Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The trip from HELL...

I flew to NYC to pick up a book, today. Plan was to hop down on a 9:25am flight, grab a car, drive the 60 miles to get the book, return to JFK, have a nice dinner and relax, and fly home, being back to my place by 10:45pm. Gave me plenty of time, to allow for stuff that might not quite work out.

I got to the airport a bit early -- 8am, but the plane starts loading at 8:55 so I wanted time to go through Security. Only I was one of just 4 people going through. Cool. I bought a nice mint tea and scone and sat down to read my book, thinking I didn't want to go online for what would only be about 45 minutes.

At 9:30 they told us the plane intended for our 9:25 flight had just left its prior destination and we wouldn't be boarding till 10:30. Okay, NBD. I left myself enough time for everything. I was slated to get to the client's between 1 and 3pm, and it just meant I'd be there by 2.

No such luck. The plane didn't take off till 11:30, because some people had to be rerouted via our flight to catch their flight to Aruba (JetBlue was holding that flight for them). Then we circled JFK for half an hour...and then the jetway wouldn't work when we finally got to the terminal; they had to call in repairs. I didn't get my rental car till 1:15pm, and it's a good hour and fifteen minutes to my destination.

So I call the client and tell him I'm running a little behind...but I still expect to be there before 3; he has to leave then. Only it was murder getting out of JFK...and the rental car I was handed by Enterprise was filthy and had next to no windshield wiper fluid in it. The streets are covered in slush, so within a couple of miles I can't clean my windshield enough to see out of it. I had to get off the friggin' freeway and find a place that sold fluid. It was hell on earth getting back on.

Of course, this being NYC there's also construction everywhere and lanes blocked off, snarling traffic. So I have to call the client to tell him I can't make it by 3. No way. We work it out so his son's girlfriend will stay at the house so I can get the book.

I get there at 4. Nice book. I've got a carrying box for it so only have to wrap it up and slip it in after taking a couple photos (the front panel's detached) and she and I chit-chat about collecting books and French literature. I'm there 16 minutes and head back to JFK.

Of course, there's some snarled traffic, but I got time. Except it's right about now I realize I haven't eaten anything since that scone, but no way in hell am I getting off the freeway. The GPS on my phone would yell at me.

Oh...and that phone. I was stupid enough to sync iTunes up with the music I have on my laptop. BIG mistake. Do NOT do it!!!! You cannot turn the damned thing off; you can only pause it, and it likes to turn itself on at the most inopportune moments -- like when you're talking in traffic to a client and can't hear half of what he's saying. I didn't have the nerve to ask if he was hearing the music, though I doubt he'd have minded it; the tune playing was one of Lorena McKinnitt's.

So I turn in the car, get credit for the washer fluid, find their driver is on a break so just walk over to the AirTrain station (it's only 2 blocks but it's through slushy snow) because I'm hungry and want to get through Security and have a nice dinner and relax. Guess what gets stopped at Terminal 1 (when I need to be at Terminal 5)? The AirTrain. Some obstruction on the tracks. We sit there for fifteen minutes. By this point I'm downing TicTacs like they're a source of nutrition.

Again, I'm one of 4 people going through security, so it's nice and fast. I decide to have an enchilada dinner; there's a restaurant called Revolucion in Terminal 5 that's usually quite good, and it's right by the gate I need to be at. Well, I get seated, put in my order, get my ginger ale (I was too hungry for a beer; it would've knocked me out)...and my food comes fifteen minutes later, damn near ice cold. And you think I can find the waitress? Plus, I had to steal cutlery off another table. She took it away. Heated it up. Came back nice and crispy (which is not how you want enchiladas) but by that point I didn't care.

I made it up to myself with a DP and Milky Way. And read more of my book. And heard announcements that various Jet Blue flights were being cancelled, including one to Buffalo but not my flight number. We boarded late, but the doors are closed and they've done the safety crap, so I'm all set...and we sit there for an hour as they work on fixing a cargo hatch that won't shut right.

But...we finally took off and landed in Buffalo just before midnight. And what's the capper? As I'm getting off, I hear one of the ground crew telling the co-pilot about how another flight from JFK arrived without any luggage. They'd had to change out planes but the NYC ground crew didn't change the bags out...and then the plane got fixed and put on a flight to Atlanta...with 131 passengers' luggage in its cargo hold. I saw them still in line at the JetBlue baggage claim, looking very dangerous.

I beat it to my car and got home and locked the door. Dunno what the hell was going on out there, tonight, but I'm glad I'm done with it.


MAC said...

UGH... I would stay in bed and pull the covers over my head after that ordeal.

JamTheCat said...

I did.