Monday, August 31, 1998
Bill and I got up and out at 7 AM, got to the T9 terminal at 8 AM. We found out our tickets were worthless by 9 AM. I went off to book a seat on the United Airlines flight at 10 AM. Searched and found a clean toilet (w/seat) at 11 AM. Met up with Bill (by chance) at a money machine at 12 PM. We sat at Burger King and read newspapers until 2 PM. My flight leaves at 4:50 PM, and arrives at 7:10 PM. Apparently, without the price quote from yesterday, the ticket would have cost $900. But the lady working there was very nice, and gave me the lower price. It took about 15 minutes, but I was patient and content to have a set flight schedule. The time has been going by quick today, considering I’ve been at the airport for six hours already, and just two and a half more until I’m on the plane. Then, I’ll be happy. And I’m just waiting to call home and ask to be picked up!
I checked through everything at 2 PM, and made my way to the boarding gate. Though the first x-ray guy checked all my film (like the guy did in Virginia and Boston), the second (sad and bored looking) guy did not. He made me put 11 roles of film through the x-ray. This nulls my efforts at the other airports. I’m still pissed off about it. And if my film is noticeably damaged, I’ll be irate. Of course, I won’t be able to do anything about it. Though the airport seemed daunting at first, I’ve had no problems getting through the system today. I’m waiting to board the plane at 4 PM. Only then will I be truly content. Before going to England, I was noticing some weight loss. But, after a diet of fast food and beer, I’m sure I’ve gained weight. Luckily, I have a routine at home.
My savings account has dwindled dangerously low. I’m hoping to pick up a little money with Manpower before the holidays. And that will go towards my credit cards. There is so much I look forward to at home: Howard Stern show on Saturday nights, football, baseball and the New York Yankees, TV, news of the declining global economy, my room, a private bathroom, skateboarding, computer games (esp. Dune 2000). I’ve decided to wait till home to write up my list of good and bad travel tips. Hopefully, this will help me on my next trip, and anyone else. I really smell right now. The person sitting next to me on the plane will surely notice my odor. I threw out my only two pairs of Italian underwear. Going commando isn’t that bad when you don’t move around a lot. I guess I should mention again that I’m a bit nervous about customs. Worst case scenario is they search my bag and pull out the magazine. I really stink! And I’m sure it will be worse after a 9 hour plane trip.
I got on the plane, a Boeing 777, which I believe is one of the newest models. It’s not a jumbo jet though. I got a window seat. The plane is definitely not full. There are in-seat video screens (5″) so everyone gets a personal view of the movies. It turns out that I even get a choice of the movies I want to watch. I chose to watch the first half of “Titanic.” I also flipped around, caught a bit of “As Good As It Gets.” I’m hoping for “Good Will Hunting” later. There is also a map screen which displays our current position, speed, height, and ETA. The service has been great. All drinks are free, but I’m not going to bother drinking. I filled out the US Customs form. I declared my sweater, 2 tapes, 5 CDs, and the 2 Guinness glasses. Hopefully, I won’t have a problem. Since I don’t have any checked luggage, I should get through quickly!
For dinner (lunch by EST), I got chicken and potatoes. It was very good, and the service has been awesome. There has been a little turbulence so far, but mostly it has been smooth. I have to shit, but I don’t want to deal with getting up, etc. We are approaching the southern tip of Greenland at the halfway point. I’m definitely leaving this flight with a great impression of United Airlines. The damn video screens are great! The best part is that technology is only advancing, more personal options are in the future for air travelers (and space, but not in my lifetime, I don’t think). Well, I’m ready to start the second part of “Titanic.”