Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Delta ladies

Kev enjoys a "double choc fudge death by ice cream blizzard" at the Cool Springs Galleria mall. Miki can only look on in horror and document his recklessness.

Part three of our transatlantic oddysey

We shuffle a little further along in the queue. You know the kind of thing. It’s at times like these when I am reminded of waiting for a ride at Disneyland,  a great human snake turning this way and that, a covert method of making a thousand foot queue look about a hundred feet long. I also wish that I was the guy who invented the Tensabarrier – how much must he be worth now???   We were enfolded in a veritable forest of tensabarriers, herding us this way and that, waiting in vain to be ushered in front of one of the ‘delta ladies’ manning the half dozen desks at the back of the hall. It soon became evident that nobody was moving very much at all. Progress was beyond painfully slow, and we turned our attention to seeking out the ‘Falling down’ woman to see how she was getting on. It seemed she had achieved her goal, as she had a maniacal grin of triumph on her face. This proved to be short-lived however, when an airport cop swiftly appeared to keep her company.

The Dublin guy ahead of us, we gradually moved towards the front of the line, and began to realize that nearly everyone at the desks had some kind of a problem, no-one seemed to be having a straightforward exchange. Losing track of time, we were no longer sure that catching our next flight would be plain sailing, if you know what I mean.  The Dublin guy strode to the next free desk. We watched bemused, as the Delta lady berated him for taking up her time, admonishing him that “there are people who will miss their flights here!”  He was quickly dispatched to stand in another line.  We followed him to the counter and handed our flight interruption manifest to the same lady. I turned to him. “It appears I’ve been re-assigned to the f*ck off queue”, he said, morosely……

Offering my sympathies, I returned my attention to the desk. Delta lady was busy inputing our info into her computer. She was joined by a colleague. She looked at her screen. The barest flicker of puzzlement flashed across her face for an instant. She was a pro, she hid it well, but I’d seen it, and I knew it meant trouble. Sure enough:  “Okay, you have the reservation, but you need to go to Iberia and buy the tickets.”   The veneer was crumbling again. Summoning my calm I replied, “No, surely the people with whom we entered into the contract have a duty of care to deliver us to our final destination, we can’t possibly go running around JFK trying to find somewhere to buy tickets we’ve already paid for?? – we shouldn’t even be in New York for god’s sake!!” I winced at the sound of my own hysteria.  The two delta ladies continued to insist that we didn’t have a right to collect tickets, yet were holding onto two flight vouchers that the computer had helpfully spat out onto the desk. A third Delta lady, overhearing our exchange, came to confer with them, and bizarrely, after they scribbled something on one of the vouchers, we were told to head towards passport control and security.  Clearly wishing to give us every advantage after our ordeal, the first Delta lady helpfully gave us two Italian passports in addition to our own.  I wasn’t entirely sure of the etiquette in these situations, so felt compelled to politely decline and return them.  Nice to see security is airtight then.

No sooner as we arrived at security with our shiny new flight vouchers, Miki was whisked away from me, relieved of, well, practically everything. Her bag was examined with what I can only decxribe as some kind of wet wipes, her shoes were minutely examined, her case helpfully emptied haphazardly all over the floor. By comparison, I felt like a VIP sailing through. It transpired that the Delta lady had also helpfully singled Miki out for a random intensive security check. Risking a beating, I said “What do you expect? You’re French!”  After I regained consciousness, we continued on into the airport. 

Note to the authorities: Female, French, lapsed-Catholic artists are HIGHLY UNLIKELY to want to blow up your planes.

For the first time in around 24 straight hours, we found ourselves able to sit down and relax, knowing our flight time was over an hour away. However, mindful of the law of diminishing returns, I couldn’t help but check that we would indeed be given boarding passes in return for the vouchers.  I spent the remaining time before boarding watching the monitors and trying to unravel the mysteries of American football. I concluded that  it involved throwing a peculiarly-shaped ball as far as you can, and then running full-pelt straight into a similarly armour-plated opponent. On the plus side, a difficult-to-please Miki decided that she liked the coffee that JFK was serving up!

So the moment arrived, and soon we were wending our way through a labyrinth of covered walkways that were no barrier to the icy New York air.  The walkways allowed access to a number of flights, and we saw a sign with “Nashville” on pointing down a walkway to our left. Within minutes we were aboard on the first row of our Delta jet, and sometime later we enjoyed the fairytale lights of New York glittering, receding into the distance through the crystal clear night.

The final irony was that our pilot knocked 40 minutes off the flight time and we touched down in America’s country music capital some 26 hours after we got out of bed in Spain, only 5 minutes later than our original schedule promised!

All troubles forgotten, we were here in Nashville. Yee-haw!

Lonesome Kev Moore and Blind Lemon Miki

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January 14, 2010 - Posted by | Entertainment, life, New York City, travel, writing | , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. It’s probably not very nice to say I’m enjoying your travel tales a great deal – but I must admit it’s true. And I can’t wait to see the U.S. and especially The South through your eyes!

    Comment by Susan Cornelis | January 15, 2010

  2. I was tipped off about this post in your note to me that you were “settling in” to write this episode. I forwarded any emails from Cafe Crem since I subscribe to it by email to my cell phone and as soon as you hit publish I was reading it on a small screen. You can tell I have become obsessed now with your travelogue. But its a healthy obsession of course.

    What we take for granted you write with fresh eyes. This partly is what makes it interesting for me. Add to that your humor and wit and intelligence and the writing becomes transformed by your inspiration and enthusiasm.

    How ironic you arrived 5 minutes later as you say. I honestly didn’t think you were going to make it, but something happened and again and again and voila you made it.

    Say hi to Miki for me and tell her I send my best. See you tomorrow.

    Comment by Michael Pokocky | January 15, 2010

  3. Hi Susan! I’m glad you enjoy, and my writing about it is a cathartic way of getting it out of my system!

    Michael: thanks again, I have passed on your good wishes to Miki.

    Comment by kevmoore | January 16, 2010

  4. I just notice Susan’s comment seeing the USA and the South through your eyes. A poetic prediction of the piece to come God, Haiti and the Americans…

    Comment by Michael Pokocky | January 16, 2010

  5. Great stuff lonesome Kev and Blind lemon Miki! (you’ll have to explain that last one to me!) It`s a lot better travelling from North america to europe, at least in my experience…

    Comment by iondanu | January 16, 2010


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