when i boarded the plane to fly home this summer, i was staggered by how close together the seats were back in regular price land. not first class, business, or even "economy plus," the seats were unbelievably crammed. now you have to pay extra just so your legs won't fall asleep! i've made this flight several times by now, and i was certain this was a new low. i even checked the air and light panels above to see if they had just moved the seats back a few notches to fit more people in! when i sat down, my knees actually touched the seat in front of me until i took out the magazines in the seat pocket. it was going to be a long flight.
four hours later i decided, as i stared at the "moving" map of our progress across the ocean while waiting for another movie to start, that this is a special form of torture. it's like being forced to watch the slowest download in the world. ooh, a whole 12% complete! only 640 hours to go!
but home was still there when i arrived.
i had this fear as a child that i would go on a trip and return a few days later, only to find my family long gone and everything changed because i had really been gone 30 years. i also feared at one point that my mom had been replaced with a very convincing double who would eventually kidnap me and replace me too, but that was because of Get Smart. thank you Nick at Nite.
so i've not been living in the US for two years now. that is apparently how long it takes to completely lose the ability to cope with bad customer service. without fail i leave the nagoya airport feeling peaceful and respected as a customer, and arrive in san francisco to be dismantled by the security personnel screaming in my docile face to "MAKE TWO LINES!!" or something like that. i wonder what it must be like to have never experienced america and have that be your introduction to it! are we really that unruly? after 15 hours of travel, does it really take all of your lung power to get me in a line? i would have done anything for the promise of a face cloth or extra deodorant.
ahh, america! the country where my hair looks good.