August 2011


Notes on Pond-Hopping and Subsequent Events

Yesterday’s post was written from the comfort of my own apartment in Berlin. This post is written, at least right now, at 36,000 feet, somewhere south of Reykjavik, Iceland. Funny enough I know somebody who is vacationing there, at least as I write this.

Checking in 24 hours in advance of the flight was well worth it: I’m too cheap to pay for what Continental Airlines calls its “premium rows” and I don’t have the elite status required to get them for free in advance – so I was facing the prospect of flying 8.5 hours in regular coach and unable to do any work. As I promised a colleague to do work for them on this trip, I was quite relieved when I could get seat 7C (on a Continental 757-200) for free on my flight – it’s an exit row seat with unlimited legroom and nobody who can recline into me. The decision by United to expand Economy Plus onto its Continental fleet is one I’m thrilled by, and given my druthers, I’d prefer they started with the international 757-200 fleet since I suspect that’s the plane I’ll be on the most.

The main downside to this flight is that the air conditioning is working well: really well, and I’m cold. Thankfully I have a personal rule that when I fly I wear long organic-fiber pants, long-sleeved organic fiber shirts and sturdy shoes. It’s a personal rule designed to improve the odds in the event of an adverse situation with the positive side effect that I’m not quite the icicle that I could be.

Now for material written after the trip was over:

The most exciting thing about the trip was, of course, the earthquake. I was eating at some restaurant when I felt somebody bump my chair – except there wasn’t anybody there. The waitress behaved like what was going on was normal, so I assumed there was a large truck rumbling under the building and that all was normal. I wasn’t the only person who found the motion odd—a number of us looked at each other and there was shared laughter over the odd motion. It wasn’t until I left the restaurant and saw CNN going apeshit over the earthquake—worried about potentially horrible damage near the epicenter—once they could find it. Of course it ended up not really amounting to much and I have to confess that it was much less exciting than I expected.

From Newark to Indianapolis, my flight wasn’t really delayed by the earthquake, however when I got onboard I thought it must be “Fathers take their sons to work day” because the flight attendant looked like he was about 16 years old – exceptionally competent at his job (one of the better flight attendants I’ve encountered in a long time) despite the fact that I spent most of the flight wondering if he’d hit puberty yet. Obviously I’m getting old.

Meanwhile – jetlag sucks.

Hinkle: I paid young man

Hinkle claims not to be gay.

Comments are closed.