Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Travel Woes

"Remember when a 'bad trip' meant an overnight train ride to visit your cousins in Schenectady?" - MAD magazine, circa 1975
No, I didn't decide to celebrate my 10,000th visitor by quitting the blog while I was ahead. In addition to having a bit of blogger's block lately (it must be catching), I was busy traveling for work the past couple of days. I'll admit that I've never had the dubious privilege of experiencing a "bad trip" in the Timothy Leary sense of the word - my teenage rebellion focused exclusively on the third component of the "sex, drugs, and rock & roll" triad. But my experience this week was, in its own way, quite depleting and surreal enough for me, thank you very much.

I had a 7:45 pm flight to Toronto Monday night, getting in at 9:30 pm - plenty of time to get a good night's sleep before my Tuesday meetings there, I thought. Well, that infamous Canadian winter weather didn't cooperate, and things quickly went from bad to worse. The flight didn't leave NJ until about 10:30. Then, after about an hour in the air, they informed us that the Toronto airport was impassable due to snow, and that we were being rerouted to Cleveland. Gee, that helps an awful lot - thanks guys!

After landing in Cleveland about 12:30 am, we were notified that the airline would graciously put us up in a motel, and would fly us to Toronto at 7:00 am. By the time the planeload of people were all processed, transported over to the motel, and checked in, it was close to 2:00 am. After a refreshing three hours of fitful sleep, I got up at 5:00 to catch the first van back to the airport. I davened that morning, clad in tallis and tefillin, in some deserted corner of the airport just before the flight boarded. Nothing but fun and glamour, this jet-setting business life!

I did make my morning meeting though, just barely. And I even stayed awake throughout! The business part of my business trips usually goes well - it's the getting there and back that stinks.

My kids always ask me what all these cities I visit - Toronto, Boston, Kansas City, Denver, Dallas, Ottawa - are like. I tell them that I really wouldn't know. To me they all look like the following: an airport, a taxi, a hotel, an office building, another taxi, and an airport again. Sightseeing? What's that? That's for people with no food restrictions or family obligations.

It could be worse. I have a co-worker who spends literally 70-80% percent of his time traveling internationally - and I don't just mean Canada. Western Europe is one of his shorter hops. I give him all due admiration, but I'm glad that's not me. I'm a homebody, heart and soul.
"...And every stop is neatly planned
For a poet and a one man band

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought's escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me"


At 2/9/06, 12:06 AM, Blogger torontopearl said...

Davka, the weather decided to prove that it really is winter...when you're supposed to come to Toronto. Till now, it's been unbelievable and definitely dry.

Yes, Monday late afternoon is when the snow started. I'd assumed you'd be flying in on Tuesday morning and that you'd have bypassed the gross weather.

I think this bit of your post -- "After a refreshing three hours of fitful sleep" -- is the best part of the story.

Better luck on your next business trip...

At 2/9/06, 1:34 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

S&G- I love that song.

At 2/9/06, 7:16 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Elie: That was one of my favorite songs when I lived in America...while I was waiting to make aliya as I dragged through college.


At 2/9/06, 8:04 AM, Blogger SS said...

I also love that song. Sorry about your "fashla". Hope you can catch up on the sleep soon...


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