Love & Light and everything bright...

Altzar

A dual purpose mission - Updated Mar 8, 2012

Helping Create Peace & Harmony in Europe

Part one: Creating peace & harmony among mankind; Part two: Creating peace and harmony between mankind and Mother Earth

 

FROM THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS

 

click on thumbnail images to enlarge)

 

An Epilogue to a dual purpose mission to help create peace and harmony in Europe

Sprinting Through Chicago O'Hare Like a Hare (or "OJ")

Time gets elongated on 27-hour trip within 38-hour day; hassles of airline travel

HAIKU, Maui, Mar 8, 2012 - When you travel 9,000 miles across two of the world's biggest oceans and over three continents,  everything gets elongated, including time.  A normal 24-hour day gets stretched into 38 hours.  Even the trip itself - from my hotel in The Hague to our home on Maui - lasted longer than a normal day. Door-to-door it took 27 hours. 

But there were some parts of it where time got compressed.  That would be in the Windy City - Chicago.  I barely made it to my next flight to Los Angeles.  Here's how I described what happened in an email to Elizabeth sent from LAX:

Hi, mi Chiquitita. I've made it to LA!  Yeah!

Thank you for the report and the pictures of our rushing Namaka Creek in the gulch (see below).  How exciting.  Can't wait to see it for myself.  But what I can't wait to see even more is YOU!  Only one more flight.  And it looks to be on time so far. 

  (photos Elizabeth took with her cell phone camera and uploaded to me)

This time, I did not have to do the "OJ Simpson" at LAX as I did in Chicago. It was quite stressful even for someone who does not stress out very easily.  I knew that if I had missed that flight to LA, it would mean at least another day's delay.  And I am sure you will agree you and I have had enough delays already on this trip.

As it turns out, we landed and disembarked at the farthest possible terminal at O'Hare from the one from which my LA flight was due to depart (Terminal 5 to Terminal 1 - 2.6 miles or nearly 6 km - see the map).  But even that did not delay me as much as having to go through security again at the domestic terminal.  The lines were long and there was only person inspecting the docs at the Priority Lane. Hate to think what it was like in the regular lanes. 

In the end, I asked one Asian-looking person if he would let me cut in the line so I would not miss the flight. The jerk said I should first ask all other people behind him.  So I told him what I thought of him - "Mr Nice Guy."  Later on, another man who looked like an American businessman and spoke with a New York accent did let me cut in.  "Knock yourself out," he said smiling.

All other passengers behind him smiled and also nodded appreciatively. So I thanked them, too.  

Still, with all these delays after I got out of security there was only 5 mins left before departure. And then I discovered that my flight was departing from yet another terminal to which I had to walk. Or sprint, as it were, up and down escalators and the across a wide tarmac (underground - see the "Sprinting" red line on the map).  It was Gatwick all over only worse because I had such a tight deadline.

By the time I made it to the departure gate, they were closing the doors. I squeezed through literally the way one does just before an elevator door closes.  They closed and locked the door, in fact, as soon as I got through.  I was the last passenger to get into the jetway.  That's how close I came to missing the flight.

In hindsight, I blame the people at The Hague Court who organized this journey. They are supposed to be travel organizing experts.  Knowing how big the Chicago airport is and how the customer and immigration works, not to mention the dreaded TSA security, if I had made the arrangements, I would have never booked the flights so close together (about 1.5 hours).  The strong head winds over the Atlantic didn't help much, either as we were about half an hour later arriving.  Which left only an hour to navigate all these hurdles.

So overall, I consider it a small miracle that I am here in LA and about to board the next flight to Maui and to you.

Guess my Spirit guides must have thought I needed some exercise today.  But what the point of the added stress was, I don't know. Maybe to see if I can handle it?  Well, for what it's worth, I can, as you and they have seen.  But I'd rather not have to.

Anyway, I should be shortly on my way to you.

[snip]

One more thing I forgot to mention, when I finally got aboard that flight to LA, my lungs were so agitated that I kept coughing for a goodly 10-15 mins trying to clear them.  And I "never" cough, as you know.

So if anyone tells you that overseas travel is fun or glamorous, tell him or her they should see a shrink.  Even in first or business class, airline travel is one giant pain in the butt, both literally and figuratively.  And if the Spirit realm have not asked me to undertake these two European missions, never in a million years would I have done it on my own.  I am not a masochist.  So for the last two years running, my number one New Year's resolution has been to travel LESS.

[The Light Beings have told me afterward that my guides and teachers laughed when they heard that.  So much for who is in charge of my life. (Evidently not me).]  :-)

Maybe I feel that way because I remember the times when global travel was enjoyable. (Not the jet lag; that never was).  Frank Sinatra even made airline travel seem glamorous in his songs. But those times are long gone.

As a reminisced today about it during my long flight to LA, I recalled also having to run through the Dallas airport to try to make a connecting flight to Phoenix after my American Airlines incoming flight from London was late.  The only thing missing from that episode relative to Chicago today was the TSA security.  It was the 1980s. The TSA, of course, is a big part of the change for the worse.  But not just TSA.  The airlines' attitude, too.  The crews nowadays treat the passengers by and large not as valuable customers (except in their PA announcements), but more like school children who need to be disciplined condescendingly. 

Anyway, back to Dallas in the 1980s, I made it to the gate just as the DC-10 was being pushed back. I was outraged. Like today, I had a first class ticket. And it was the airline's fault that I was late and had to run to the connecting gate.  And then they had the audacity to leave.  For some of you who may have forgotten the "good old times," back then, the airlines used to wait a reasonable amount of time for delayed passengers.  Other passengers accepted it as commony courtesy - part of the normal service and airline etiquette. Everybody realized that they would not want to be left behind, either, on another flight.

Well, I made a little fuss with the ground crew at the Dallas gate.  Okay, truth be told, I made a big fuss.  So what happened?  I know what you're thinking.  I was arrested.  Indeed, that's probably what would happen today.  Instead, the ground crew talked to the captain and he brought the the big DC-10 back to the gate.  Then they all sheepishly admitted that they had sold my seat to a stand-by who was promptly escorted off that aircraft to board the next flight. I also got apologies from everyone on board as well as the ground crew.

Now that, ladies and gentleman, was airline service.  Now service is but a nostalgic memory. Passengers are herded like cattle both by the TSA staff and the airlines and then treated like school children after they board.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Want to know what a silver lining is?  The British security staff are even worse than our TSA.  I could write separate stories about that. But I'll spare you. I am tired. And you probably are, too.  So just take my word for it and avoid the British airports if at all possible.  In my case, it isn't.  I've got a daughter and four grandchildren there.

I felt I should share these stories with you just in case some of you may feel deprived of, or are pining to do more, long distance airline travel. Don't.

* * *

Photo Album from Return Trip (Mar 8)

Here is an interesting story my Dutch driver shared with me about the Amsterdam airport's name:

The name of the Amsterdam airport is Schipol. I asked him if the word meant something. He said that "Schip" means a "ship" in Dutch. And "ol" is "hell."  So in translation, it would be "ship's hell."

At a first blush, that may be a strange name for an airport. But the Netherlands is an old country.  About half of it below sea level. Centuries ago, the Dutch had built a series of dikes that blocked off the North Sea and then filled the shallow ocean bottom with dirt and sand from other place to create new land. As a result, about a third of Holland today is under the sea level. The Schipol airport, for example, is 21 feet under the sea level. It was once a port where many ships had sunk.  Thus the name "ship's hell."

Isn't that an interesting story?  How would you like to be taking off and landing at a Ship's Hell all the time? :-)

Four different shots of the Full Moon on Mar 8 during my flight from LA to Maui taken with different camera settings.

THE END OF EUROPE 2012 TRAVELOGUE

Europe 2012 TOC    

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