A fine whine

If you can't stand whining, go ahead and skip this one. I just had such an awful time getting from Austin to N.Y. yesterday that I have to b#$#@$ and moan about it a little. First, my flight from Austin to Dallas was held up for two hours due to bad weather in Dallas. OK, fine. Then they load us on the plane, and we sit at the gate for another hour--the bigger hitch being that the little engine that runs the air conditioning while on the ground wasn't working. So we're sitting in this metal tube on asphalt on a 95 degree day--it wasn't pretty.

So finally we push back, sit for a few minutes, then the pilot comes back on and says, "Flight attendants, prepare for arrival and cross-check." Quick trip. Seems like the engine that runs the on-ground air also is the engine that starts the other engines, so nothing clicked when they turned the key, spin the prop, pull the cord, or whatever it is pilots do. Oh, don't worry, says the pilot, we'll get a cart to come out and, basically, jump-start the plane. Me being a white-knuckle flier, this was not reassuring news. After another half hour or so of sweltering, we finally took off.

And of course I missed my connection to N.Y., and the next few flights as well. I ran across terminal C to get to the gate just in time to make the last flight out--which thankfully was incredibly full, but uneventful. After waiting forever for my bag, I exited Laguardia around midnight, only to find a taxi line that stretched what looked like a quarter mile. So I waited, and waited, and finally got a cab to take me to Garden City. Knowing that taxi drivers may not know Long Island all that well, the meeting organizer had provided me with directions, which the cabbie told me were wrong. So we got lost, hopelessly lost.

I called the hotel for directions from where we now were, but the driver insisted on following directions he got from some yahoo at the gas station where we pulled into so I could get more money from an ATM, since this little journey was getting more expensive than I had dreamed in my worst nightmare...

So, we started off again. To try to make myself not hate this man, I tried to chat him up--where are you from, that sort of thing. Suddenly, the cabbie started saying, "I'm sick, I'm sick," and I was about to suggest he pull over when I realized he was actually saying, "I'm Sikh, I'm Sikh," when he added that he wasn't a Muslim. Geez Louise! Like I care what his religion is--I just wanted to get there, already. I was never so glad to see a hotel sign in my life when the glorious Garden City Hotel appeared, rising out of the mist like a mythical paradise. Ahh, courteous reception folks, beautiful room, soft bed...good night Irene.

Off to meetings now, more later. I promise I'll give you more industry news as soon as I can...

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