Monday, January 16, 2006

Day 2

The Hilton shuttle got us to our gate within a matter of minutes and that, plus the really comfortable bed was worth the extra scratch. We got in line to check in our bags at 9:30 that morning and got the “here’s what’s left” breakfast from McDonald’s. This wasn’t just a family vacation, but a reunion of sorts for a couple of things I’ll get to in future posts. When we got to Atlanta, we met up with a cousin and her family and my mom.

In LA, we met up with my sister’s family. By the time we got to LA, we had already been traveling 10 hours and with many little kids, this wasn’t easy. This was when we switched from Delta to China Airlines and this began the first of many unbelievably rude traveling encounters.

First we met the “carry on Nazi.” A guy from the airline sees our large family and starts getting on us about out carry ons before we even check in. As one of my cousin’s would point out later, it’s probably because many people try to "stuff an extra person in their carry ons" during these international flights.

Later, my cousin’s husband and I are in the international terminal, rushing to get overpriced hot dogs for our kids as they hadn’t eaten in a while. I’m right in line behind him, he gets his order and just as I’m about to order, the woman behind me puts her arm in front of my face and orders. I don’t know what her problem was, but I was so stunned, I didn’t say anything. Instead I just stood two feet from her and stared her down, causing several uncomfortable moments while she got her order.

At some point a short time later, before the airline called us up to board, a couple hundred people formed a line. A counter person gets on the PA and asks that they all sit down and not one person moves. When the airline brought us to the front (they recognized the six kids that are five and under), some people actually started talking smack to us. Again the “carry on Nazi” starts in on us and a couple of us give up bags just to get him off our backs.

The whole experience at this smelly, crowded gate area had me on edge and I was hoping this wasn't a sign of things to come.

But wouldn't you know it... not long before the flight is getting ready to go, Shannon asks me to get something out of her carry on, so I pull her bag down and get it... only when I turn back around to see some guy leap up and start stuffing his bag into the overhead compartment where our bag was not ten seconds before.

I look over and yell "unbelievable" to which he replies something to the effect of "did you want to put your bag here?" I told him, I had just wanted to get something out of this bag and yes, I'd like to put it back. This would not have been an issue, but we were in the front of a section and had no place to put bags in front of us.

A warning for those of you traveling to Asia... (I suppose it could have been this flight, but a later post will confirm that it was at least two)... it is like playing basketball in the post. Be ready to throw elbows and have an attitude if you don't want to get stomped on.

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