Monday, June 07, 2010

musing while waiting in New York for a connecting flight

And maybe there is something to be gained from long hours on buses and planes after all. Maybe these are the times when you can observe people variously responding to the demands of the twenty-first century equivalent to a Greyhound Terminal. The stress of travel.

And I have to say, I’m left upbeat and happy. I see patience (at the bus stop in Janesville, when the bus driver disappears for half an hour, without explanation). I see sympathy (at the New York airport when the plane, delayed already, stops and goes no further). People have a lot more elasticity within them now than they did, say, forty years ago, when I came from Poland on a BOAC flight (a.k.a. British Airways) and passengers expected white gloved stewardesses (a.k.a. flight attendants) to hand out nuggets of gold (or so it seemed to me, traveling, as I had been, from Poland). I'm thinking -- there's a lot of stretch in that elastic these days before it snaps.

And that's a good thing.

I also see the beauty of the world on the horizon. Chicago...


...New York, at dusk...


...and soon, a wet, green landscape of the “old world.”

It's good to go places and take stock of what's out there.


I’m off.

Now, it ought not take that long to get to where we’re heading. But of course, we are not choosing the easiest way of getting somewhere. We’re choosing the cheapest.

By Saturday we should be at our destination – where the sun shines (they say) 300 days out of the year. But cheap means slow. And that’s a good thing, to an extent. Savoring the journey, so to speak. I see that we have a lot of rain in places leading up to our final sunny spot. Variety is also a good thing.

Except when the entire first day of the journey is spent on buses and at airports, merely so that we can get to New York’s airport for the overnight overseas flight, the image I have is not of savoring but waiting and hoping for successful connections.

The opportunity for missed flights is there, but at least not for lost luggage. I have my little carryon. At least my stuff will stay with me.