Thursday, May 31, 2007

airport adventures

First of all I have to apologize for this post being so long. But I promise it is worth reading.Our trip to Utah was great, once we landed in Salt Lake that is...things all started off fine, Dan and I left work early last Friday to head to the airport to catch our flight. The sun was shining, the weather was balmy, and we were ready for a fun weekend. Then the weirdness started. Right after Dan met me at work, we began trying to hail a cab. We had figured things would be a little tough with memorial day weekend,and we had planned time for extra traffic because of the holiday too. What we hadn't planned on was not being able to get a taxi at all. We scoured Madison avenue in search of an available cab with not one to be found. after about 5 minutes we decided to head over a block or so and try our luck there. By the time we made it to the corner of park avenue and 59 a total of 9 off duty cabs had stopped, asked us where we wanted to go, and then refused to take us when we said JFK (which I later found out illegal but what can you do anyway). In all this time, we hadn't even seen one normal regular AVAILABLE cab. Dan and I had been trying on separate corners to increase our chances when finally he hailed me over and I jumped in the cab relieved as we sped away to JFK, or so I thought...Once in the cab and speeding toward the queensboro bridge, Dan informed me that the nice cab driver had a agreed to help us and explained that since it was 4:00 and the cab drivers had a shift change at 5, it would be difficult to get anyone to take us to JFK, but he would take us to Laguardia and we could get another cab there to JFK. "what" I screamed, "Dan you just got totally scammed, are you crazy? Why would you get into a cab with someone who agreed to take you somewhere completely different than you actually asked him to go?" At this point I assumed Dan had failed to acquire any street smarts during our time living in NY and I was preparing a lecture on how not everyone can be trusted and in a big city like NY you have to look out for yourself or people will take advantage of you. Well the joke was on me, and although it was a round about way to get to the airport we actually needed to go to, we got a cab at Laguardia no problem and it probably only cost us and extra 10 minutes, and an extra 10 dollars. So the moral of the story is, if you are ever having a terrible time getting a cab to JFK, see if they'll take you to the taxi stand at LaGuardia, it's the next best thing.

You would think this had been enough of an adventure for one day, but no, the extraordinary events were not over yet. We got through security in only ten minutes (that must be some sort of a record for JFK on memorial day weekend) and headed to out gate to wait for the flight to board. While we were seated waiting to get on the plane, extraordinary event # 2 occured. Dan and I looked at each other in disbelief to see if we really were seeing what we thought we were seeing when a live bird flew right over our heads in the airport terminal, I am sure the poor thing was very confused looking at the windows all around and trying to figure out how to get back outside, but it was pretty amazing, it reminded me of the part in the movie You've Got Mail when Kathleen Kelley(Meg Ryan) is talking about the time she saw a butterfly on the subway. It just made us feel kind of special to witness something out of the ordinary like that.

But the funniest part of the adventure was still to come. First I should probably explain that because Dan and I had purchased our tickets separately, since I wasn't sure if I was going to stay longer in Utah, we were not assigned seats next to each other on the flight. No big deal, we had thought about trying to get reassigned, but our flight was full so the chances looked slim. We figured we would just wait until we were on board and if we needed to we could ask someone to switch. So with that in mind we boarded the plane. Little did I know I was headed right toward extraordinary event # 3.My assigned seat about 12 rows behind Dan and I should've guessed something was weird when the guy next to me only waited about 30 seconds to strike up a conversation with me (in his defense I was wearing a really cute outfit and having a fabulous hair day). We started out with the usual banter, oh this plane is really full, where are you from, what are you doing on this flight, etc. Well, since I was trying to be polite and friendly, (I figured this slightly balding middle aged man who is probably my father's age was probably just lonely)I reciprocated. He started to tell me about how his wife died of cancer two years ago, and he had four kids, and lived somewhere near salt lake but didn't tell me exactly which part (looking back this should have been a red flag) and my heart kind of went out to the lonely overly friendly guy who was now telling me his life story a mere five minutes into our five hour flight together. Eventually I got around to asking him what he was doing on the flight from NY to SLC. I must admit I was a little surprised at the response I got when he said he was returning from Russia, I raised an eyebrow when I asked what part, and he mentioned some obscure Russian location I could only imagine since I had never heard of it.
"well what were you doing there?" I asked.

"Well," he said, "I went to meet a girl I met through our church on the Internet to see if we want to get married, you know, basically a mail order bride kind of deal."

"Oh!" I said stunned and a little shocked, "well how did it go?"

"Actually, it was wonderful. And a soon as I can get together a solid prenuptial agreement in case all she wants is a greencard, I am going to ask her to be my wife!"
Now you can probably imagine my amazement at this point, I really didn't know what to say or how to respond, but luckily I didn't have to because he proceeded to tell me all about his future fiancee, and pretty much every minuscule detail of his trip in Russia, including what they ate for various meals, where they took walks, and the floor plan of Russian wife's apartment. Oh and lets not forget the fist fight he got in with some Russian thug who was hitting on Russian girl. Anyway, I was speechless, and trying to figure out how I could strategically avoid spending what were sure to be the longest 5 hours of my life in conversation with this guy. The word "ipod" quickly sprang to mind and I dug it out of my purse hoping the visible headphones would subdue our conversation and protect me from any further details of this guys life. Sadly no avail, I placed the headphones on but he just kept on talking. Cell phone I thought, that will do it. I mentioned I had some messages to check before the flight but that didn't shut him up either, he just kept on talking right through my voice mails as I struggled to differentiate between his words and the words coming out of my phone. Okay I thought, it's okay, if I need to I can just tell him I am going to sleep, but he's probably just excited to tell someone about his trip and his potential fiancee. So I listened a little longer trying the best I could to summon every ounce of politeness in my body. After all, this was just a nice lonely man who needed a friendly ear right? Well after a couple more minutes of hearing about Russia and how great Russian food is, he startled me by asking,
"So do you need a ride home, or a place to stay when we get to Salt Lake? I would be happy to help you, we could even grab dinner on the way if you want?"

Can we say CREEPY! Apparently he didn't notice my wedding ring or the fact that I am young enough to be his daughter. Poor Russian Girl, does she know what she is getting into? I briskly replied that I actually had family picking me up and I was on this flight with my very strong very athletic husband who was seated only a few rows up. He seemed a bit surprised but shook it off. and proceeded to ask me if I had any children, or if I was planning to have children any time soon (is this any of his business?) Anyway, I had my cue and mentioned I had to go check on something, at which time i ran up to Dan and cried, Help me! Luckily, someone missed the plane (too bad we ended up taxiing on the runway for 1 1/2 hours) and there was a seat right next to Dan who was sitting in the exit row (score) and I happily plunked down into it! You are rescued from creeping balding guy I thought to myself.

The best part of it all was that when it was time to deboard the plane, Dan looked back and said, "It was the balding guy in the plaid shirt wasn't it?

"How did you know?" I asked

"I can just tell, he fits the type!"

more airport adventures to be continued.....


Jessie and Taylor Miller said...

I laughed through your entire post! Love it! And I LOVED seeing you this weekend!

Brynn and Jesse said...

Wow that is an adventure! Your post definitely made me laugh and smile! I'm sad we missed you while you were here but hopefully we will see you sometime soon!