Beowabbit (beowabbit) wrote,

  • Music:

My flights

My flights were astonishingly uneventful. This was the first time since 9/11 that I never had my carry-on bag searched by hand, not even at the security checkpoint. (And the only two previous times when I wasn't pulled out of line getting on the aircraft and re-searched by hand were when there weren't any security screeners on duty.) Interestingly, they also didn't have people show ID when getting on the plane, just when going through security. I think things are finally starting to get a bit more realistic. I have to say, I was pleased when I got my boarding pass and it didn't have the "special security screening" indication on it.

The Boston-LA leg was quite nice. The plane wasn’t too full, and I had an empty seat next to me (so I could swing up the armrest). And the weather was spectacular for most of the flight, and it was all in daylight, so I got to ogle the Midwestern farms and small towns and the gorgeous Southwestern mountains and countryside. And I listened to a lot of good music.

The LA-Honolulu flight was a bit more crowded, but I was seated right by a bulkhead, so I had a lot of leg room, and there were some sweet kids seated with me. (They were part of a large family of maybe six or ten travelling together.) And there was a very cute and very mellow, calm, quiet baby seated diagonally in front of me! Tragically, her parents seemed to want to keep her.

In addition to listening to music, I read a couple of Russian short stories on the planes: “The Cave” by Zamyatin (who wrote We, on which 1984 is almost certainly partly based), and “The Stationmaster” by Pushkin. That felt good; it’s been years since I read much Russian beyond the occasional headline. I was reading them in an edition with a facing-page translation and a glossary; otherwise I certainly couldn’t have managed it without a dictionary. Even so, it was fairly slow (especially the Zamyatin; he’s extremely descriptive and extremely elliptical), but that’s the beauty of a long plane flight. The Zamyatin was depressing but good; the Pushkin was mock-depressing and very amusing, as Pushkin often is. (Pushkin reminds me a bit of Saki, although much more understated.)

By the way, if there are extraneous h’es strewn through this posting, that's because Tigris’ keyboard types an h if you so much as blow on the h key. :-)

Tags: books, diary, hawai'i, politics, travel

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