SFO to PHL to DUB to LHR and Children that Scream on the Plane

After playing the frat party drinking game of licking all the dirty red Solo cups until you have someone else’s virus, I came down with a case of mono during dead week and finals week. Other than falling asleep every thirty minutes while trying to study, things went alright and I got through the week feeling substantially recovered. Just in case you were wondering:

Cup of Noodles consumed: 4 cups
Chocolate Pudding consumed: 4 cups
Orange Jell-O: 8 cups
Orange juice: 2 cartons
Netflix: 37 hours

You might notice that this post has a sudden change of pace from my first two. Perhaps not surprisingly, the last two posts consisted of mostly fictitious happenings, for my own amusement as I flew back and forth between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Not to worry, though. My posts will likely vary in tone, completely at random.


After 3 finals and wearing the same Christmas cat shirt for 48 hours straight, the solar car team still had work to do before we headed off to the UK to visit the Williams F1 team the next morning. I took a two hour nap from 3:15 AM to 4:52 AM, at which time Darren called me up and told me it was time to do more work. At 7 AM, my teammate Max and I boarded our SuperShuttle and endured an hour of picking up the other passengers. “George? George??? Where are you???” demanded our angry Russian driver, who did not believe in the gradual application of the brakes. Max and I had bets that George had woken up drunk in the wrong bed that morning, but it turns out George was a self-respecting student who just walked really slowly.

We arrived at the US Airways terminal and I realized I’d forgotten to print my boarding pass. I’d tried the night before, but the shop printer spat out 20 pages of wingdings instead of my boarding pass so I’d called it quits.

Exhausted and delirious, we first wandered to the wrong security gate because “I was following YOU” and then got adopted by a Malaysian family in the extra speed line through security when the security guy asked “Are you together?” and I automatically answered “YES” and blundered down the extra speed line with our new Malaysian relatives. Max and I decided that we would blunder for the rest of the day, and blunder blunder blunder straight to London.

Max tried to order pizza for breakfast but the cashier kindly told him that it was, in fact, 9 AM so he got a burger and French fries instead.

For the first leg of the flight, from San Francisco to Philadelphia, an oversized toddler sat behind me in his mom’s lap and kicked the back of my seat for four hours straight. Another child, sitting just across the row, had a lot of energy, kind of like my dog Taz (follow him on Tumblr: iamthetaz.tumblr.com), so his dad frequently stood up in the aisle and let his kid run up and down until he got it out of his system. It reminded me of my dog Taz when he chases the red laser light up and down the hallways in my house. The only difference is that we all enjoy Taz’s energy a lot more than we enjoyed this child’s.

Continuing with the dog similes, as we were starting to land, the oversized toddler and the other child started screaming back and forth, like when two dogs are barking at each other from their respective backyards.

Now I’m on my flight from Philadelphia to Dublin – we have one more leg from Dublin to Heathrow after that. (Cheap flights.) The last time I took an international flight was to Iceland. On that flight, I sat next to a Korean woman who turned around repeatedly to give her husband, who was sitting behind her, some very strongly smelling ethnic food. It was a cramped flight and I got unintentionally elbowed in the face by that woman a few times.

I realized three hours into this flight that it’s a lot cushier on this plane than it is on your average ecobus. The seats practically recline back into the lap of the person sitting behind you and they’re a bit wider than I’m used to. I woke up from a nap to a surly flight attendant demanding “CHICKEN OR PASTA?” which is not the worst thing to wake up to. Caught off guard, I shouted back “PASTA!!” and then a bowl of tortellini, a brownie, and a salad appeared in front of me. I ignored the salad and ate the rest, noting that the tortellini tasted distinctly like it’d been through a microwave.

Today started at 8 AM Friday morning when I woke up to go take my final, and it’s just been a long stream of short naps since then. I anticipate that my day will finally end in Grove, Oxfordshire Sunday night, having had 5 two-hour naps, 7 meals, and a glass of wine at 9 AM in Dublin.


Near Dublin

One thought on “SFO to PHL to DUB to LHR and Children that Scream on the Plane

  1. That experience must have been horrible at some points… Flying Coach can be a really bad experience sometimes. I hope you at least had a good night sleep 🙂


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