.

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