Saturday, March 5, 2011

On the road again: TEDActive, day 6

I usually avoid traveling on Saturdays, because doing so throws me out of the normal rhythm of the American work week. Today was no exception. It started earlier than I like, with a morning rising, shower, and a cab to the airport. I shared that cab with two other folks from TEDActive and enjoyed a very pleasant if brief conversation.

Breakfast and lunch were a frozen yogurt parfait with granola and some frozen blueberries nearly my age. Zia, the chain that sold it to me, is no Red Mango.

The highlight of my first flight was having bandwidth, so I could catch up on email before I turned my attention to other stuff. The low point was the guy next to me, a Spaniard who felt that he had every right to keep his elbow in my side, even when I politely asked him to pull it in slightly. We eventually resolved our issues by me propping my hardback book in my seat and next to my body and then leaning into it; after that, he cursed at me in Spanish and then kept to his space. I could live with that.

My brief time in DFW was a sprint. I stepped off the plane 18 minutes before my next flight was to take off. I had to ride a tram to a terminal two terminals way. I sprinted to the escalator to the tram station--and the escalator was out of order. Two down escalators were running fine and with no one on them, but no one thought to dedicate one of them to up traffic. So, full backpack and all, up dozens and dozens of steps I went. I was breathing hard at the top but caught a tram and then sprinted to my next gate. I made it with four minutes to spare--a short enough time that by its rules the airline could have closed the doors--but others also had short connections and so I was not the last to board.

The second flight was much better for comfort, because I was lucky enough to get an upgrade to First Class, but my rowmate was even more rude than the previous one. Fortunately, he could not lean into my space. I also had no bandwidth, so I happily used the time for writing work, a net win.

The short connection then bit me a final time: my luggage was still in DFW when I hit RDU. Fortunately, American put it on the next flight, and I received it around two in the morning. No complaints, though; it is here. As am I, exhausted but happy to be home.

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