Sunday, December 23, 2007

Longish Diary Of The Year's Shortest Day


We saw this twice yesterday, have yet to see it for the first time today

To celebrate the 2007 winter solstice, Mrs. Werbenmanjensen and I rose at roughly the same time to make ready to fly nearly halfway around the world: Ten time zones behind, so to speak, landing us in Hawaii sometime late last night local time. Our polar route took us through our first sunset around 1:30 or 2 p.m., only to greet us with a second sunrise a few hours later, somewhere over Canada. Even though we were in the dark, over the North Pole, with an outside air temperature of around -70 something Farhenheit, our British Airways 747 managed to keep the cabin at sweat-wearing-cotton-T-shirt temperatures. Then the hell of LAX, waiting forever for our bags, getting searched by Customs because we wandered the wrong direction, going out of the secure airport environment only to have to re-enter it (really, does that make any sense?) in another terminal, watching the Keystone Kops of the TSA handle luggage in a single X-ray machine, and finally being unable to sit together for our leg to Hawaii because BA and American Airlines can't manage to communicate. We watched our flight chase the second sunset across the Pacific. Warm breezes on Kauai blow the palm fronds into a single green arrowhead atop all the trees, calming my travel-addled and fatigued nerves. We called the taxi dispatcher, who wondered why we didn't want to wait for the shuttle to our hotel. It was an easy $15 for him, a mere seven-fifty in the Queen's sweet sweet sterling, which can't even get you from one side of the Square Mile to the other in a Black Cab.

As I type these words, my computer's clock tells me it's 4:30 p.m. in London, where the sun set 40 minutes ago. Outside our balcony, I can hear the white noise of the Pacific's surf, cheering for a Hawaiian sunrise. It's going to be a good week.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Tom - Daai Tou Laam said...

Merry Holidays and a Happy New Year to you.

Now where's Moe's comments on the flight? ;)

But reading these tales of woe among the US air security annoyance reminds me how much of this is to discourage tourists and furriners from coming to America instead of actually keeping Merkins safe.

1:45 AM  
Blogger oldest kid said...

Even worse than Mr. and Mrs. W's security experience was Schmutz's experience returning to the mainland. For some reason TSA decided she/he might be a terrorist and subjected her/him to a thorough search! Boy, do I feel safe now.

6:37 PM  

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