November 10, 2011

Photo of the day: 098

Filed under: Uncategorized — paul davis @ 8:06 pm

This time my visit to Canada was almost as pleasant as last time, and only slightly longer. Uncle Nigel drove me across the border to the Vancouver airport at 5:30 this morning. A scan of my passport to bring up my ticket found only a Robert Scott Davis, an Australian chap. I went to see the ticket agent with a tiny foreboding. My normal state of character on entering airports is anxiety on high simmer, so a little foreboding should not be taken as too foreboding. He typed in my name. “Huh,” he said. Turn the gas on the foreboding up a notch. He asked for my confirmation number, for which I would need to turn on my laptop. Kind of funny to be worried about saving trees when I had spent the last two weeks cutting them up. We both waited that length of time it takes for laptops to turn on when you really want them on.

“Huh,” I said. The flight I might have been on left on Wednesday, November 9. Today is Thursday, not November 9. “Well,” I said. I assumed a pitiful expression, which was not a ploy for sympathy…I was about to be pitied, knew it, and knew it would neither help nor hurt–it just was. The United agent suggested I go talk to the Air Canada agent, the airline that had issued the frequent flier ticket. The Air Canada agent suggested I call the Aeroplan people. I don’t know who they are, but I called the number. A nice lady said, “You were a no-show and we forfeited your ticket.” She couldn’t see how pitiful I was.

“When are you able to get me on a flight, and how much will it cost?” I asked. She said, “You can take the red-eye to Calgary tonight and get to Kansas City tomorrow mid-morning for 140,000 miles.” My round-trip had been 25,000 miles, and these weren’t my miles to fork over, in any case. We parted on cordial terms. I scanned the departures board for any flights going to the USA. Delta to Minneapolis, that’ll do. I took my pitiful face over to what I judged to be the most sympathetic lady at the Delta counter. I believe she really wanted to help me. “$1450 to get home today via Minneapolis,” she said. “Huh,” I said. “I’m sorry,” she said.

I went and sat down. Bruce and Janet are flying to KC today from Seattle. When does their flight leave? I called Bruce. Bruce is resourceful. In seconds he said, “I’m ready to press go on a ticket on our flight for $200…can you get to SeaTac by 11:15?” It was 7:30. I thought I could. It would require my dad driving up from Bellingham, crossing the border twice…Blanche Dubois inkled to mind: “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” I really don’t pretend to be self-sufficient.

I was beginning to think of the bright side. Maybe I could finish the table after all. I asked Bruce to find me something tomorrow, he did, and I called my dad. They started driving and my thoughts turned to: “Whatever mistake I’ve made, it’s in the past, let’s find some coffee and see if I can do one of those Saturday NY Times crosswords that require a mind that can bend spoons.”

So I’m back in Bellingham, two more coats of finish on the table, these photos taken as the sun was setting, I’ll be home by 1 AM Saturday. The table will be upstairs in the dining room, ready to eat on this weekend.

Pictures of that, I hope, later.

Sunset from the deck.

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