Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Aeroplane' Navigation 101...



A Gleeful' Tomaso ponders how to pack A-L-L of his "Stuff" acquired over the 2013 Austin F1 weekend into his suitcase! (N & C' Photos)
So perhaps Y'all aren't interested in this, but I thought I'd give Y'all a blow-by-blow description of what your visually impaired 'Vurd Botcherer endures every time traveling around the world in order to attend some motor racing activities, in case Y'all ever pondered how indeed does a blind Word Butcher  circumnavigate the globe?

Which is exactly what I'll be doing today once again, this time returning home from my third annual trek to thee OLD-est IndyCar Blogger Geo. Phillip's favourite 'Twisty Texas track, nee Circuit Of The Americas for the just concluded USGP; Baby...

As the following story was jotted down upon returning from last year's hugely enjoyable outing at COTA, where your humble No Fenders scribe - with the assistance of his trusty "Seeing  Eye Guide Dog Guy" Claudio helped him trek about the facilities for another glorious 3-days!

TUES, (11/19/13)
Fortunately, I'd planned my exit us from Austin correctly, opting to leave on Tuesday instead of Monday, which recorded one of its two highest traffic days of the entire year with 21-22,000 passengers transiting thru Austin Bergstrom Int'l Airport; YIKES! Since a typical day's amount of passengers transiting thru said airport averages between 9-11,000, as I overheard somebody saying that the Thursday prior to the Grand Prix was the busiest day of the year; Aye Karumba!

And as typical, it was another fascinating trip in the confines of how many "Handlers" I passed thru simply to fly home from Austin via Los Angeles to Seattle, since these dazes I cannot seem to find any reasonably priced Nonstop flights cross country, hence involving at least one layover some where's.

As this time there'd be a 'Mega-total of 23-people involved in my going Door-2-Door; CRIKEYS! This includes my GURR-REAT!!! Hosts Claudio' & Nelie taking me to the airport; Check-in "Desk Jockey, first "Meet & Assist Handler," 2 TSA $ecurity employees and one Gate Agent taking me to board my first Aeroplane, a Boeing 737-800 model with FUCKINGLY RETARDED "SLIM" Economy seats, as I was upgraded to a window seat for the 2hr 47min flight to "The City of Angels..." As why in thee HELL do they make commercial Aeroplane seats so FRIGGIN' ROCK HARD? As my "Gluteus Maximus" went numb just about one hour into the duration of  our flight; BUTT I Digress!

Having boarded first in the half hour pre-board ritual, and having barely sat down in my seat I was accosted by two Flight Attendants wanting to know if there was anything they could do to make my flight more enjoyable, etc. (Like leave me the FUCK alone 'Seesters!)

Can I take your cane Sir? NO! I'll put it in my seat pocket. Oh? It folds? Yeah, just haven't had time to do so, to which one of the two female flight attendants cheerily said: Before we cornered you...

Having waited for the entire Aeroplane to disembark, per usual, a black man walked up to me and said are you ready?  As he took my bag and then my backpack and walked me down the aisle holding his hand. Hmm? Perhaps he felt my unaccustomed trepidation? As normally I have NO Problemas with anybody assisting Mwah, but weirdly I became somewhat nervous with this particular 'Handler for reasons unknown... As I still feel guilty about my internal reactions that day, since when riding alone with him in the elevator A-L-L sorts 'O weird thoughts permeated my brain...

Thus, this black man, who was super kind to me, ended up telling me a story in the elevator, perhaps to appease me, teach me a lesson or just tell me a story?

As he told me about his encounter in Boot Camp as a Marine, when he'd been bunked with a scared white  boy, who ultimately ended up throwing up upon having to bunk with him - having never been around black people before... Naturally becoming pissed-off when his Sergeant made him clean up his bunk-mates vomit!

why had he done this? Because he wanted the two men to work together and trust each other since as he rightly told me,  a bullet knows NO colours! As he'd inform me that he'd previously done two tours of duty in Iraq...

Ok, Tomaso, you're gonna get  onto a van alone, but he's going to drop you off at the terminal where  there will be somebody waiting for you, alright man...

As his forthrightness was totally opposite of the Asian van driver who didn't say a  single Bloody word to Mwah, as we drove across the LA tarmac, still thinking how RETARDED all of this was just to switch Aeroplanes!

Then I was greeted by the second "Meet & Assist Handler" (Female) on the tarmac before being whisked inside 'N up an elevator - via wheelchair, then asked if I wanted to use the bathroom before going to my gate? Yes.

Stopping at the bathroom she said go straight which I did and she said NO! Turn right. As I fumbled along the wall to the entry another female approached and instructed her to take me in there to which she said I CAN'T GO inside there... Then a kind young man approached me and guided me to a stall.

While I was still inside I heard a voice calling Austin, Austin to which I ignored; since my name's Tomaso, albeit they were actually calling for Mwah...

Then the same nice young man came inside and directed me to the sink, got me a paper towel and guided me back outside to my awaiting chariot, before I was wheeled to a waiting area for my next flight.

3 different wheelchair assistants fought over taking me onto the Aeroplane - as they lined up all of us in wheelchairs and took us down the ramp before I was escorted to my seat 20-B, this time a middle seat.

Arriving in Seattle, I walked off myself with somebody on cell phone breathing down my backside as I tried walking forwards to the door before the flight attendants found some assistance for me, with the first man telling me DON'T sweat the small stuff as I tried to move over to let the man still totally self-absorbed 'N babbling on his cell phone by.

Another Gate Agent assisted me up the walkway and then went and planted me in some seats at a totally different gate saying it'd be 5-6mins before assistance would arrive.

This took 15+ minutes instead because my final "Meet & Assist Handler" didn't know where I was sitting since he'd simply been called to my arrival gate and had to search about the concourse in order to find me, but he was a very nice man apologizing profusely to which I said No Problema!

He then escorted me to the underground subway that took us to baggage claim where my suitcase was just about to be "Quarantined" by the baggage agents, before being escorted over to Shuttle Express, where the friendly Check-in "Desk Jockey" welcomed me back; Huh? Don't know who this Dude is since it was a woman last time...

He cheerfully told me it would be a balmy 34deg-f tonight; SHEISA! As I had gotten use to going sans coat 'N pants in Austin the past week - where it'd tried breaking the 1938 temperature record race-day with an expected high of 87deg-f! Hence, it was strange to Mwah to be sitting on heated bench seats basically outside at Sea-Tac Int'l Airport...

And then my name was called by my cordial Van Driver who drove me home in the "Share van" and escorted me to my front door and wallah! Twenty-three persons later I was home from another typical day of flying cross-country; WHEW!

This concludes our "Non-stop" service; Err Tomaso rant about just  some of the typical trials 'N tribulations I experience when flying, albeit every trip's different - as I have NO idea what I'll encounter this time, or what the weather  will be like; Blah-blah-blah... After all, this year's Grand Prix  has been moved forward two weeks in order to go Head-to-Head vs. 'RASSCAR at Eddie "Duh Goose" Gossage's 'lil Texas Motor Speedway racetrack...

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