Fleeing the country
Finally having given up any hope of achieving a connection I attempted to find my gate only to be told my plane was leaving from concourse B at concourse C and the opposite at B, again I simply chalk this acceptance of the patently absurd and impossible to the unique cognitive superpower that is the American willingness to make no sense in the slightest.
Having finally through observation caused the waveform of gate probability to collapse, I was able to find my departure gate where I was asked if I would volunteer to spend a night in the Hilton attached to the airport and receive a $300 voucher for giving up my seat due to a policy of overselling flights. I accepted and was told to simply wait until the plane boarded to ensure my seat was in fact needed, at worst they said I would be bumped up to business class for offering up my seat.
An hour later as the plane finished boarding I was advised that in fact I would be spending the next seven hours crammed into a middle seat in what I affectionately termed ‘peasant class’. On an ordinary intercontinental flight a large aircraft taking a large number of passengers in relative comfort is used, not so today. I boarded a craft that reminded me of a crop duster, a Boeing 707 as far as I could determine, if you are to young to remember these pioneers of the jet age fear not, evidently United Airlines is still flying them.
After the confidence boosting “Huh, well I guess we are taking off now…” from the pilot, we began our ascent amid flickering cabin lights and the slightly disconcerting knowledge that this craft was designed in the 1950’s. A few hours later the flight attendant presented our choice of meals as “chicken beef or vegetarian” I absently replied that I would probably prefer eating whatever a chicken beef was to cannibalism, when I looked up from my book and actually processed the insane conversation that had just taken place I changed my mind and went with beef.
I was under the impression that petri dish beef was years away, but United Airlines proved me wrong, the strange beeflike circle of ‘meat’ betwixt ‘Potatoes’ and ‘Vegetables’ was a marvel of taste reduction technology. I have had terrible airline food in the past and in some ways preferred the untastable substances as at least I was able to ingest them without much effort in that they also required no chewing being completely devoid of texture as well.
Finally we landed in the small airport of Shannon Ireland and proceeded to retrieve our rental car and begin meandering aimlessly in the vague direction of our Hostel in Sixmilebridge.