In charge but not in control

The first thing I did this morning was to return to the gym and get back on the treadmill. It was a horrible experience. I’d had less than six hours sleep and my body was in ruins from all the cheese I’d forced it to digest overnight. My legs, my head, my heart: none of them seemed to be working correctly. I did just over ten minutes before I packed it in, happy that I had done at least something to get the blood flowing around my veins.

I got back to my room and packed while watching dreadful television. The morning show on a national network had decided the best way to explain to viewers about the weather was to have some presenter drive around on wet snowy roads, saying how dangerous it was. It didn’t look very dangerous out there; if it was, it was unclear that the sum of human knowledge was being increased by having somebody drive to New England while yelling at a camera in their car.

I had forgotten that last night I bought a box of berries from Whole Food and stored them in the minibar. So it was with great glee that I rediscovered them and had a decent healthy breakfast that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Down to my last five dollars in cash, I went downstairs, checked out and hopped in a cab.

My driver went on and on, all the way to JFK, about his technological prowess. I wanted to interrupt his stories about administering servers and having his own (vaguely illegal-sounding) petrol powered generator in his apartment, and ask why he was driving a cab, but as ever, you try to avoid irritating people in charge of several tonnes of speeding metal that you’re strapped inside.

“In charge”, I say. Not necessarily “in control”. In between snorting on a bottle of decongestant and gesticulating with both hands, he didn’t seem to be too focussed on the driving component of his job. It wasn’t like there was ice and snow everywhere and poor visibility, was it?

Still, apart from the bit where he stopped rambling on about operating systems and RAID arrays and battery back up power supplies, and cried out “Oh shit!” as we almost ploughed into the back of a taxi broken down in the fast lane, it was a quite uneventful journey to the airport. When we got there, my bank had cancelled one of my credit cards, which is always fun when you have no cash and you’re in a foreign country, but I managed to pay with my debit card and then trudge inside the terminal with my luggage.

Because I’ve got Gold status with Delta, at JFK I have my own check-in area, but then I had to go through normal security screening. This is a bit cruel: you get used to being pampered and pretending you’re better than the rest of the world just because you happen to fly more frequently, and then you’re plunged back into normality again and lose that sense of privilege. Still, after that I could get into the posh Delta lounge and eat bagels until it was time to fly.

Again, I correct myself. Until it was time to board the plane. We’ve been sat waiting for almost an hour now beyond the scheduled departure time, with no indication of when that flight will come. Only thirteen and a half hours to Tokyo; I hope and pray I don’t get sick this time around.

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