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Heavier-Than-Air Flying Machines
from the port-of-air department.
written by alan on January 26, 2003

Music: Koop - Waltz for Koop (album)

So, now for something totally different...airports :) It had been quite some time since I'd been in an airport, let alone flew anywhere. The last flight I can remember was one of my high school trips to BC. Back then, there were no high alerts in any country really. Air travel just went about its business. Many flights to many locations daily. Truly, the safest way to travel is by air. Just think about it...hundreds, maybe even thousands of flights occur on a daily basis. How many of those crash? Maybe a few per year? At least thats what you hear on the news. You'd have to agree that its pretty safe.

A few days ago, I found myself sitting in one of the waiting areas at the Detroit International Airport. Gate B8, i believe. I'd been there before on a few occasions though. My grandmother usually arrives and departs from a gate in that section...and I think I'd left through one of those gates on my high school trip to Montana. So, I'm sitting there amongst the other people waiting to fly to St.Louis while reading a book...something I don't do enough of, apparently. And then I realized it...there were very few 'connected' people. Seriously...I hadn't noticed the extent that people need to be tied to one another.

A sea of cellular phones, PDAs, and Laptops were infront of me. Some were calling home, some calling abroad, some performing work duties, some reading news...but everyone was busy. There were, of course, the few reading books or other types of print...I doubt that'll go away totally in the future years. I think people - at least these present few generations anyhow - will have the need to read things on static, tangable surfaces. There's something about a dynamic device that scares people...like it just doesn;t have that 'real' sense to it. Sure, many people will just accept the digital medium...much like Television became accepted. We don;t think much of that now, do we? :)

Then I observed the very few people simply sitting there...staring at whatever caught their fancy. Some silently observed the masses (as I did), others looked at the floor or ceiling and pondered life, or whatever was most important to them at the time. This one man's expression seemed to catch my eye more than once. He had a rather blank look to him...just staring at the floor blankly. As if he was uncertain. Uncertain of the future. But then, wouldn;t that be a logical conclusion for the rest of them? Everyone keeping themselves busy keeps the mind on the present, not the future. In this way, everyone's more or less happy. No one's really happy about flying, i think. Especially due to recent circumstances, there's always an air of uncertainty. Is this flight going to go down like those unfortunate few? Or will it just be like all the others...touch-and-go.

When I finally boarded the aircraft, that previous uncertainty was magnified. As the departure time draws nearer, people all around get more nervous. Personally, I just sit back and let things happen as they will. If my flight is going to go down, there's little to nothing that I can do about it...so i just don't worry. Once i got to my connecting flight, I didn;t care at all. The subtle fears of flight soon melted away, while more pressing fears arose...i.e meeting Jenn, Molly, and Nathan on the ground below :) ...but you already know how that turned out.

One thing that irked me after I had returned home from my trip though...I opened my suitcase and found a little notice from the TSA inside. It seems that they had forced my suitcase lock to go rooting around inside. I wished they would have told me about this possibility before I checked my bags in. The verbal warning would have been nice...they probably wrote it somewhere tho. If you're ever in doubt, read the fine print :) I sincerely hope the TSA people had a good time looking thru my wardrobe...I'd have gladly modeled some of it for them had they asked ;)

My next entry will be focusing on small cities. Small towns even. Its something that i'm apparently not accustomed to, but I seem to enjoy all the same :)


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