rough notes

airport run

with 4 comments

The Short Story: Always check arrival times before picking up friends at the airport.

The Long Story: (a rambling narrative for the locals) I woke up at 4am this morning to pick up some friends at the airport. They were due to arrive at 4:20, and we figured they would clear customs around 5am. So I was out the door and driving to the airport at 430, which is perfect timing to get to Godforsaken International Airport. As I made my way closer to the airport, however, I noticed that traffic didn’t build up as it should have. Even at this awful hour, and especially for international/US travel, one is bound to encounter traffic by the time you hit the airport. But I didn’t think anymore about it beyond that. It was so early it was still dark. I was trying to keep my eye on the road and my car on the right side of the yellow line – anything more than that would be gravy.

I went to park the car at the metered parking, but learned (after circling once) that the metered parking has finally be removed since the construction and “grand opening” of the new parking lot. So i parked in the hourly section of the parking lot and went to the arrivals section to find my friends. That’s when I saw that their flight had been delayed, from 420am to 712am. I stood there for five minutes and stared at the screen. it was early and i was damn tired so it didn’t really matter who might watch me watch this rectangle on a wall any longer than I should have. I couldn’t process what this yellow “712am” meant. all I could tell that I was early, too early. finally, my mind made itself up to want to turn back home, s I turned away and walked to the door back to the garage. but it couldn’t be that easy. before crossing that threshold that marked the end of the airport and the beginning of the pedway to the garage, I stopped, turned around, and walked back to the rectangle – i had to be sure that this actually said 712am. and so it did. i stared at it some more. it was only now – probably fifteen minutes since i arrived, than I finally became annoyed with myself – i really should have checked the airport website before leaving, and now i was stuck ina freakish temporal and spatial limbo at 5am in the middle of rural nova scotia. but realy now, who’s flight is going to be delayed by three hours at 420am?! yes, now we know the answer.

i walked back to the parking lot. i decided not to go home. i decided i’d go hang out at the enfield bigstop instead. despite not have any pennies in my life to spare right now, i figured i’d sit down and eat a big stop breaky of two eggs (OE), bacon (rare-ish), and white toast. I don’t believe in brown toast, especially when eating egg and bacon. that fibrous whole wheat can’t save the day you’ve just wasted on the yummy bacon’s sodium levels. white is will do just fine, thank you for asking.

So I made the drive to enfield, which is only 5km or so from the airport, and pulled into wondrous, beautiful, magnificent and humble Irving Mainway and BigStop. And the lights were off in the restaurant! Dude! The Irving’s restaurant was closed! What kind of world are we living in when the BigStop is closed? Clearly the economy must be in recess since I can’t score an allday breakfast at any hour of the night in Enfield, Nova Scotia anymore. some breaks cannot be caught, it seems.

My two-egg meal could not be cooked until 6am, when the restaurant that was formerly open all night would finally open to greet the day. but 6am was another 30mins away. so i bought two newspapers from the gas station attendant and waited out the hour in the car, drinking the coffee i brewed for my friends in two travel mugs. this supplemented the cup i had at home before hitting the road an hour ago. that totaled 7 measured cups of the Mexican Morning by Just!Us before 6am. I felt like some kind of rock star or golden god. I also felt shaky, weak, and light-headed. Then I just felt like a nerd.

eventually i made it in to the restaurant (and also to their blessed washrooms) and had my eggs. I was surrounded by truckers, which is always nice, and also customs agents. it seems that enfield is populated by truckers and customs agents, and maybe some regular airport personnel, too. so i sat there and ate my eggs and bacon and toast and read the sports section and tried to make it look like i cared more about the score of the game as opposed to the designs of the hockey sweaters. i also realized that professional sports writing is way better than professional sports. i also accepted the fact that although i’m proud to be a union man, i’ll never look like one.

So I eventually drove back to the airport waited for my friends to come through the frosted doors, which wouldn’t finally happen until after 8am. first I had to bear witness to a parade of hard-looking nova scotians wearing ill-fitted jeans and sombreros or Island-Nation-print dresses and cheap sunglasses. I don’t like judging, but really now, I saw a lot of really big hairdos and stone-wash jeans while waiting for Her Majesty’s Border Guards to clear my friends’ luggage, and it felt like they were on Flight 1986 or something. The only thing missing was Don Johnston and perhaps Corey Hart or Honeymoon Suite.

Take a lesson from this pair and practise Airport Style (CC)

Take a lesson from this pair and practise Airport Style (CC)

A couple years ago, the Pineapples and I promised ourselves to always dress up for flights because comfort is only a state of mind when you’re in coach or economy or standard or whatever you want to call the place in the cabin where most of have to sit with barely any legroom and a stinky, farty old man in front and a baby behind. Rule No.1: Be stylish. Aside from a passport, It’s the only thing you have going for yourself at an airport. And even the passport is questionable nowadays. This parade of potential What Not To Wear guests confirmed this cardinal rule of flight – be stylish, always – lest ye be judged by snarky arrogant critics like myself in the arrivals corridor.

Written by mitchellirons

April 21, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Posted in blog

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4 Responses

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  1. I’m pleased your ordeal at least turned into this enjoyable narrative for the rest of us non- (or only part-time zombies).
    Did you get to witness any of the emotional Jamaican hostage reunions (great band name!)?


    April 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    • Sadly, no. the Emotional Jamaican Hostage Reunions touched down around 11:30pm on Monday. but it turns out CanJet gave them the play that D-L were supposed to fly home on. The airline didn’t think things all the way through, it seems.

      And here i was thinking it had to be drug mules.


      April 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm

  2. where did this car you speak of come from?

    I feel for you – we've all been in this situation. darned flight delays. sounds like your coffee-lessening-regime suffered a setback – but for a good cause.


    April 26, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    • it's a porta-car, which you drove at one point, too! I was picking up my friends J&SD from the airport, and since there were somewhere over the atlantic at the time, they didn't have a problem with me heading out to the airport with Lapin…


      April 28, 2009 at 1:02 pm

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