Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Travel Advice

This advice applies to much more than travelling, but I see it most in that area of my life.



Old Buddhist Saying
"It's easier to ride the horse in the direction it's going."

As one who travels frequently, I could recount dozens of horror stories that the airlines have caused in my life, but I won't, because in the grand scheme of things, they are irrelevant.

One brief story I will tell you is about a weekly flight I used to take from Philadelphia to San Francisco.

Each week, this same flight was jam packed...completely filled. Also, each week, about two thirds of the way through boarding, all of the overhead compartments would be completely filled, requiring all baggage that couldn't be jammed under a seat to be "gate checked".

Since I was a frequent flier, I got to be one of the first passengers to board the plane each week, so about two thirds through each boarding process, I got my weekly entertainment of watching passengers try to get their bags on board without having to have them loaded underneath the plane. People would fuss, and connive and persuade and yell, and threaten and there was even one man who gave up his first class seat if he couldn't sit with his bag.

All to no avail. There simply wasn't room on the plane for more baggage (and yes, this happened without fail EVERY week).

So, my advice is this.

When a grounds crew member or a flight attendant or anyone else who works at the airport tells you to do something, be their friend. They are the only ones that can help you at all. Making their lives miserable will almost never get you what you want. If you're nice and cooperative, you might get what you want. The choice seems simple.

Even outside the aviation industry, I find that a three-prong approach works best:

1. Try nice first
2. Be persisten, but nice.
3. When all else fails, if you must, try anger.


Now that I'm 46, I can offer sage advice.

Knitting
I'm almost down to the ribbing on the first sleeve of the Jacob Select handspun sweater, and I haven't done any more work on the Communion Shawl.

I'm very pleased with how the Jacob sweater is going. The neck is the perfect size, exactly what I was trying to accomplish, and the top-down, set-in sleeves are looking fine.

Pictures at the end of the week.

Birthday Aftermath
Thank you all for you e-cards and kind wishes. I can only hope your friends are equally as enthusiastic on your birthdays.

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