Sunday, February 09, 2014

DC to Frankfurt

   Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Somewhere over the Canadian Maritimes, I experienced an in-flight emergency on my flight to Frankfurt. Here's how it happened:

   Everything was going proceeding normally, by which I mean Dulles TSA staff continues to insist on not accepting my Customs & Border Control Global Identity card for Precheck (despite an apparent agreement to the contrary) on American carrier tickets using international code-shared flights operated foreign carriers who really can't participate but that's immaterial to the fact that the ID applies to *me* and not the airline, so who I'm flying on shouldn't make me any more of a risk. But I digress.

   The flight was about two hours in. I'd just finished watching Gravity, and maybe there was some foreshadowing in those 90 minutes of watching Sandra Bullock fall to Earth in various metal containers remarkably similar to the Lufthansa jet I am. Yeah, maybe not the best idea I've had. Who am I kidding; she's awesome, the movie deserved all those awards, and Lufthansa's planes have got to be way more comfortable than a Russian spacecraft (there are USB ports in the armrests for crying out loud). Anyways, I'd just finished the pre-meal white wine and pasta, and received a glass of red wine (which I normally avoid due to an unfounded anxiety of spilling it during turbulence) to finish off the meal while watching an episode of Modern Family. And then it happened.

  Maybe I missed something due to the distortion (parallax?) that exists along the edge of my glasses, or maybe my focus was dulled from that first glass of wine, but in less than a second, the red wine in my glass previously sitting motionless on my tray was now a full inch lower and my tray was splatted in a dark burgundy like a scene from some B-movie slasher film. Droplets of red liquid oozed over the edge of the tray, pooling on the jeans and pullover that I'd planned on wearing throughout the duration of the next ten days. The trickle through the tray hinge may have also landed inside the shoes I had removed shortly after takeoff.

  May Day, May Day! I was able to recover from the disaster by quickly staunching the flow with the napkins whose existence I had previously taken for granted. But it was too late: my brownie had suffered irreparable damage and was now the kind of bastardized dessert that Doctor Moreau probably dreamed about when he wasn't sober. My brownie had absorbed more wine than it could physically hold, and its over-saturated flavor was almost unpalatable. Almost. But I wouldn't recommend it. If I had it to do over again, I should have ordered a cognac or brandy...the caramel flavor would have been perfect spilled over that chocolate creation.
Like a crime scene at 30,000 feet.

  To drown my sorrows, I finished off what was left of my red wine and got another glass of white wine, just in case I spilled again...so I wouldn't have to relive that experience. On the bright side, it looks like the dark clothes I'm traveling in didn't absorb too much or stain, and the alcohol's kicked in enough for me not to really care too much. Win-win. With luck, maybe this will all seem like a bad dream as I munch on an apple turnover during my layover in Frankfurt.

Side note: there was a group of dozen or so, predominantly female, older teens/coeds wearing red shirts identifying them as part of a Studies Abroad for Global Education (SAGE) group. While I didn't talk to them (because really, I'm like twice as old as them and when strangers do that it's a little creepy), they seemed like an interesting bunch and their website sageprogram.org has more info.
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