April 17, 2003

Today has been a day of many firsts. It was the first time I've traveled outside my own time zone. It was the first time I set foot in California. It will be (but hasn't been yet) the first time that I visit a country in which the population doesn't speak the same language I speak. Or, well, technically that will be tomorrow. At least, I think it will. Actually I really have no idea what time it is where I am at the moment, or even where I actually am, at the moment. I'm currently flying over a large amount of clouds, somewhere over the pacific ocean; but I really don't know where. Yeah, that would be another first: the first time I've flown across an ocean. But I still don't know where I am, or what time it is. Other than that it's 6:45 PM Eastern (daylight) time...

If you're going to fly coach, flying international is definitely the way to go. That is, if you can stand sitting in one place long enough... There's no doubt about it; my legs are stiff, and I'm a little stir crazy. But the benefits of flying internationally almost make it worth the hastle. A fairly Asian style chicken dish was served for "lunch" (which for me happened at what my body thought was about 4:00 PM), with sticky rice, carrots, shitake mushrooms that somehow managed not to be rubbery, despite the fact that they almost certainly were heated in a microwave. Impressive. It also came with salad (ok, romaine lettuce with light ranch dressing), crackers and gouda cheese, grapes, a warm dinner roll which managed not to be soggy despite the fact that it also was probably warmed in a microwave, and cheese cake for desert. Not gourmet food, by any means, but the best food I've ever had on an airplane. And since this is such a long flight (almost 10 1/2 hours), there's still a snack and a light supper to come. I've been fed well, and there's plenty of entertainment, including music and in-flight movies. And if you should so desire, alcoholic beverages are free, on international flights (at least, with United). The only thing I've ever had on my domestic flights is a bag of peanuts or pretzels, and maybe some music.

I've come to the conclusion that, in general, people just don't know what to say. I thought it was just me; but apparently it's everybody. I could have done without the idle banter of the limo driver... Marty was a nice enough guy, but he kept the limo too cold, and wasn't interesting enough to merit keeping me from catching a wink or two in the back seat on my way to Logan. Then there was the dude at SFO who hand-checked my film. I always feel awkward when I fill in conversations with things like, "yeah, you know." But beyond asking me where I was flying to, that was about all he could muster. Which is fine; I wasn't really looking for deep, meaningful conversation. And I found it a pleasant surprise that someone who initially seemed much more, uh, outwardly "cool" than I generally think I am was just as conversationally challenged as I often find myself to be.

Anyway, my battery is about to die, so I should probably wrap this entry up. It'll be cool meeting Glenn at ICN, since I haven't seen him in quite a while, and since he's always prolific with the interesting banter.

Last modified 4/23/2003 © 2003 Derek Martin