Thursday, May 13, 2004

And there was sunshine

So just as numerous times before I find myself at the mercy of an airline company, my whole schedule and wellbeing entangled with their inter dependency and competence to assure a smooth transfer of body and LAGUAGE. Due to popular demand, the flight is fully booked out and I find myself occupying the middle seat in my row. The sun loiters to the right and has set and risen four times in the last 15 minutes as the obese African-American lady on my right struggles to make herself comfortable and thus blocking the existence of the sun to everybody else in our row; When running out of breath she settles down for a minute or two and so the sun rise again. This seems to be a recursive routine and I am willing too place money, the betting man I am, on the fact that this is not the last time I would be so fortunate enough to witness a sunset and sunrise in such a diminutive elapse of time. This might turn into yet another exasperating journey although it is only a 2.45 hour flight back to San Diego from Dallas.

These two destinations could not have been further apart when one evaluate and compare their landscape, weather, attitude and insight. Some people and places in Dallas are still caught in a very bad soap opera from the 80’s where big hair, talcum powder and the very unfashionable flowery dresses where the norm. Some of the folk here could even be overly friendly that it almost becomes a little irksome. My expedition to Dallas had a very interesting twist though, when I was introduce to Yolanda du Toit from Pretoria (Capital of South Africa) with her natural beauty, elegant tall legs and charming smile. So I found myself flirting in Afrikaans, something that only occurs on my visits back to South Africa every December. She furthermore suggested hosting a braai (BBQ) the next time I am in Dallas. How could one resist such a fair offer?

My current goal is to apply some of the methods I have gathered over the years to persuade the project leader that I would need to be base out of their San Diego office for another week before moving to Dallas. Thus minimizing the time spent traveling back to Ireland on the June the 10th for the Pixies concert and another comrade’s (Maruis) birthday in Dublin.

Hope you are all doing well and I will keep you posted of my progress and findings during my expeditions!!!!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Aer Fingus

A rude awakening from my new mobile phone and an acrobatic jump into the shower performed as one continues rhythmic motion, executed with such perfection and elegance that I would have at least scored 9.9 at a synchronized swimming competition, followed up with a two and a half hour journey to Shannon airport. These where most probable the best part of my day, from this point onwards the journey would begin to examine if the warrior is the chosen one or just another "wanna-be". The techniques and methods used to scrutinize the warriors mental strength, patients, awareness and stamina where monitored and even in some cases participated by the employees of the Aer Lingus One World alliance. Listed below is the sequence of events:

Arrive at Shannon airport only to find out that the confirmation number I have is invalid and that the only booking they have under my name is from Chicago to LA and LA to London, but no sign of a Shannon connection. Also added on top of this is the fact that excluding the flights from and too Shannon the ticket price is 1740 Europeans, instead of the $721 that was confirmed by American Airlines. After an hour and half of conversations between Eric (boss in the states), Karen (lady at Aer Fingus desk) and American Airlines representative I got my tickets and was able to check-in at my nearest counter.

Flight was scheduled to leave at 13h00 but the got word from the crackling speaker in the waiting lounge that further information about this flight would be announced at 14h30, which meant that I might miss my connection flight.

Was informed at 14h30 that Chicago flight has been cancelled, the discovery of this imperative information was followed by a mad rush to get tickets re-routed through a different location. JFK was my new connecting airport, and finalization of this information caused contempt ness to take over, only to find out that we currently experiencing another delay due to the luggage needs to be moved from the one plane to the other.

Arrival at JFK was marked with the realization of my worst nightmare; my luggage was not on the plane but rather was checked in to BWI. So onward I go to the check in desk only to find out that the last flight to LA is 20h00 and it was already 7.30. Rushed through 3 different terminals to final arrived at the departure gate, where a very friendly American Airlines host helped me to get onboard of the airplane.

So here I am finally after 24 hours of struggle and travel arrived in LA, and thanks to my mom that drilled it into me to always pack clean socks and underwear, which are my most valuable possessions I own in the states currently.

Will keep you up to date with my progress and experiences.