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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Home sweet home

Huzzah! I am home!

29 fucking hours of travel. A nightmare.

First, thanks to alleged terrorists and retarded and pointless overreactions to alleged terrorists, our plane was an hour and a half late taking off from Brisbane airport, since all boarding passenger had to turn out the entire contents of their cabin luggage in the search for that most dangerous of substances, liquids. They even threw out my Sharpie. Can't have that dangerous Sharpie ink on the plane. We were then subjected to perfunctory full-body pat-downs (women in one line, men in the other) which I daresay wouldn't actually stop a terrorist who put his or her mind to it. In any case, I didn't feel any safer or less safe.

After roughly thirteen hours of flying, we arrived in LA four hours before we left and banged around for five hours waiting for our domestic flight. Something about the jetlag scrambled my brain, and I checked our luggage far too early, which of course meant that our luggage was among the last to be loaded onto the baggage claim conveyor belt in Philadelphia.

This made us miss the most convenient train into the city, which made us miss the best train to Downingtown, so we had to sit at 30th Street Station for an hour and a half waiting for the last train of the evening service.

Just as the train pulled up, a giant thunderstorm hit.

Between the first and second stops, the train came to a halt. The thunderstorm had brought trees down all over the place. We had already hit one lying on the tracks, and were now faced with another, more insurmountable tree-hurdle, which had not only blocked our way, but brought down powerlines.

I guess we were stuck between stations, unable to leave the train, without any power but the dim auxilliary lights, for about two hours. The guards finally consented to ripping out the emergency windows because of the stifling heat and the awful stench of Friday night revellers throwing up copious volumes of alcohol- and nicotine-laden vomit in the first carriage. Eagles fans fresh from a preseason game pissed into a cup in the last carriage. The folk in our cabin tried to make light of the situation, and even made some passingly amusing conversation, but it was bloody awful.

Eventually, a "rescue train" pulled up next to us, and we were herded into bright flourescent lights and sent on our way. At least I managed to finally finish The Satanic Verses on the way home.

I'm weary. But goddamnit, I can't sleep for the bloody jetlag.

And, oh dear God, there's so much to do.

I take comfort in a joyful reunion with the cats, and the blissful insomnia of blessed, blessed unlimited FiOS. Oh, internet, real internet, I've missed you so.
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