Sunday, February 28, 2010

Butterfly in the sky... I can fly twice as high*

I am happy to report that I have successfully left for Mexico. I know that doesn't seem like an accomplishment, but it surely is. First of all, I had a towering pre-departure to-do list, but an inveterate procrastinator such as myself has no problem polishing off one of those.

No, the problem came yesterday. After an only slightly rushed arrival and check-in process, I had some time to wander around the terminal before my flight to Atlanta (with continuing service to Guadalajara) boarded. About 10 minutes before boarding time I eased my way over to the gate, only to find a giant red CANCELED sign and a mob of angry travelers trying desperately to rebook on a day following some of the worst weather of the entire winter.

Here is where I did something smart and also stupid. The line for rebooking was miles long, and a woman came on the PA to announce another place where those of us unfortunate enough to be in the back of the line could also rebook. Of course, since this was a standard airport PA system, it came out as "Those passengers waiting in the back of the line sldkfjsldkfjslkdfjowiejfwoiejflskcm might consider slkdfjslkdfjslkdfjosidjfslkdfj sguy clop."

Come to find out that she had directed the hapless hoards to a travel center down the hall (called the "something drop"). But it sounded an awful lot to me like she had said "Sky Club," which is the Delta first class lounge. Everyone else was heading in a different direction, but I accidentally-on-purpose ended up in Sky Club asking if I could be rebooked there, and they were very kind and helpful. The woman sat with me for a full 45 minutes looking for any city in the whole US through which I might be able to travel to Mexico that day. But in vain. The nationwide snowpocalypes (as the cool kids apparently call it) had snarled traffic even into a decent late winter day that would normally be free of trouble.

And so I went home, frustrated and exhausted, only to have to get up obscenely early this morning to catch a 6:50 AM flight. That I did successfully. A layover in Atlanta brought me southern-style breakfast (eggs and toast! grits!) courtesy of Delta's meal voucher ("sorry we ruined your day/all your plans!") And now as I type I am 30,000 feet over the bayous of Louisiana. I splurged on in-flight internet and am enjoying high-altitude blogging and the prospect of landing in yet another undiscovered country. I should be in Guadalajara by dinnertime (Mashallah, as the Turks say-- something like "knock on wood.")

*I am neither rich nor is this blog prestigious, but I promise some sort of prize or at least an internet hug to any reader who can tell me the source of this post's title


Awandering said...

I bet a google search could tell me if I'm right, but my first guess is Reading Rainbow

Also, do you know that Mashallah comes from Ma sh Allah? Which translates approximately to "that which Gd wills." Said to acknowledge that things will only happen Gd-willing and avoid being punished for pride. There's a similar phrase in Hebrew with "hashem," but I don't remember the wording.

Anonymous said...

Definitely Reading Rainbow, which was canceled recently, by the way, after being on for years and giving joy to many future-nerd children like me.

Glad to hear all's well.


Maya said...

Fun fact:

Mashallah: "As God has willed"

Inshallah: God willing

So, Mashallah, I landed in Mexico at long last, despite the delays.

Inshallah, I will get my butt on a plane to Mexico today!

Mike Atlas said...

Well, I'm just catching up with some of your blog posts now, and seems like I missed the chance to say both

-b "Mashallah" sounds a lot more like the usual Arabic "inshallah" and I see a few others already pointed out that this is the meaning. Surprising that Turks would use an Arabic phrase like that, but then again, I prefer "gesundheit!" over "God bless you!"