I’m not sure if anyone noticed but there’s been nothing but crickets on Krahnpix for weeks. One of my excuses is that my camera and I just returned from California. Since I am not a travel blogger (and a lousy traveller), I waited to get home to share my stories and pictures.
Now I could bore you with all the wonderful times I had, the great photo-ops and the fantastic weather and … it would be mostly true. But that’s what everyone says about holidays (vacations to Americans). First I need a blog post to cleanse my palate of travelling frustrations. Black humour here we come!
For the record, I understand that these are first-world problems and some or all of my anguish may have been self-inflicted. But, why should that stop me from making fun of myself?
My frustrations started out before the trip even began. I could not print off my wife’s boarding passes and not even a premature trip to the airport could fix the problem. It’s a wonder we ever got off the ground in Saskatoon.
Now a day of travelling by air consists mostly of trying to kill time. Some people may enjoy chatting with others in the airport or plane, watching movies or reading books, but not me. I watch the little plane not moving on the back of the airplane seat. Trust me it works. I also like to look around and see how many travellers have their head in their hands. There are quite a few. Misery loves company.
By some miracle and three planes later, we made in to San Francisco and rented a car. In no time we were experiencing traffic California style … in a word relentless. While we were able to sneak around most days and get to our destinations, it was hardly a surprise that one day it took 1.5 hours to do 8 kms thanks to an accident. Talk about time standing still. It takes special people to deal with that on a regular basis.
After all the wonderful days in California (see future posts for details), I tried to mentally prepare myself for a long day to travel home. Little did I know what lay in store.
We arrived at San Francisco airport in good time. The surly agent at Air Canada promptly ripped up our carefully printed boarding passes, threw them in the trash and informed us that we would miss our next connection in Vancouver. Apparently fog was the culprit though it didn’t look too bad to me. While he typed his autobiography on the computer, I contemplated a day that might never end.
The next 16 hours consisted of morbidly boring, repeating rituals – waiting, showing boarding passes/passports, standing in line, going through security, sitting here then there, walking, standing in line, waiting and … well you get the picture.
The final twist was sitting on the tarmac in Calgary after 1 a.m. The pilot had informed us there was fog in Saskatoon so our diversion point was Edmonton (are you kidding me?) and then a few minutes later told us about a small mechanical problem that necessitated a call to maintenance.
Risk assessment is influenced by many factors including one’s emotional state. Left to me, I would have ordered the pilot not to worry about the fog or the plane’s flashing buttons or any other issues – just fly me to Saskatoon and I’ll take my chances !
My camera, my photos and I arrived at our house at 3:20 a.m. I’m still thrilled to be home.