Friday, July 13, 2012

Planes, buses, and ferrys in Seattle (The final chapter)

Although our trip to Seattle was only a week, I have managed to drag out blogging about it for three weeks, this being the third, and final, week. Unless, of course, I remember something interesting that I cannot wait to share, and then there might be another post about Seattle.

If you haven’t read my first post about Seattle, read it now. Even if you have, you may want to refresh yourself on the details to get the full dramatic effect of this post.

While we did our sightseeing, after completing our quizzing, we took public transportation to get to the sights we wanted to see. And by public transportation, I mean buses, both electric and diesel. It is amazing the kinds of people you meet while being transported in large groups.

After a full morning of sightseeing and a lunch, the entire group met at the ferry terminal to await boarding. We patiently waited in line for all the passengers to disembark before we were able to walk down the long walk way to get on the boat. The walkway had a rope divider down the middle, to keep awaiting passengers from getting in the way of those trying to find dry land.

The young people in our group were polite and kept to the right hand side of the rope, and when the line started to move, they calmly walked with the flow of people onto the boat. As we reached the gangplank to walk onto the ferry, I heard a loud stomping behind me and to my left, and upon further review, I found it to be a young lady, not from our group, boldly stomping her way down the hallway in a rush to board the boat. I wasn’t sure what surprised me more, her disregard for social etiquette by walking on the left of the rope, her lack of grace and poise as she clomped down the hall (I pictured her walking through the forest stomping on the precious little woodland creatures.) or her driving desire to get on a boat that wasn’t going to go anywhere for another 15 minutes.  All of her effort was futile. The boat didn’t leave any sooner, and unless she stood in the bow, claiming her spot to get off first, she didn’t arrive any sooner.

Our flight out of Seattle was uneventful. The TSA agents in Seattle do not speak mumble. When I went through security, I put my glasses in the little chamber pot thingy for an all expense paid trip through the X-ray machine. The TSA person looked at me quizzically, and with impeccable English said, “You can wear those.” I responded, “They are just reading glasses and I usually walk around with them like this,” and put them on top of my head to hold back my thick mane of hair. He seemed a little puzzled and replied, “That’s fine; I don’t care how you wear your glasses.” once again in perfect English, without a trace of Mumble.

While boarding our flight to Rochester, the man with the microphone called for all passengers in rows 21 through 27. Typically, boarding a plane is done first by the coach (or first-class passengers), when they are loaded, then they start at the back of the plane. This keeps someone from row 17 from blocking everyone in rows 18 through 27 from getting settled.. After the announcement for passengers in rows 21 through 27 was made,  an older lady slipped in front of me, using the right shoulder-make-no-eye-contact maneuver. When her ticket was scanned I noted she was in row 17 and realized she must have a daughter, who likes to ride ferrys in Seattle. We boarded the plane and I had to wait while she held up the entire line as she stowed her luggage. I made sure to stand close enough to be in her private space without bumping into her and I gave her the smile I reserve for parents of grumpy toddlers in public places. The one with equal mixtures of sympathetic, pity, and kindness. As she sat, I said a quick thank you and nodded as I lead the stream of passengers past her seat. When we arrived in Rochester, there she stood at the baggage claim; alone. By now our large group, which had consisted 13 teens, 4 adults, had swelled considerably with all of the family members who swarmed the airport to pick up their loved ones. Their stood my nemesis line cutter, boarding holder-upper, woman. All alone at the carousel, waiting for her baggage. When the large group slowly engulfed her, swallowing her into a mass of humanity, and making it exceedingly difficult for her to retrieve her bags. I felt guilty for a moment for the feelings of joy for her pay back. But just for a brief moment.

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