6/17/2012 4:30 AM (NZ Time)
I successfully boarded the flight to New Zealand after a tumultuous connecting flight. The flight from Houston to LA touched down at 8:45 PM and I needed to board the 10:30 PM flight to Auckland. Seemed like a realistic task…After the typical jostling and waiting characterizing the de-boarding process, I finally escaped the congested, claustrophobic aircraft around 9 pm. I exited the security area and made the poor choice of hopping on an inefficient bus shuttle headed for the international terminal. After crawling at a speed close to a slow walk and a few panicked phone calls/texts with my older brother/travel partner, I made it to the security checkpoint at 10 pm. Yes, you read that right, 10 pm. The bus ride, over which we traveled a little more than half a mile, took an hour! Luckily, I was able to quickly slide through security and barely make the flight. Houston Bush Intercontinental>LAX.
The plane flight was long, but not uncomfortable. It’s rare to be free to think about, watch, read, or listen to anything you want. Thousands of feet above the vast Pacific Ocean is about as close to untouchable as one can get. This is solely in the metaphorical sense, as you’re never less than a few inches away from the next passenger. The near cuddling with a complete stranger juxtaposed by the complete mental separation is a unique experience. Thoughts are completely one’s own and other passengers’ thoughts are inaccessible. Comforting. Makes you wonder if people move to large cities in order to replicate this crowded solitude…Flight attendant says it’s time for our final descent into Auckland—excited.