The Airport Rocket
At the risk of flooding High Park with stewardess fetishists, I have observed a number of flight attendants and other people in airline uniforms emerging from High Park subway station. That’s what piqued my curiosity about the “Airport Rocket” bus.
My natural tendency is to take the car to the airport and park at either Park’N Fly (as cheap as CDN$8 a day), or if pressed for time, airport parking (CDN$22 a day). Since Wendy couldn’t come to the wedding on account of having recently started a new job, I decided not take the car and leave it at the airport.
I could have taken a cab (CDN$20 each way from my current place in High Park, closer to CDN$40 when I lived near Queen and Spadina), but since I wasn’t carrying much with me on this quick trip, I decided to take the cheap route and travel to the airport like the stewardesses do. The price is right — it’s the standard subway fare (CDN$2.75) each way.
For me, it’s not a bad option. I live practically on top of the subway, which means that I don’t have to drag my luggage very far. Better still, it’s only a 10-minute ride to Kipling Station, from which the Airport Rocket departs. During the day, the bus arrives on the hour, as well as 20 and 40 minutes past the hour. The bus gets a little crowded, but the ride is short — it pulled out of Kipling Station at 11:40 a.m. and arrived at Terminal 3 in under 15 minutes.
I think I’ll make more use of the Airport Rocket, at least in cases where my flights don’t depart or arrive at oh-dark-thirty.
The security line was a little slower than usual. It was probably becuase everyone is now required to take off their shoes and put them through the x-ray machine, but it could also be attributed to what seems to be a little extra scrutiny that the security people are giving everyone. Their pace appears to be a little more deliberate.
The magazine store normally sells bottled drinks, but the fridge was padlocked and a security advisory was posted on its door. The advisory says that if you want drinks, you need to get them from the snack bar. The snack bar also carries bottled drinks, but as dictated by the advisory, they have to take the bottle from you, pour your drink into a cup and discard the bottle for you.
The Doctor is In
12:30 p.m.: Sitting in the departure lounge, waiting for the Embraer puddle-jumper to take me to Newark. Flight departs 1:40, arrives just after 3 p.m., giving me plenty of time to kill until the 8:55 p.m. direct to Belfast.
As is the case with most airports these days, a number of people — myself included — do that little moth dance in which they do an ever-widening circular walk in the search for power outlets. Most of the outlets have been staked, but I managed to find a nice spot, where I’m currently seated on the floor in the lotus position, with my back to the corner.
Here’s a little trick for you laptop travellers: always bring a two-prong extension cord with you. The obvious benefit it that it lets more than two people use the power, and from a greater distance to boot. The less-obvious benefit is in the case where the electrical socket is loose from overuse and won’t “grip” the plug (more common than you might think). To solve this problem, bend one of the prongs of the extension cord slightly outward so that the prongs aren’t quite parallel anymore. The extension cord’s plug will stay in, and you won’t ruin your laptop’s plug.
12:37 p.m.: Not far from me, a woman in a khaki business suit and short silver hair is pacing back and forth as she chats on her headset phone. She’s too close for me not to overhear the conversation. It’s not the usual business chatter; the cadence is different. I recongnize her tone, possibly from all those years I worked at a university campus pub: she’s trying to “talk someone down”.
I try not to eavesdrop, but it’s too hard. “Just remember what it is that made you two fall in love in the first place,” she says.
Ooh. Therapy session. Free entertainment!
It’s not clear to me whether she’s a therapist or marriage counseller, but the she’s using the boilerplate phrases associated with the trade. “It can happen if you want to it happen. It’ll take a lot of work, but it will happen.”
Relationship counselling — of which I know little — sounds a lot like negotiation — which is something I do know about. In both cases, the mediator tries to find the wants and expectations of both parties and what each party considers to be “the line cannot be crossed” and tries to hammer out an agreement acceptable to both parties. At least that what it sounded like, what with my hearing only half the conversation.
12:50 p.m.: The conversation sounds like it’s coming to a close. The counsellor is now going through a laundry list of next steps — it sounds like she’s going to put some kind of mediated meeting over dinner. She hangs up and calls someone else.
12:58 p.m.: She’s now providing a brief recap of the couple’s situation: she left him, he was initially distraught but has moved on to make the best of the situation, she’s not handling her new situation well and now she wants him back. It’s like watching Dr. Phil.
I wonder if it’s considered to be a violation of doctor-patient privilege to have this sort of phone conversation in a crowded room. We may hearing only first names and half the conversation, but it’s still airing someone’s dirty laundry.
Next: Win some, lose some.