Posted by: suek2001 | September 11, 2010

A note from the road.

I wrote this on a layover in Chicago on very little sleep. Forgive me that it is not as eloquent as other entries.  Boredom will do that.

I’m barely awake as I type this..sitting in the Chicago airport as I wait for my laptop to recharge…I’m too cheap to pay $7 for wi-fi service…So, I decided to write.

I’m in the O’Hare airport..a place I’d never been…and it’s not as fancy as I thought it would be…Better than Midway as that always seemed like a barn….still, as we landed I realized that I was in the land of Oprah, with a touch of Bonnie Hunt and the ghost of Mike Royko haunting the book stores. Went to one and the guy said they had none of his titles. Sad news indeed.

It’s been quite a few years but I also noticed that both major papers are in the magazine form and have a look of the offbeat FREE city readers I’m used to. They look ill-fitting for their old magazine racks and a quiet sign of the slow death of old-fashioned newspapers.

As I was walking back to the concourse that I had just come from(gate changes, gotta love ’em!), I noticed American Airlines throwing some sort of BBQ for their employees on this hot summer day. They weren’t on the runway but closer to the terminal building. I’m sure they were relieved to eat something for free and not pay $3 for a small burger from Mickey D’s.

I know this blog hasn’t had a cohesive theme to it but things like that happen on two hours sleep. I’ve been making my way to Fort Myers to celebrate my birthday. Started off with the longest bus ride in my life from Duluth to Minneapolis, spent the night in cool comfort at my old rooming house and got up early to enjoy a tradition of IHOP before leaving.

As I flew out of Minneapolis, I recalled something Mom told me all those years ago on that plane ride out of Minneapolis to the “promised land” of Fort Myers, “Take a good look, you’ll never see this place again”…She was wrong of course as I experienced Minneapolis throughout the 80’s and for much of the ’90’s through trips to Grandma’s and attending Bible College. Mom found her home in Fort Myers while I found mine in Duluth.

So, now I sit here wishing I could find a Vitamin Water under $2 yet knowing it’s just wishful thinking. So, for now, listening to Dylan in my music library and playing free cell will have to do, I just can’t bring myself to do the crossword puzzles I brought. Of course, if I could sleep before my flight and not worry about missing my flight or having my luggage taken, I would.

One last random thought for all those architects that dream of designing airports. Moving walkways make travel about 30% less stressful. They should be in all airports. Are they that hard to build?

Okay, I more thought, if someone goes through the hassle of hauling their laptop, they paid over $500 for and already pay money to an internet service, they shouldn’t have to pay $7 for the thrill of using wi-fi. All around the world, the concept of FREE WI-Fi has been spreading from city libraries, to coffee shops to McDonald’s. Why is it so hard to grasp that reality in major airports? Duluth can’t be ahead of the curve ,can it?

At this point, my brain has run out of steam and my mind wants to sing along with Don Gibson as he wails on “Sea of Heartbreak”. Gotta love music, it makes airport travel a bit more bearable..


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