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Time does not fly when spent flying

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POSTED March 20, 2012 11:06 p.m.

Time really flies, except when it doesn’t. 

When looking at the entirety of last week, it moved fast and excited, though individual sections did not. For instance, spear fishing over coral and war artifacts went quickly. The five hours on a Boeing 777 from Honolulu to San Francisco — three of which were spent with the large Samoan lady asleep next to me, her arm flooding over the arm rest and onto mine — did not.

I didn’t say anything because she was very polite and I’m not really sure could help it so there was no need to not only wake her up, but make her feel bad. I leaned away as best I could, but there was only so much I could do. I fell asleep anyway. 

We landed in San Francisco at 5:50 a.m. So I had just traveled the whole day, but landed an hour before I left according to time zones and the International Date Line that separates Guam’s today from ours.

I walked to the gate in time to see United canceled my 7 a.m. flight to Sacramento because of weather.

There were clouds, but no rain. There was grayness, but no wind.

I’ve taken four-seat Tylenols over the ocean back home in far worse. When I was a senior, the guy de-iced with a broom, revealing duct tape on the wing. But we made it to Gustavus safe, because Alaska Bush pilots are as confident as they are crazy, as talented as they are totally insane. Anyway, I think since there weren’t many of us on that little hop over Mt. Diablo, United just decided to save jet fuel and blame the weather.

It took all of two minutes for me to decide to try and collect my checked bag and find other means of getting home.

When I asked if I could get my pack released so I could get picked up at the BART station in Pleasanton, the lady said it would take between 20 minutes and two hours.

I knew it wouldn’t be twenty minutes, so I sat down next to the area where the bag would at some point emerge, and tried not peek at my watch. There was another guy waiting for his checked bag. He was from Marysville. He was a pilot in the Air Force. His wife had an ultrasound scheduled for the afternoon.

I think time was moving really fast for him, while it slugged by for me. Strange.

We finally received our bags, walked to the BART station and continued chatting until I got off the yellow line to get on the blue.

When I found a seat I leaned up against my bag for a nap. There were two signs next to me: one forbidding eating, the other against smoking. There should have been a third, reminding people that it is not okay to urinate under the seats.

I know that unusual occurrences during travel make for at least decent copy, but there are times when I’d just prefer things to go as planned, that way I could be talking about the trout I caught on the Stanislaus River Saturday rather than be compelled to share another unfortunate adventure. 

I finally made it home, took a three hour nap, then tried to stay awake until a reasonable sleeping hour. I made it through the afternoon, and at 8 I called it quits.

I blinked and it was 10 hours later, Saturday morning.

Time is a funny thing.

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