And then I went a traveling. I flew to Philadelphia on Friday… from Denver. Well, it wasn’t direct, since I spent all of two hours in DC before boarding what can only be described as a toy plane to Philly. But let’s start at the beginning.
I printed out my ticket for the trip. My United account knows me as “Ms Megan A Stout”, but when they insert that name on my boarding pass I become Megan Stoutams. I don’t have one thing against the last name “Stoutams”; I find it rather unique and surprisingly appealing. Judge my taste, as you will. I made sure to get to the airport early because with my luck the TSA might mistake MEGAN STOUTAMS for a drug toting terrorist or some other heathen. But, alas I was just fine and the “Stoutams” mistake was easily explainable. I had extra time to sample some fine Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors and take a mini food tour of DIA’s B terminal. Not a bad start to a weekend jam-packed with eating.
I board the plane and have an actual assigned seat. Seeing as most of the time I fly Southwest, the economical option, I’m not used to knowing where I’ll sit. I sort of miss the cattle herd seat picking, but made the best of it. I was against a window and went between hoping someone exciting would sit next to me and hoping that it would be someone who would pass out and leave me alone. Always such a tough call when you’re about to embark on a 3-hour sardine can adventure. To end the suspense, I ended up next to a man from China. I know he was from China because China was the only word he knew in the English language. China, china, china… was all he could say. Lots of nodding, pointing and looks but China was all I ever got out of him. I figured due to the language barrier it would be a fairly uneventful flight, it wasn’t exactly eventful but we did have a few encounters.
Encounter #1: The Drink Cart. Seeing as my new pal’s only word was China, the “What would you like to drink sir” question can pose quite a problem. He shifted his gaze quickly between me and our flight attendant, clearly unsure how to ask for what he wanted. I kept making a motion for drinking and pointing. I’m also embarrassed to say that I probably raised my voice, like those ignorant people who assume “Don’t speak English” also means deaf. I’m embarrassed to even admit that. Eventually the flight attendant held up a can of orange juice (p.s. orange juice in a can is NEVER good, NEVER) and he nods, takes it and sets it on the tray in front of him.
Encounter #2: Magical Pockets. To fully explain this mishap you have to understand that the man I was sitting next to was very slight. A tiny, thing. He was probably in his 50’s, wearing black jeans a button down shirt and a suit-ish jacket. All fitting quite well. Throughout the flight I would look over and my new-found friend would be eating cookies, or candy, or other things that I have no idea about because they looked weird and the boxes were written in, I’m assuming, Chinese. But, the kicker is they just appeared. He didn’t dig in a bag; he pulled them out of pockets, the back of his pants… and who knows where else. The man was magical. When he finished his food he would stick it back in and you’d never detect that he had a thing on him.
Encounter #3: The Disappearing Canned Orange Juice. So… he never drank his orange juice. It sat on his tray for some time and then disappeared. I fell asleep for a bit and noticed it was gone when I woke up. Tray still down. I assumed, like any normal person, that he probably threw it away. But no, he pulled it out from behind him a few minutes later and stuck it back on the tray. Whenever the flight attendants would pass by he would quickly stuff the un-opened can behind him. Not sure why. Maybe he thought they would take it away? Eh? So now his magical pockets are hoarding all kinds of goodies and a can of fake orange juice.
Encounter #4: We were about to land and he whips out the in-flight magazine, hurriedly turns to the page with the United States mapped out and arrows showing exactly where United flies. He frantically starts pointing to Washington D.C. (where we were about to land) and looks at me confused. I nod a lot which apparently suffices as he then puts the magazine in the seat back pocket and turns back to facing forward.
Encounter #5: The Standing. When my seat buddy got on the plane I was already sitting down. I think, by looking at me, it’s easy to tell I’m not a “petite” person. But, you know I’ve been wrong before. After the plane finally landed and I got up I watched my friend size me up slowly as I stood and ever so slightly stare at how I stood over a foot taller than him. Mouth open, gapping. I’m an Amazon. He told me. He followed me off the plane and was meandering behind me looking lost; probably assuming he’d just follow me to the baggage area. Well, I’d been sitting next to a window for 3 hours and if I didn’t get myself to a bathroom stat I’d have quite a different story to tell. So I lost him at the bathroom.
Au Revoir my new-found, non-English speaking, mini friend.
Wow, this post is getting out of control. The last leg of my adventure was only semi-interesting. I got to walk on the TARMAC. When I think of people walking out to their special little planes I feel a little twinge of jealousy, so I was feeling extra special that I got to walk down the tarmac. That is, until I actually climbed the stairs and stood a full 6 inches taller that the aircraft. 6 inches. Which means I was probably 7 or 8 inches taller than the actual interior of the plane. Special feeling gone. And, the plane was small, so I not only didn’t feel special, but I was convinced, for all 20 minutes we were in the air, that I might fall and die. I didn’t, which is good. Here’s a picture of my fabulous flying trash can:
And here’s how I felt about being a passenger on it:
Then I made it to Philly… The End. Well sort of, more Philly adventures to come.