And I doubt it made me stronger. Nonetheless, I'm still here to whine about it.
If you travel enough, you come to expect one of several things to happen, and you prize the purely boring trip, especially if you travel by plane and for work.
My recent trip to Chicago was a little different.
I chose to take Southwest to Midway instead of the other carriers because (1) Southwest works better than the other carriers, and (2) I have no status now on the other carriers, and that means that when something goes wrong, I have few options beyond finding a nearby Hilton and waiting a day.
The flight up was packed. Every seat full. And bumpy. The train ride from O'Hare to Midway was longer than I remembered and, yes, bumpy, The taxi ride from O'Hare to the burb was as long as I remembered, the driver got confused because he had no GPS, and it was, yes, bumpy.
Have I mentioned that the newly sprouting arthritis in my petite little neck makes it harder to accommodate those things that set off my motion sickness? Yes, I arrived woozy.
The work went fine as I expected it would because this particular group of professionals take understand and accept their role in the process, if they do start at 7 a.m., oh yes. And there were Fiber One snack bars. I heart those things.
The ride back to O'Hare was shorter and not so bumpy. The train to Midway was equally long as before and, yes, bumpy. Midway was full. I suppose people were leaving Chicago on the cheaper carriers for post-rapture vacations.
I had a four hour wait, and I took my time checking in. My boarding pass gave one time. The wall sign gave another. Regardless, I had a five hour wait.
The security lines were long but moving. Especially for the one harried businessman who was playing Frogger in the lanes. At some point, his eyes met mine as he changed lanes again, and I mentioned how the other line always moves faster. Always. He agreed and continued playing Frogger.
The concourse was full of people who had never been anywhere and never done anything. At any given moment, the person walking in front of me wold stop, turn, change course, all without ever looking and all with surprise when I would fall all over them. Our number system is insufficient to count how often this happened.
Oh yes, I now have a six hour wait.
Food in Midway is a challenge. Two of the restaurants will not let you out pay they will arrest you if you leave without paying. The places with a bar were packed as people watched a basketball game. I finally got a burger from Mickie D. I ate it sitting on the floor by a closet door that never opened. The adjacent door opened often, and everyone appeared worried about security as I sat there. I suppose terrorists now eat fries.
I walked a bit, watching my phone battery charge slip-sliding away. As is usual, the Southwest gates had the shiny long tables, but this time, there was not a single power outlet at those tables. I did find a 220 outlet for a floor buffer, but I didn't have an adapter, not that I ever would.
Finally, someone died, and I kicked the body to the gutter so I could have the seat. It was at one of the two bars still open. I sat there with my Bud Light draft, and watched my CDMA cell signal move from five bars of 3G to 1 bar of 1X, and then back. All with me sitting very still and the phone not moving in front of me. Then I managed to offend Virgin Mobile by uploading one too many tweets.
Three beers later, it's time to find the plane that's late but coming, and I do, only to notice several chairs with electrical outlets, every chair filled with tired people, not one electrical outlet being used. When I rule this land, people sitting in those chairs not using those outlets will be eaten by alligators. Scout's Honor.
An hour later, the plane landed, boarded, and left. Yes, with me and my cerebral supernova in 23D. Not one seat open. The pilot said he expected a smooth flight. He was lying. I didn't puke, but I'm not sure why not.
2 a.m., and I'm home, in body if not soul.