Thursday, September 29, 2005

Traveling can be fun!

I know I’ve been incommunicado lately, but I want to assure you that I’ve been taking notes and have at least a handful of blog stories for you. Hopefully you’ll find them entertaining. If not, at least find them distracting.

I’ll start at the beginning. In late August I flew home to WI for a family function. Traveling is rarely smooth for me, and I always seem to come out with at least one good story.

I’ll start with a funny observation: I was at the airport here in Cleveland, waiting in the seating area to board my plane. Behind me, across the concourse, is a Cinnabon. I can overhear from where I’m sitting the Cinnabon worker saying loudly (because we all know that foreigners understand better when you speak to them loudly) “You talk good English,” to some young man who looked European. He just kind of shook his head and walked away. Yeah, I think he probably speaks better English than that woman at the Cinnabon. But hey, nice of her to be friendly and encouraging to foreign travelers.

Now keep in mind that I come from a small town in WI. As you can imagine, there’s only a small airport to service the area. We’re actually quite proud if it – it’s up to FOUR gates now. I know you’re jealous. Anyway, this airport has three names, any of which can show up on airport departure screens. One of those names is for the even smaller town that the airport is technically located in, Mosinee (pronounced “moe-sin-ee”).

Because I fly from Cleveland I have to stop in a hub city of some sort (Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, or Minneapolis). This time I was in Chicago. Because I was headed to a small airport, they put me on a small plane. Small planes require you to walk out to them. Sometimes they have someone to lead you to the right plane (often the small planes are herded to one far-flung corner of the airport, and your average observer can’t tell which plane is going where). The woman leads us out amongst the planes, turns to me and asks “You’re going to central Wisconsin, right?”

I said “Yes” and she says “There’s your plane” and points.

Thinking that she certainly didn’t sound 100% confident, I ask the flight attendant when I get on the plane “This is going to central Wisconsin, right?”

He replies, “No, I’m sorry it’s not.”

K: “It’s not going to central Wisconsin?”

FA: “No, I’m sorry, it’s going to Boise.”

K: “Boise? Really?” as I'm thinking there's no way this tiny plane is carrying enough fuel to fly from Chicago to Boise, something is just not right.

Finally one of the flight crew perks up and intervenes “What’re you telling people?”

FA: “That we’re going to Boise.”

FC: “We’re not going to BOISE, we’re going to MOSINEE.”

By this point the passenger behind me had started shooing away the other passengers that had cued up behind him saying “We’re on the wrong plane. This one’s going to IOWA.”

I was surrounded by idiots on all sides.


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3:11 PM  

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