Friday, March 6, 2009

There's No Place Like Home: Acts I and II

So I had a hell of a time getting home from my spring break. I decided to type up an excessively prolix travel diary of sorts, which I've broken up into two parts due to length. Enjoy!

There’s No Place Like Home: A Tragicomedy in Three Acts

Act I – Sunday, March 1, 2009

“Home is where I want to be; pick me up and turn me ‘round.” – Talking Heads, “This Must Be the Place (Na├»ve Melody)”

Our story begins in Boston (well, Cambridge, to be precise), where I was visiting a friend on spring break before things went terribly awry. It should be made clear: Sunday wasn’t a great day. Things with a romantic interest of mine became deromanticized over the course of the weekend, and then my laptop refused to turn on (just after being repaired). This was enough to cause something of a meltdown on my part, but of course, my flight home was then canceled due to an impending snowstorm. After a couple of maddening hours on the phone with a few different Delta agents, I managed to secure a new series of flights home. I would have to take a train to Providence, where I would catch a flight to Cincinnati, and then to my home airport of Detroit, arriving around 9:30 pm. “Well… I’ve never been to Rhode Island, I guess,” I thought, reaching for something positive.

Act II – Monday, March 2, 2009

“We’ve been on planes and on trains ‘til we think we might die.” – LCD Soundsystem, “North American Scum”

Scene I – Subway from Cambridge to Boston/Commuter Train from Boston to Providence

I trudged my way through the fresh snow, cursing it as I went for causing me both to lose my original, much simpler flight and get my jeans wet. Thankfully, the subway and commuter train were easy to find and use, and I even had time for an unsatisfying mozzarella sandwich at the Boston train station. (It was quite the inopportune time to have given up meat, I must say.) I had hoped the train ride would be scenic, but as it turns out, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, at least along the train tracks, just have lots of snow-covered trees with no leaves. Knowing that I would be returning to a similar environment in Michigan, I opted to sleep a bit. Upon arriving, I had to rush to catch a shuttle to the airport and almost ran over a bird in the train station with my rolling luggage. Although I thought I was hallucinating at first, I then noticed several other birds waddling around the station. Had I not been in a hurry, I might have investigated this phenomenon further, but home was more urgent than birds.

Scene II – Shuttle to Providence Airport/Loafing in Providence Airport/Flight from Providence to Cincinnati

I caught the van shuttle to the airport just in time, where I was able to listen to a man who apparently was some sort of weather deity rattle off information about the snowfalls in various northeastern cities. We quickly arrived at the rather beautiful Providence airport, where I settled in to wait for my flight. (I had a couple of hours still; I had given myself lots of time since it was all unfamiliar territory for me.) I called my brother, I read for a bit, I made a couple of playlists (which I will share with you soon!), I almost ate a burger before catching myself; it was actually almost relaxing. There was a brief moment of tension when I beat out an older gentleman for a wall outlet, but hey, my phone needed to charge. Sorry, Pops.

Of course, my relative serenity was not to last, as our flight became more and more delayed. I had about an hour between the original landing time and my connection, so I knew I had some time to give, but I was still nervous, and the old crazy lady behind me who gave occasional shouts of “THAT’S NOT OUR PLANE” every time a plane landed steadily increased my anxiety as we waited. We finally took off about an hour after our original departure time, and while on the plane, I had a brief Zen moment of things being out of my hands and feeling alright about it.

Scene III – Cincinnati Airport/Cincinnati Holiday Inn

I sprinted through the airport upon arrival, finding my gate quite deserted. I was given a new plane ticket for 6:40 am and hotel and meal vouchers by very kind Delta employees before being shuttled (again with the shuttles) off to the Cincinnati Holiday Inn (although apparently I was in Kentucky), where they put me up for the night. After a brief sob of frustration in my room, I went to use my meal vouchers on dinner, where for the third time in a very trying day, I did not succumb to my cravings for meat. (Well, not entirely. I ordered the very unsatisfying grilled salmon salad, since I’m allowing myself fish once a week. Sorry veggie friends, but this was necessary. It was almost a steak.) I called various friends to share my tale of horror, took a hot bath while blasting my brand new “Pouts” playlist on my iPod, watched some MSNBC (I’m sorry, but I just can’t get into Rachel Maddow), and went to bed. Despite my extreme exhaustion, I couldn’t sleep; my mind was still in overdrive, and beyond that, knowing I could only sleep for about 4 hours didn’t really comfort me.

Click here for part two.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Rachel Maddow is OK....but I prefer Keith