sun 02 nov 2008 17:03:00 NW 0038
flying back to ams
17:03 sitting outside logan smoking as many cigs as possible before i go through security. i have been worried about whether i am able to fly, able to cross borders etc. i did manage to get my boarding pass for NW 0038. still a little worried about whether i'll be able to get on plane because of what the IRS man said about homeland security having me on a "watch list".
18.12. made it to gate e3b. that's good. people in amsterdam say they miss me and are anxious to see me, so that's good. there's a football game playing on a big screen hanging over the waiting area. and the airport radio station playing insipid pop songs from some other decade, interspersed with TSA announcements about no smoking, don't leave bags unattended, liquids and gels must be in sealed clear plastic bags, due to heightened security you should report any suspicious behavior to an airport official. referee whistles about a false start on the part of the giants. i had a nice time last night with jab and emax then with pete and rob, and some texan girl named rachel, who had been to see the film "w" with pete, film which people say is a bit lame.
making a list of things i must do when i get back to amsterdam.
19.52 delays in departure. pilot says "our auxilliary power system is not fully functional" -- i find that very reassuring -- and wants to "cross bleed start" the other engine. fine with me, i'm thinking, go ahead and cross bleed it. later, some lights that were out came back up, but the video system is still dark. i wanna havea drink with jud crane sometime soon. now our plane is slowly rolling away from the gate area.
20.10 finally climbing, me praying silently, the big fella beside me crossed himself. so far so good, i can only hope for the best.
23:20 boston time. man this shit is boring. it seems like we're just a little over half way across, a bit to the left of just below greenland. another three hours of this shit? yuck. but i must say i'm glad we're up in the air in one piece, rather than down in the sea in smithereens. too bad the poor fella sitting next to me is wide enough for 1,5 seats, he can't help but spread into me.
00:25 / 06:25 switching my reference to amsterdam time ... passing 4000 km travelled, another 1600 to go. 2 hrs to destination. dark, pitch black outside. i can see a few stars. not long agao there was a quiet announcement "if anyone on board has any medical experience, please come to the aft of the airplane on the left side?" i think some young indian woman from across the aisle from us got up to go help.
07.12 ams time. looks like we're passing over ireland now. i see some golden splashes of town light below in the black. faintest hint of predawn color on horizon where before there was no horizon.
08.00 in sunshine, out over a cloudy english channel. this will be done soon, i feel the descent in my eardrums.
things to add to things i remember: mom taking me swimming at the y when i was a kid. dad having a long back-scratcher with a tiny hand at the end.
08.18 dammit pilot says we've been asked to hold, due to low visibility on ground. now we won't be landing until about 09.00. we are inscribing ovoid loops on the map, banking and turning my window in and out of the blinding sun. and what kind of freaky clouds are these below me? streaky and lumpy at the same time, like coarse white fluffy bark or some bizaare corduroy.
08:50. it's like zero visibility now, just gray out the window. i wonder if we will see the ground before we get on it.
08.55 on the ground, yes i could see it shortly before. but it's so foggy that as we taxi up to the gate you can't see the top of schiphol tower.
but we landed safe, so that's good.