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air travel

and greatness…

I took the first flight out to Boston this morning. Right before we took off, the flight attendant announced that we had an Olympic Silver medalist in our midst: Molly Schaus, Goalie on the US Olympic Women’s Hockey team, was on the flight. We all clapped. The flight attendant walked down the aisle with the Silver Medal so that we could see the medal. I so wanted to touch it but of course I didn’t ask…

I was surprised to realize that Molly was sitting in the very back of the plane. For sure, for someone that just won us a Silver medal at the Winter Olympics you’d thought United Airlines would have given her a better seat. But the flight was full, and I’d like to assume that otherwise the crew would have tried hard to set her up with a better seat.

After I got off the plane, I waited by the gate, feeling a bit silly and awkward. I frantically tried to google her name on my Blackberry to make sure that I’d heard the flight attendant correctly. At the same time I was panicking since really, HOW was I going to recognize her?! Then business suits walked past me one after another. No. Not Molly. No. Not her. No way that’s her. Then I saw a young woman by herself, and you could tell by the way she carried herself that she is a professional athlete. Isn’t it amazing someone like me who never ever likes to exercise knows this about an athlete?

This may surprise you, but I am shy, in front of strangers, in public. I mustered up all the courage I had at that moment to step into the middle of the walkway and asked, “Are you Molly?”

She looked a bit surprised, but quickly smiled and said, “Yes.”

I extended my hand, and thankfully she took it.  I shook her hand and said, “Congratulations!!!”

She seemed happy and maybe a bit shy about my putting her on the spot. “Thanks!” she said. Then I watched her walk away.

Imagine that. An Olympic Silver Medalist. And I shook her hand!

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Sorry about the quality of the picture. I didn’t see anybody else taking out their phones to take a picture of this awesome moment, and frankly, was a bit disappointed at my planemates for not making a big deal out of this. This IS a big deal. Or is it just me? Anyway, I am still very excited about this chance encounter. Silly? Maybe. But you bet I will forever seek out the news of Molly Schaus and cheer for her.

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Olympic Silver Medal - US Women's Hockey

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Jerry: “I can’t go back to coach!”

This is from the 52nd episode of Seinfeld “The Airport”. The Hyperlink takes you to an 8-minute long collection of the best scenes from this episode. Watch from 7:20 for one of my favorite lines from my beloved TV series:

“Do you realize the people back here are getting cookies?!”

I don’t know why. I just loved it even back in 1992 when I had no idea that I would be flying frequently. In coach, nonetheless…

This post could have been titled “WTF Wednesday: How the Other Half Lives”. But seeing how it is already Thursday and I have been cheating via backdating a lot lately, I will just skip a WTF Wednesday post. This should help with my image anyway: soon I fear I will only be posting WTF posts and nothing else. Since my life seems to be full of WTF moments. Or it could just be me: I am wearing WTF Goggles as I go through life…

It suffices to say that Karma delivered. After my not-so-satisfactory-yet-definitely-great-blog-fodder-and-therefore-I-should-be-grateful-all-considered flights to Taipei, I was upgraded to Business Class for the leg between Taipei and Tokyo.

Prior to this, I had ONLY heard of the Lie-Flat Business Class outfitted for the Trans-Pacific flights. (From my beloved husband nonetheless, who will certainly get it from now on if he ever complains about his air travel…) Oh boy, was I excited. When I got to the plane, I was really nervous: I would have been greatly disappointed if for some reason this plane had only the regular Business Class seats. (Yes, one does get spoiled very quickly…) Wait. How come I could not find my row? It went straight from Row 10 to Row 19. Is it a cruel joke? The flight attendant pointed UP and said, “Your seat is on the Upper Level.”

WTF? Upper Level? There is an Upper Level? I mean: I knew there is an Upper Level on a 747 but I thought that was for the super duper Secret Society First Class seats: where they have a hot tub and possibly a stripper pole or something.

As I ascended the stairs, I could hear the angels singing, celestial music playing in the background. “Ahhhhh—–” Much to the chagrin of my seatmate, I started taking pictures as soon as I finished putting everything away. Oh my. So many choices in WHERE to store my shit that it took me a while to figure it out… (He soon exchanged seats with his wife…) I did not know that I would ever, ever, wish for a flight to last longer. Alas. It was not meant to be. The plane actually landed early. I only got to enjoy my Lazy Boy home theatre for a bit longer than two hours. So why couldn’t this flight have been diverted to Alaska? I would have been HAPPY… Very happy.

CODA: Soon afterwards, Karma delivered again. This time to balance everything out my flight from Tokyo back to Washington D.C. was delayed for TWO hours. And of course this time I was back to my coach class for the 12-hour flight. The reason for our delay? AFTER the Christmas Underpants Bomber threat, AFTER the airports around the world heightened security checks by adding a second checkpoint right at the gates for US-bound flights, AFTER we had all been searched and padded down by hand, thoroughly, some Einstein decided that it was a smart move to make a joke about a bomb with the flight attendant. She reported his dumb ass and he was hauled off the plane. Subsequently the cargo area had to be searched to rule out any suspicious material in addition to locate this guy’s checked luggage. Police and security guards were also on board to search the plane before we were allowed to take off.

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Happy New Year!

These are pictures taken from the plane when flying into Washington D.C. (IAD), of course, before we were told to “turn off anything with an on/off button”. It was such a gorgeous view. I simply put the iPhone to the window and proceeded to Tap, Tap, Tap to capture these images. No professional photography required.

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In which I complain about my seat on the plane… *yawn*

December 27, 2009 through the looking glass

Tweet I finished reading the book that I brought with me 3 hours into the flight. What now? Should have saved the book for the trip rather than greedily starting it before Christmas. With the detour to Sarah Palin’s homeland I now have an even longer flight with no reading material. And sitting in the middle […]

16 comments

Ok, Sarah Palin, you got me! Now what?

December 26, 2009 through the looking glass

Tweet I am in Alaska. More specifically, I am sitting on the plane on the runway. In Anchorage. We have to make the emergency stop here because a passenger passed out en route to Narita. Although he looks rather young, he apparently has suffered a heart attack recently. He is also traveling by himself, with […]

17 comments

Flying 8,108* miles home

December 26, 2009 through the looking glass

Tweet I bet’ya that I was given the best Christmas present this year. Hands down. I will be flying home. Today. By myself. A while ago I wrote about how I wish I could go home and see my parents. Many of you commented that I should just take the trip… Before it’s too late. I want […]

7 comments

Stolen Day

December 20, 2009 random

Tweet I feel that we have got an extra day out of this insane holiday season… The original plan was for me to be away for 3 days this past week on a business trip. I would come back late on Friday night and start cleaning, doing laundry, packing, addressing holiday cards, and finishing up […]

26 comments

Air China: Our new favorite airlines

March 30, 2009 through the looking glass

Tweet Air China, not to be confused with China Airlines which is the one based in Taiwan, is now my favorite airlines for flying with kids. The individual entertainment center on the seat back includes movies, TV shows, inflight information, games, and even a camera showing the view from the bottom of the aircraft. (And […]

More on the US Air plane landing in the Husdon River…

January 16, 2009 random

Tweet The BOOT – The Business of Online Travel: Can a plane land on water and have survivors? Of course it can! This blog post has many more links to information concerning the US Air plane landing in the Hudson River. It is interesting to view this incident from the perspective of someone from the […]

“Pay-As-You-Go Airline Charges by the Minute”

January 7, 2009 marketing at work

Tweet This from one of my fav magazines, Wired.   When I saw the headline, I thought to myself, "Great, now they have run out of things to charge us for, since they are asking the passengers to pay for everything including tiny bags of pretzels and water, they are going to charge us for […]