Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Round and Round We Go

I'm here in England and finally I have a few minutes to myself.  I set off on Saturday to get to England on Sunday (they are 7 hours ahead of SLC time and it takes more than one day to get there for those who haven't done this).  I wanted to be ready to go on Monday for our meetings.

I got on the plane from JFK to Manchester on Saturday night.  About a half an hour into the flight there was this loud rushing noise.  The pilot put down the landing gear.  It turned out the landing gear wasn't going up properly and they had to return to JFK to fix it.  We circled for 2 hours to lighten the load, they couldn't just dump fuel over Long Island - or could they?

We landed and they said they would book us into a hotel and get us on the next flight out.  This was 10:30 in the evening. 

That's when the fun started.  They had one gate agent doing the rebooking for all 250 of us.  We finally got through with the ticketing about 12:30 in the morning.

I went down to the taxi stand to get a taxi to the hotel.  In most airports taxi stands are orderly and move along relatively quickly, time is money.  Not at JFK.  The airline had booked us with a certain car service so we couldn't give our vouchers to anyone else.  There wasn't a line so every time a car arrived impatient passengers waiting for a ride jumped at the driver before he got out of the car.  Rather than taking the first ones in line, since there was no line, the cabbies took the shortest routes, time is money.  Of course I was at one of the farthest hotels.  This was about 1:00 am.

I finally got a taxi by getting 4 other people who were going to the same hotel together and we attacked a cabbie in unison and brought him to his knees.  We climbed into the cab before he could say no and we locked ourselves in.  He had no choice.  This was about 1:30 am.

As we were careening along the Long Island Expressway toward Brooklyn the cabbie missed a turn and tried to cut across the merge area, the right front tire blew.  This was 2:00 am. 

It was amazing how many people were up blasting along the L.I.E. at this time of night.  I don't think we see that much traffic on Friday afternoon in Salt Lake. 

The cabbie got the spare out and proceeded to demonstate why he was a cabbie.  He knew nothing about changing the tire.  After a half an hour of this I jumped in and essentially changed the tire.  He cranked on the jack while I took the tire off and put the spare on (I know, there is a joke in there but I am trying to keep this clean).  This was about 2:30 am.

We finally got to the hotel and I got checked in and to my room after 3:00 am.  What a blast.

No comments: