Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Things That Stick In My Craw - Traveling...Yes, Again

Just got back from a trip where I had to fly from Boston. Which meant I had to take the bus from my area to Logan Airport. I had a prepaid ticket for the bus, so when I got to the station, I asked the guy taking tickets if I had to go inside for anything. I told him I had one bag that I wanted to go in the luggage area. He told me I was all set. So I got in line to have the lady put my bag in and she told me I'd have to go inside to get a tag for the terminal I was flying out of. There was a long line. So I got on the bus with one bag under the seat in front of me and the other on my lap. Not a comfy ride.

Got to the airport. My first flight was on Jetblue. I couldn't get a seat assignment when I checked in - they said they'd give me one at the gate. Okey dokey. Went to gate and handed clerk my ticket for a seat assignment. She told me I'd have to wait until they began boarding. Okey dokey. So some guy goes up and she gives him a seat assignment. What the heck? I stood behind him and she looked at me like she'd never seen me before. Gave me seat assignment.

In the meantime, this guy who was short and in a business suit and looked like a mobster starts bitching about how we should be boarding, yadda yadda yadda.

We finally board and guess who I get to sit next to? Yep, Mr. Bitch. Oh, but it gets better - I'm in the middle seat and on my other side is a woman with a toddler who is going to sit on her lap. The plane was full, or I would have asked to move.

Honestly, I think all parents need to pay for a seat for their child and bring a car seat so that the child is safely buckled in (and can't kick the seat in front of them or cause mayhem).

So, as passengers are boarding the plane, Mr. Bitch, on my left, is complaining *loudly* about how the flight was late, how many people does this plane hold? Etc, etc. I tried to make him laugh by saying it was like one of those clown cars at the circus. He didn't get the joke.

So the flight attendant comes up just as the door was closed on the plane and apologizes to Mr. Bitch for the delay and says he could make it up to him by giving him alcohol. This is at 830 in the morning. So Mr. Bitch gets two little bottles of vodka and OJ. What about me having to put up with Mr. Bitch? Nada! Pfft.

Plane takes off. Toddler starts kicking seat in front of him. Mother does nothing. I plugged my headphones into the armrest to watch TV (thank God Jetblue has that). Toddler keeps looking at me trying to get my attention. I ignore toddler. Toddler hangs on top of seat in front of him. Mother does nothing.

Mr. Bitch is watching TV, so he's not bothering me...yet.

Mr. Bitch gets up to stretch. I take the opportunity to go to the restroom. Get back to my seat. Flight attendant brings two more bottles of vodka and an OJ to Mr. Bitch. Seriously? Is it really a good idea to get this guy drunk?

Mr. Bitch begins talking to me, very drunkenly. About his back, surgeries on his back, how much he is in pain and the alcohol is helping it....

Toddler unplugs my headphones from armrest. I calmly plug them back in. This is a new game for him. He unplugs them again. I plug in. The third time, I leave them unplugged. No apologies from the mother. Toddler begins kicking seat in front of him again.

I'm in airplane hell.

Mr. Bitch tells me how his mother is in assisted living, hates it there, that his brother stole the business from his mother, millions of dollars involved, yadda yadda yadda. Apparently, she was quite the businesswoman and had a haute couture fashion store in Washington, D.C. Her name is Harriet Kassman. Look her up. The son took over the store, closed the couture side and made it a wedding store, put his mom in assisted living. Now Mr. Bitch is going to a lawyer to sue the brother. I think he just wants the money.

Finally, the plane lands. I can't get off fast enough.

My next flight is better - no one sitting next to me. But because of high winds, it is as bumpy as hell and I end up gripping the armrests and gritting my teeth. I need a drink.

Land at the airport, which was the size of the one on the TV show "Wings," if you remember that. One gate for departures, one for arrivals. One airline flies in and out of there.

Called hotel for courtesy van. Comes a half hour later. Ramada Inn. Cheap. Room is clean but everything in it is old and worn out. The tiles in the shower are either bulging out or in. Doors are scarred, missing parts. Tub had someone else's pubic hair in it. Ewwwwwwww.

Checked email, then went down to the bar to have some wine and order dinner. Smoking is still allowed in the bar. Wow. Also has separate room with lottery/keno machines. Ended up talking to some of the locals. One guy who won $300 in the gambling room bought me a drink. Woohoo!

Went back to my room, slept. Woke up at 130 in the morning. Either next door or across the hall is having a very LOUD party. Find my earplugs, go back to sleep. In the morning at 630 am, I wake and turn TV up LOUD. Bastards.

Went to the conference, did my thing. I was told I'd get a check that day. Mortgage is due. No check - it's "in the mail." Great. Like I'm not stressed enough as it is.

Lady who drove me back to my hotel was a maniac driver. I literally was pressing my foot on the floor as a brake. I was glad to be back at the hotel.

Went to the bar again for dinner. It was very good. No complaints.

Next morning, go to take my vitamins. I mix in my lorazepam with the vitamins on purpose. I take it only if I am super stressed or the airplane ride is bad. The maid went through my things. I had four lorazepam. Now there were only two. Bitch. No tip for you!

Have breakfast, van to the airport, get on plane. Woman is sitting in my seat. I politely tell her. She gives me a dirty look, huffs and moves. No one next to me, thank goodness. But a man decides that because no one is next to me, it's okay to put his bag under the seat next to me. Geesuz.

Get off plane to head to shuttle to my gate. Woman in front of me stops dead and I almost run into her. What is wrong with people? I go around her and she moves her bag so that I hit it, then gives me a dirty look. Right back at ya!

Get on connecting flight. Window seat. No one in the middle. Nice, quiet flight.

Landed, waiting to get off plane and run like hell to bus stop so that I don't miss the bus (and have to wait an hour for the next one). Family two rows up stand in the aisle. Apparently, their adorable girl threw up on the seat. The mother presses the call button and asks for napkins. They're handed to her. Father wipes off girl and seat and asks for more napkins. By this time, the front of the plane is empty. Instead of moving out of the aisle and into the front of the seats where his daughter was so that the rest of us can get off the plane, he stays put.

I finally say, "I hate to be rude, but I have a bus to catch. Can you please move?" And I was being nice.

Dirty looks from mom and dad. Tough shit. But they move.

I run like hell. Make it to bus stop. Bus hasn't come yet. Yay!

Get on bus. Watch "Taxi" on the screen they have on the bus. They also have free headphones, water and newspapers. I like this bus. And whatever happened to Randall Carver from "Taxi?" He was the odd one out. Found him at http://randallcarver.com/. Wow. He didn't age well.

Finally home. I hate traveling. And stupid people. And rude people.