At the end of the trip I reflected on travel. Travel is increasingly difficult. Particularly in airports and aircraft for large people like me. Increasingly, Flying is torture. At the beginning of these chronicles of Iceland I complained about the time wasted in the airport. I did not mean to imply that we were not having a great time. Once we arrived in Iceland we had awonderfultime. Getting therewas something else entirely. It was torture, but I still think it was “worth the trip.”
When we were leaving Iceland, A.O. again showed up to drive us to the airport. We all loved him by then. That was where the fun ended. The airport experience was a melee.
First we stood in line to get our boarding passes from a machine. This was meant to speed things up. It created turmoil as many people could not figure out how to use the machines.
Then came another long line-up for security. Always fun. Walking around in socks with belts removed leaving pantaloons precariously held up by the ether.
Next came waiting to board. We sat for about an hour by our gate and then were forced to get up and standoutside the gate. It appeared there was no reason for this. The Ticket Agent was not there. He showed up about 20 minutes late. Many of the old people in our group (OK we were all old people) found the standing intolerable. But no one could talk to the officials to let one or two sit in plain view of the staff. That was much too risky. What they feared I did not know.
The trip to Toronto was almost unbearable. No food and hardly any service for 5 and ¼ hours. Even though I had paid for extra legroom it was still very uncomfortable. I wish I could afford first class or business class. Or I wish I was not so cheap. Life is hard when you are stupid. Travel is always hard.
Travel opens the mind like fresh air can open a house. Travel allows us to learn that there is much more to life than the opinions we hear from our local pundits around our favorite watering holes in our own hometowns. Thank god for that.
Travel is like sex: the positions are untenable; the pain insufferable; the cost abominable; but the results are immeasurable.