Take today, for instance. Now, keep in mind that I’m six hours into my second flight of the day, that I’ve already been awake 13 hours and need to stay up at least another 8 in an attempt to get on New York time, and that I’m listening to Swiss Airlines’ Music From the Films of Tim Burton. Which means that if this starts to sound a bit loony-bin… you have an explanation.
Where was I? Oh yes, first impressions. But before we get to that, want to see what I got for eats on the plane? Course you do! (Some of you do, anyway.)
Lorraine, you’ll be proud to know I only went to the airport one and a half hours early*. Waiting by Gate 5, I overheard an American woman talking to her two daughters…
American Woman (making sweeping movements near her own ears with curved hands): We’ll need to get your hair cut like this, because it looks like shrimp head if we don’t.
Um… okay. I, of course, immediately pulled on and zipped up my crankypants at the idea of any mother telling her daughter she has shrimp head (whatever that means). I mean, at least my mother never said anything more to me than that my cheekbones reminded her of an anemone**.
After settling into my window seat on the plane, I turned to discover that this woman and her husband were my seatmates. I considered making shrimp noises, but instead commented on the fact that we were all on the same ensuing flight from Zurich to New York. And you know what happened after that? I discovered that these people were lovely.
We had much to talk about, from the father’s travels in Australia (plus he works for NBC at the actual 30 Rock, on shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway. He says they’re considering a Top Chef Australia – I’d watch it, but I wonder how it would fare against Masterchef?), his gluten intolerance, my travels, the kids’ reading of Twilight and our mutual confusion as to the hysteria surrounding the books, all of our travels in Florence and Paris, the fact that my two days in New York will be spent doing nothing but going from grocery store to upmarket grocery store…
Ultimately, I had to let the shrimp head comment slide, because this family let me tag along with them through Zurich airport’s international transfer system, through waiting an hour to be let into the gate area, through my anxiety over being standby for this flight (I still don’t know why I was put on standby for one of four flights all booked at once), and the father even gave me some Australian music recommendations. Anyone heard of the Pigram Brothers?
The upshot of the day was that I now consider myself an honourary member of this New Yorker family, and as you’ll no doubt understand when you read the following, such membership involves an amendment to my name.
See, the four folks’ names were Kevin, Keeley, Keaton, and Khloe.
Therefore, from now on, my name is Khannah. K?
* The hotel reception man may or may not have said I only needed to be there an hour in advance. But there’s only so far a leopard can change its spots, right?
** I jest. She said kelp#.
# I jest again. And I can’t even blame Tim Burton, as I’ve change to the Beatle’s 1 album. Lady Madonna love.