Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Friday 30 May: Amsterdam, NL - Flying

According to the calendar the longest day is about a month away. Calendars, of course, never take into account personal travel arrangements. Friday 30 May lasted something like 30 hours. A large chunk of the day was spent squashed into seats on a flight we very nearly didn't get. A combination of packing delays, tardy metros and a little bit of Cath's suitcase handle breaking mid rush meant we were arriving at about the time the baggage check should have closed. Fortunately the train was bang on time, and some random hero helped Cath up the rolupulator with her bag. (I know that's my job, but I was rushing ahead trying to save another part of the day.) Skipping the queue and blagging our way into the business class drop-off area, we came through and even had enough time to pick up some gift goodies. The panic was over. And believe me, panic it had been for a while.

A direct flight from Amsterdam to Portland, Oregon is about 10 or so hours. To pass the time in the tiny seats, the airline provides one of those new, impressively-featured entertainment systems that never work first go. After "what we call a soft reboot" which took 20 minutes, the system was up and running. It was handy because while Cath took the sleeping option, I took the barely-successful nap and two-movie option. I watched Bullitt because San Francisco was to be one of our ports of call plus you can't really get too much gritty Steve McQueenness. Then later Juno because nothing else looked remotely good. The latter was edited for content for airlines. Which usually means all references to plane crashes, hijacking, food poisoning are removed; as well as bad language, sex and violence. There were quite a few over-dubbed ridiculously mild expletives and sentences cut in half to remove bad words. It was a pooping shame as in many cases the whole gosh dagnagnit rhythm and sometimes the jigging meaning was lost. Juno is actually a love story following the cycle of a pregnancy and seems to say love is more important than babies. Which isn't biologically true, but may as well be given there is a baby mountain. This is probably one of those movies that everyone get's confirmation of their beliefs from. Like visiting Jerusalem: No matter what your faith, it'll get reaffirmed their. Certainly mine did, and I'm a cynical atheist.

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