Tales of Travel

Flying sucks. No way around it. Just make the best of it.

I had to make a brief trip to Vancouver where I was stuck in meetings most of the time and never really got to see anything. I hear it’s beautiful but I have no way of knowing, other than the glimpse I got from the plane as it landed.

The only real highlight of the trip was off-the-hook sushi. Rather than tag along with people talking work the last night, I decided to venture out alone and find some sushi. An Internet search led me to a hole-in-the-wall sushi joint run by Koreans.

Fifteen pieces of sushi for under $22. And not the flakes of fish some restaurants push in Ohio. These were long and thick slabs of fresh fish. To give you an idea, the salmon was as long as as the furthest distance I could spread my thumb and forefinger.

The flight out was as good as it gets. The first leg to Chicago I spent the entire flight talking with a medical sales manager. We soon got into politics and religion and found ourselves in agreement. The long leg to Vancouver found me in the seat behind a bulkhead with lots of leg room and the second empty seat of the trip between me and my traveling stranger.

The trip back I was not as fortunate. The first leg was full. The second leg from Phoenix to Cleveland was delayed an hour. With the plane almost fully loaded I had the whole row to myself. Then a guy took the window seat. The call went out that boarding had ended and we had one of the few empty seats between us on the plane.


A few minutes later I see this fat guy get up. Fucking Christ. I could see this coming. Sure enough he ambles back and asks if he can sit in the empty seat. Seems the two other two guys in his row were also fat and nobody had shoulder room.

Let me preface the rest of this story by saying I’ve been working my way through “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins, “Letter to a Christian Nation” by Sam Harris and currently, Harris’ amazing “The End of Faith.” Lately I’ve become a little more strident when it comes to mainstream religious tolerance.

My new row buddy was also reading a book: “Become a Better You” by Joel Osteen. I could see the spine of the book in the seat back. I reached into my seat back and flipped the Harris book so he could see “The End of Faith.”

Now I had a decision to make. Do I entertain myself by engaging him in conversation about his book, or do I hunker down and get back to my Sopranos marathon on the MacBook? I decide the latter. When he read the book for short spells I couldn’t help but to glance for a taste of the book.

It short, it’s pure pablum. Amazing how many people fall for this shit.

An hour into the flight the stewardess served drinks and my portly row mate ordered a Jack Daniels. The stewardess informs him that the gentleman from his old row have bought his drink for him. Nothing for me or the poor guy pinned against the window.

Flying sucks.

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