Retire Mechanical engineer. Student at California State university Channel Island studiyingAbout Me

March 6, 2019

Murphy's Law

As they say in Murphy’s Law, if things go wrong, it will all go wrong. That was my flight from Istanbul to Brussels. I will write that journey later. I know for sure that my computer will go blank because I am unable to charge the MacBook Air.

I am at home now and rested and am going to finish my story.

After clearing passport control in Brussels, I headed for baggage claim to get my luggage. I was lucky to snag one of the elusive baggage carts and loaded my 52-pound suitcase. I was hot wearing my sweater and winter coat; my backpack slung over my shoulders.

Pushing the cart I found the elevator to the second floor and walked outside.
It was windy and cold. I stopped to check my IPhone for the name of my hotel. My wife made sure to send me three e-mails concerning my flights and my hotel reservation.

Since I was outside of the airport and heading towards the hotel shuttle stop I had no Internet. I couldn’t access my e-mails and I have forgotten the name of the hotel.

In short, back inside I went. Back to the elevator and downstairs to departures where I connected to Wi-Fi on my IPhone. I found all the flight information, but not the hotel reservation. I stopped in a cafĂ©, sat down, and opened my laptop. I saw under my e-mails “Park Inn by Radisson,” but when I tried to open the e-mail it disappeared. I think what happened was the laptop must have archived the e-mail.

Back outside again I managed find the shuttle to my hotel. After boarding the shuttle I found an empty seat. Finally I arrived at the Radisson (or so I thought) and headed inside out of the cold. The wind and the cold in the city of Brussels makes your bones wiggle.

At the reception I said, “Good evening. I have reservation.”
The man asked for my passport and checked.
“I am sorry, sir. There is no reservation for Kaya.”
Of course, I couldn’t find the e-mail to show him the reservation number.
“Look. My wife reserved my stay through Orbitz. I saw her book it. Is this the Radisson?”
“No, sir. This is Van der Valk. But the Radisson is right across from here.”

He phoned the shuttle driver to come back and take me to the Radisson. There were other passengers who had also gotten mixed up.

At the Radisson I had to take an elevator to the second floor for the reception and check-in. I thought that was most unusual. I was given room #415 and I proceeded to the fourth floor. There were several doors leading to the rooms. I read the sign with an arrow that indicated rooms from 412—430 and proceeded to open the door for the hallway to those rooms.

I found room 414, next 416, and 412, but there was no 415. This was crazy! I went further and the numbers decreased. I went in the opposite direction and still no room 415.

Frustrated was an understatement. I went back downstairs to reception.
“Where the hell is 415?” I shouted.
The young women was trying to appease me and said, “I will take you there, sir.”

I followed her. She took the same route I took, only this time she proceeded towards the decreasing numbers and we turned perpendicular to another hallway. Then I saw 413 next to 415. She opened the door with her master key. When we were inside, she asked for my key and put it in the magnetic slide and turned the lights on.

I said, “Whoever designed this hotel must have Alzheimer’s disease.”
She laughed and tried to show me how the shower worked.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but I am tired and frustrated. If you don’t mind?”

I settled in and went downstairs for dinner. Ordered a hamburger with fries. The waiter brought my hamburger. I just ate the fries. Not the hamburger, because they cooked it in frying oil and it stank. I told the waiter that Europe was going downhill and left.

I slept all of about four hours. When I woke up my IPhone showed 4:50am. I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn’t. At 6:15am I got up to shave, then packed to go downstairs to have a breakfast.

Before I checked out I asked, “Which way is the restaurant to have breakfast?”
“The restaurant opens at six sir.”
I showed him my IPhone indicating it was close to 8:00am. He showed me his IPhone that read 4:40am. I checked my phone and found I was somehow on Chicago time.

Now to the good part. My flight from Brussels to Atlanta. We were airborne at about 10:45am. About 30 minutes into our journey we were nearing the British Channel.

I turned on flight tracker and it read 5:15am at our destination which meant Atlanta time, making it 4:15am Navarre time. My wife may or may not be awake and up yet.

I began to observe things around me. That is the thing a writer does. To observe and listen. What I noticed on this flight was that in the First Class cabin where I was seated, every flight attendant was older. I mean that they were advanced in years. This was an Atlanta based crew as the captain announced.

There was a male flight attendant who had to be older than me, and I am 70 years old. At least that is how he looked. I felt like I wanted to apply for a job as a flight attendant. Yes, I may be 70 years old, but people tell me that I look like I must be in my late 50’s.

I had been a waiter during the time I was a student studying for a mechanical engineering degree. Yes! Why not apply to Delta as a flight attendant. Then I thought, wait a minute. I am 70 and if I feel functional and sharp. I should probably apply to study to become a pilot rather than a glorified waiter.

A flight attendant by the name of Lee was my server. I don’t mean in the capacity of a servant, but rather the flight attendant assigned to my side of the cabin. There were four flight attendants in the First Class cabin. Two females and two males. Through Lee I managed to learn all of their names. On my side of the cabin were Lee and Andy and on the other side were Dick and Sue.

All of them had to be at least sixty or over that. I witnessed the way they attended to their work with utmost passion and knowledge. Compare that to young and beautiful flight attendants. Some are good, but always back in their mind is the thought, “I am beautiful. Pay attention to me.” Much like a teenager does things to get attention. And watch how the adults react to their behaviors.

Back to the flight tracker. It showed that we are over the British Channel approaching Great Britain. Lee brought the wine tray. I chose a French white wine because I’d ordered prawn with some exotic sauce.

Naturally with any fish dish one chooses a white wine. I don’t know why I think that. Is it because James Bond movies influenced the way we choose our dinner wines?

The flight tracker showed we were between Great Britain and Ireland. The current time in Atlanta was 5:50am, which means it was about 4:50am in Navarre. Nancy might be up or still in bed. I could not be sure.

These are the things I think about.

Lee, my flight attendant, brought my French wine for a second filling. Flight tracker shows we were over Ireland and about to leave Ireland behind. Lee brought the appetizers, consisting of salad, parsley soup, some other that I am not familiar, and bread. I declined to have bread. Why? Because I wanted to know if I could control my freewill not to have bread, which I did.

Of course I am a bread eater. But, I behaved like an aristocrat. I did everything according to the behavior of an aristocrat. Of course I am not an aristocrat, but I happen to know how their dinner manners are.

I am in the window seat 4D in the First Class cabin with no seat next to me. To the left of me sits a Frenchman. I know he is French because I heard him say oganc juice instead of orange juice; g with that throat sound. That is definitely French.

I am amused with the way he eats. The Frenchy eat in rapid progression. I have watched how a monkey eats his food and I have now decided there is a similarity between the monkey’s way of eating, and this French man. Particularly the way he eats his bread, much like a monkey eats his bananas. He opens the bread and rapidly picks the seeds out of the bread one by one, picks them and eats them. Not eating the bread itself, but just the seeds.

Frenchy takes strong, sharp, sudden bites with his other food, much like a dog. He swallows, or rather snaps up every mouthful, too soon and too fast. And he keeps looking sideways here and there while he eats, as if he thinks there is danger lurking, or someone is observing him and coming to take his food away.

He is altogether too unsettled in his mind over it to appreciate it comfortably, I think. Or to have somebody to dine with him, without making a chop with his jaws at the visitor. In all of which he is particular. He is very like much the dog when he eats his food, and he is very much like the monkey when he eats his bread, picking the seeds, sharp, sudden and fast.

The way he eats reminds me of my German Shepard, Duchess. When I was a boy I would steal bits of chicken from my mother’s cooking and throw them to Duchess. The dog would catch the piece of chicken, chew sharply two or three times, and swallow. Then she would wait until I threw her another piece. The second she swallowed, the quicker I would throw, and the quicker she would catch and swallow.

That is the way my next row neighbor eats his seeds in the bread in rapid succession.

The flight tracker shows 6:14am at the destination. It is 5:14am in Navarre. Nancy is probably up and brewing her coffee, or may have already done that and is now sipping her coffee and surfing the internet on her I-pad.

We are flying just south of Greenland in the middle of the North Atlantic. I am on my fourth glass of French white wine. My neighbor to the left has finished his fifth glass of wine and is still picking seeds from his bread. Some of the seeds from bread have dropped on his tray. He picks those up as well, eating rapidly like a monkey eats and discards.

I decide Frenchy must be OCD. Everything he does is in rapid succession. He finishes his dinner even before me. And I am a fast eater compared to Nancy, my dear wife.

It is 7:25am at our destination which means it is 6:25am. Nancy must be up and tracking which seat I am sitting in on my flight to Atlanta. Dinner is finished and everyone is laying back, relaxing. My French neighbor finishes his computer work and, again in rapid succession, he puts away his computer, adjusts his seat, lays back with a blanket over him, and seems to fall asleep.

I don’t know that he is asleep, but I see that his middle section is rising up and down as he breaths. He sits up and looks at his IPhone and the picture of a beautiful woman. I am not sure whether the woman is his wife or his companion. He puts the phone aside, picks up a book pretending he is reading. After a while he puts the book aside and picks a magazine. He is continually doing something and changing things.

The flight tracker shows that we over Nuuk, Greenland.

I must mention the way Dick reacted when he brought me coffee. I said, “Thank you, Dick.” He was taken aback as to how I knew his name, but continued to do his job and pretended nothing unusual happened.

Later on, the male flight attendant on my side brought me a fruit tray. I took a banana, and said, “Thank you, Andy.” I got the same reaction.

“How did you know my name?” he asked.
“Through Lee,” I said.
Then we started to have a pleasant conversation.

By now everyone is asleep. Only my window shade is still up. I lower it. We are passing over Kanginnliguit in Iceland and I think now I am getting tired.

I want to lay back and go to sleep.