Saturday, December 19, 2009

stuck in philly

i'm stuck in philly.

i am rather amazed that i even made it to philly.

my flight took off from manchester airport about 11am uk time on saturday. i knew something was up before my flight took off i was sipping on my sparkling elderflower water.....

i saw that flights to nyc and other eastern seaboard states were being canceled on the flight board. right before we landed in philly, the pilot warned us that the plane might be re-routed to boston as the winds were pretty high around philly. yet, we landed and then i saw how the majority of the airport was empty.

it was a bit eerie.

i was also in a state of shock to hear that my flight wasn't canceled.

i mean, take a look at this weather...

wouldn't you think it would be canceled?

yet, we boarded the plane and hung out on the plane for about an hour or so.

then the pilot said that the airport was shut down and we would have to de-plane. then the once we de-planed the gate agents asked for us to stay put in the gate area which was such an odd request. if the airport was shut down it meant that there would be no more flights going out....but they asked us to stay....and it was another hour that went by before they indicated that the flight was officially canceled and then we call stood in line to arrange our new boarding assignments.

after a couple of hours of doing that, i stood/sat in line for more than a couple of hours for taxi. i'll probably talk more about that experience in a bit. the reason why the line for the taxis were taking such a long time is that there aren't a lot of taxi drivers that are willing and have the experience to drive under these freakin conditions. the driver i ended up with had been driving in philly for 20 years and had lots of experience driving in czech it was kind of morbidly fascinating to see us do a skid n' drive across the frozen roads.

i am not joking.

skidding. swerving. frozen roads (no salt). multiple stops to clear the windshield.

it was quite an adventure.

it all worked out well as his cab was one of 3-4 cars i saw on the road, so it wasn't like there were a lot of other cars out and about to hit. i was actually pretty calm during the whole event since the driver seemed to know how to handle it and was very cautious.

yet, i was glad to get to my downtown hotel and grab a very late night meal.

i'm so incredibly tired. yet, while i was eating i recalled standing/sitting for hours on the floor in the taxi line....and how sometimes a random moment of kindness can make a difference. a couple of the ladies in front of me were sitting down and playing cards. i decided to delve into some of the chocolate that i bought in england and offered some to the ladies as well as two other people (traveling independently) sitting within arm's distance to me. the looks on their faces were rather priceless and the goodness...the big smiles they all had while they dug into the chocolate. it was as you could literally see weight being lifted off their shoulders.

i know that i can be quite the cynical anti-social shit at times but this isn't the first time i've done something like this.

i find that when travelers are all stuck and feeling a bit desolate....a little bit of random kindness can make all of the difference. it changes the mood of people considerably. something unexpectedly unconditionally positive makes things a bit easier to bear.

what i wasn't expecting though...was seeing someone standing near the ladies to go off to buy pretzels and then start offering to share them with a bunch of people....or seeing additional strangers in our immediate vicinity speak more, share more, and joke about the circumstances.

it was like watching a virus.

humans are so fascinating aren't we? we walk and pretend that we don't see the hundreds of other people that we pass. yet, there are moments like sitting on a floor waiting for a taxi....where it doesn't matter where you are from and how a bit of chocolate can be a catalyst for a positive moment among such circumstances.

well. i am beat. it is time for bed.

we will see if i am able to make the journey back to the bay tomorrow. thankfully, my flight isn't until the i'll have a bit of heads up to see if the airport is going to be shutdown again.

until later dear hearts.....

sending you all of my love,



Kinnaree said...

"i know that i can be quite the cynical anti-social shit at times .."

Brilliant, I loved it. It is lovely what a small token of kindness can do for a person's day.

foodie hunter said...

thanks for the comment kinnaree!

Su-Lin said...

omg, those airport photos (the snowy ones) are scary! I'm so glad you're safe and hope you manage to get back home soon!

foodie hunter said...

thanks for the positive thoughts su-lin! i heard on the news this morning that philly received 23.2 inches of snow last night! but it isn't snowing hopefully i'll be able to make it home tonight.

Victoria said...

Kindness always makes a difference.

You should be home now. Lame weather.

foodie hunter said...

it will be good to be home...