up in the air

I’m writing this while passing the southern tip of Groenland. Im supposed to catch some sleep in order to accommodate to the new time zone, however the day has no intention of ending- and above the clouds it’s always sunny. Plus – writing some bits seem the best thing to do while sipping on some red wine and listening to some rock (KLM audio entertainment).

Usually there are not that many things happening while flying – I tend to fall asleep hard and fast. This time it’s different. Until now I thought that the worst that can happen on a flight is to have a small child nearby. However, right now I am enjoying the company of a whole class of elementary school Indians (some education program between Mexico and India). And they are hyper-active. Tied to this – the movie played was a Disney production – and not of the good ones.

At one point I started to think that today it’s not a great day for flying. Especially after we suffered a slight delay at Otopeni security check because of a toy. A gun toy – pretty realistic looking. I mean – if you are flying, is it unthinkable to pick only safe looking toys? And the fact that the said toy used batteries and vibrated, and only the child knew how to start/stop it ensured a lot of security personnel gathered to ascertain the “risk”. It was more hilarious than annoying though…

What is annoying is the Romanian flight mystery. That is what I call the need to applaud when landing. I have never experienced this, anywhere, except when Romanians are involved (and in a certain quantity, probably to bolster morale). I mean – yes we landed. Great. It was supposed to happen like that. Why applaud? Seems silly. Had the crew served cake for a special occasion, had a flight hostess do a striptease number or the pilot do a loop I would understand. But to applaud with nothing special? (and the landing was so-so – a bit bumpy even). I think no one can solve the mystery.

Other than these short bits – not much to tell. The flight is obviously long, and I found it pretty interesting that we cross below Groenland, enter Canada, and from there we go south. Of course it makes perfect sense once you think about it. But I am so used to thinking about the Earth as a flat map, that it took me a few moments to understand that the direct route might not look straight once drawn on a map.

No atmospheric entertainment – although the pilot announced we crossed the Gulf Stream several times (which could provide us with stomach emptying roller coaster fun).

I am still amazed at Schiphol airport – pretty nicely laid out and a lot of things to do. I am becoming pretty familiar with it – from the little museum, to Holland Boulevard, to the different cafes on the upper floor to the timing necessary to get from a set f gates to another one. Having said that – it’s incredible that it was my 5th arrival in Amsterdam and yet not once have I stepped out of the airport. Maybe when I return from Mexico I will make a short detour to the city proper. I have a lousy 6hrs layover and I do not intend to spend it in the airport.

So having written a bit about a day spent mostly in the air, now I get back to reading my Lonely Planet guide and sipping my wine.

Next post – bienvenidos en Ciudad de Mexico!

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