I’m on the flight to Seoul, South Korea. Also on board are Chris Tremonte, and the 2008 Collegiate US Champion, Steve Sexton. I tried taking some all natural sleeping aids for the flight, but was only able to stay asleep for a few hours. Not enough to get me through the 12 hour flight, and I still have over five more hours, having already walked around, brushed my teeth three times (free toothbrushes in the bathrooms), finished the chicken wrap I packed, and watched Merry Poppins all the way through.
I learned how to say "yes", "no" "please" "thank you" and "hello" in Korean, which came in very handy when I was checking in. Ok, not really, but the lady at the counter thought I was cute trying to say hello and thank you while she filled out the paperwork for my bike.
I thought I had finally outlasted Klepto the Crow in our ongoing battle over food, but he returned this morning to find a fruit cobbler cooling on the front porch. My mom had woken early and baked me a fruit cobbler for the trip. In the past, Klepto and I have fought over Clif Shot and Clif Bars, and the fights have been solo, mono a rapto. This time, Klepto was in a losing battle. My mom was not about to let him snatch up a single blueberry. Mid-sentence she bolted for the door yelling, "NO, NOT THE CROW!" and waving kitchen implements in Klepto’s direction as she charged. Klepto may be back, but he’ll think twice before he goes after mother’s cobbler.
We’ve been on this flight for almost nine hours now. About an hour ago I got up to use the bathroom and stretch and saw the Chris had also woken from his nap. We went to a large empty space by the exit bulkhead and started talking when we heard a loud thump and a woman screaming. At first I didn’t know where it was coming from and made some joke about a goblin on the wing. A few minutes later Steve joined us, and there was another scream, this time louder and longer. This was not just a yell, this was the scream of a tortured soul. I finally identified the source, a young woman being consoled by her friend, tears streaming down her face, hyperventilating… something was obviously very wrong. I guessed that she had only recently realized that she had forgotten Macaulay Culkin at home.
We tried to ignore it, and continued to talk about how Vista sucks and Chris works for Microsoft so he should care what we think. (Turns out the company gives employees cards good for free tech support just so he can deal with these situations). The screaming kept getting worse. At one point a guy opened the bathroom door to come out, heard the screaming, rolled his eyes and went back into the bathroom, locking the door behind him.
A few more minutes passed and the screaming kept getting worse, until a group of three or four flight attendants approached the three of us. Apparently the woman screaming thought that we were standing there talking about her, which was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. We relocated to the front of the plane and debated the mental status of a woman that none of us would have notice had she not started screaming in terror.
I’m now in the Lexington Hotel, sharing a room with Chris. He filled me in on the rest of the crazy lady story. Apparently while I was watching 27 dresses he and Steve had met up in the back of the plane to talk again. The two were debating what would happen if they were to jump from a plane at 35,000 feet when he screamer approached them and asked if they were talking about her because she was pregnant. "No we were talking about jumping out of the plane," was out of Steve’s mouth before he really thought about it. Luckily, that seemed like a sufficient answer and she left them alone the rest of the flight. 27 dresses was way less entertaining.
Here’s a picture of the course we’re racing on Sunday. Lots of turns, which should be fun. (click for a bigger version)