On my way to Italy, a la Paris.

The flight out of Chicago was delayed. We were eventually informed that one piece of luggage needed to be removed from the belly of the plan because it’s passenger had not boarded. “They’re looking for, they have to find where it is, well, they know where it is, they just need to find it…” We took off an hour late.

Inflight feature film was something with Queen Latifa. I didn’t bother with the headphones but glanced at it every so often. It went as such: Queen meets man, man falls for hot chick, Queen is the nice reliable friend, hot chick turns out to be a bitch, man moves slowly in on Queen, they perform the nasty, hot bitch comes back, man goes back to her, man realises that he’s happier with Queen, ends up with her. Curtain. Part of my capability to figure it all out is that I have rudimentary capabilities to read lips. The other part is, that’s the template for nearly every Queen Latifa movie.

We landed about 20 minutes late. Which will never cease to entertain me. Why do they say the flight will take 8 hours, leave 2 hours late, and still get to the destination in 6.5 hours. If you could have done that in the first place, why not just do it. It’s probably like express vs. ground shipping. All the boxes could be at destination immediately, they just leave the ground ones around for posterity.

I called aisleses way early on. No backsies.

We sat in a bulkhead row which meant a few things, good and bad. Crucial: The seats recline. Good: It is the divider between cabins, so there are no seats in front of you, meaning more leg room. Bad: No seat under which to stow your personal item. So everything has to be put overhead. Bad: The trays fold out of the arm wrest and are nothing to write home about. Good and super-spy: There’s a tiny compartment at floor level just across the aisle that fit all of my carry-on needs. I kept that quiet.

I sat on the right on an aisle, my mum in the middle, and on the left at aisle was our new Friend For Flight, Patty. She was definitely interesting. She talked a lot. Initially when we sat down I thought maybe choosing the aisle wasn’t the best option because I had to lean over my mum to talk, and mostly it ended up being the two of them. As time went on, I realised sitting one seat away from her was a godsend. She never stopped talking. She is a resort bartender from northern Wisconsin who was asked by an older gentleman to come with him as a companion on a trip to Europe. As the flight went on it was clear she was looking for some reassurance as to the real purpose of the trip. And she wasn’t to sure about being on a transatlantic flight either. I was more glad than ever for the sleep mask I brought. If that doesn’t say, “I don’t want to talk,” nothing does.

Mum says pack everything up. We don’t leave for another half hour, but she gets anxious about being ready to go. Insert some phrase about choosing your battles, or let the small things slide… I can’t remember what the phrase is. Anyway this event isn’t worth it. So pack up I shall.

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