April 6, 2014

It is hard not to compare every aspect of this trip to Iceland/France with my last trip to Iceland/France. Large institutions like airports don’t change very much in two years. Coming up the escalator into the S-Gates in SeaTac, I spied the power outlet and row of chairs I utilized to pass the three hour delay due to the broken plane from my last trip. The seats were just as empty today as it was two years ago.

But my life these past two years haven’t been static like that row of dusty airport chairs. New job. New apartment. Alex and I have gone from measuring our relationship length from the number of dates we went on, to now counting the number of years we have been together.

Two years ago, the beers and the food were on the house on our flight to Iceland. A small benefit for the three-hour purgatory I suffered in the sun soaked window waiting for our new plane to arrive. This time, I paid 1000 Icelandic Krona for the same underwhelming ham and cheese sandwich (I remembered it being better; does food taste better when it is unexpectedly free?).

I emailed Fatima a few weeks ago and asked her first, if she remembered me and second, to see if she would be traveling near any of the places Alex and I would be. Fatima did remember me. But she wasn’t going to be near us.

Three hours into our flight, a flight attendant tapped the shoulder of the man sitting next to the window in our row. She asked him if he was traveling alone. He nodded yes. She asked him if he would like to move up into Saga Class (where I was upgraded into on my unexpected detour flight to Frankfurt two years ago) to give us all a little more room. His movie was still playing while he shimmied out of our row with all of his stuff.

According to the map we are currently over the western shore of Greenland. Less than two hours before we touch down. When we land in Iceland, I will be 32. I have never turned a year older on a plane. But then again these last two years have been filled with unexpected new experiences. Why not add another one?


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