Monday, March 12, 2007

Once again, on the road

I was dying for a slice of pizza after my Sunday morning bike ride so we rushed through the lunchtime chores and headed to the mall. Sunday Brunch at the Cottonwood Food Court - some things in life just defy description.

The pizza selections at Sbarro were limited and mostly of the mega-crust variety so I settled on a piece of Hawaiian figuring it offered the highest probability of culinary return. While checking out, I noticed the cashier was wearing a hat emblazoned with "Villa" on the brow. I figured it was commemorating some gangster who died in a driveby until my lovely wife pointed out that Sbarro is now Villa. And with the change in ownership, so exited the quality. To make it edible, one really had to perform major surgery, excising the bottom 3 inches of mantle from the crust of cheese and ham. Sort of like slicing through California on the bias and allowing it to float out to sea.

Today I find myself at Atlanta Hartsfield foraging for lunch. The food court - mobbed - was improved a bit by the middle aged gentleman playing the Steinway grand piano in the hub between concourses. I did the counterclockwise review of the offerings - all the name fast foods - and settled on yes, another piece of pizza. I walked up, ordered a slice of Hawaiian and went off in search of a seat. Sitting and eating and looked up and noticed that the establishment I had just left was called, yes, Villa. It's some sort of conspiracy I am sure.

(This slice by the way was marginally better, less surgery required.)

So how did I get here, well it was on a long and bumpy flight leaving ABQ at 11 AM. The airport was empty this morning, as it always is when I allow extra time for check-in. There must be some corollary Murphy's law in there somewhere. Sat and sat and finally boarded - in Zone 7, as in the last zone. Zone seating has replaced by-row seating, the theory being that window and middles sitter should get first crack at the overhead space. No problem this time though and I lucked out by having an empty seat next to me.

We took off on time and the pilot brought up the flight map on the little TVs to apprise us of the progress of our long climb to 33,000 feet. Ft. Sumner Lake, Amarillo - the exotic names of these places drifted through my mind like a disengaged Macaw feather lofting on a warm breeze in the Yucatan.

The crew did their best to get us our drinks and choice of snacks (Sun Chips? Cheese Crackers?) but we kept running into consistent turbulence and they finally retired to their jumpseats when the candleabra on the food cart in the 1st Class cabin tipped over, igniting the privacy curtain. We did finally get served, about 1 hour from landing. Those Sun Chips really hit the spot.

Hartsfield is a monstrously large airport. Biggest one in Georgia, or so I am told. You ride a subway between terminals and today I got the grand tour - A all the way to E (for end of the line.) Other than that, it looks like everywhere else, except for the fact that the international terminal has that little extra twinkle that the domestic gates don't have. Wandering the halls and seeing the destinations - Milan, Gatwick, Rome - is far more interesting that seeing Roswell and Silver City. Well, to me at least.

So now I sit and wait for another hour or two until the call Zone 7 again and I get to go hunting for overhead luggage space. A few million hours from now, I'll be learning how to drive on the wrong side of the road.

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