skipping christmas

My Christmas this year will be spend traveling across the Pacific to the far lands of China. Just in case you care, here's a rundown of the major events on this Christmas day: 6am – Crazy cab driver My cab was supposed to pick me up at 5:45am. At 6:25am, the guy finally showed up. In LA exists a wide variety of scurrile cab drivers; the chain-smoking near toothless lady, the turbaned middle Eastern man who at no point of time stops talking on his cell phone, the Russian retiree who swears at every light, stop sign, pedestrian and vehicle; and not to forget the cheery African American fellow who drives passionately and sings loudly. Well, today I got the ex-convict. A white, bearded, 40-yr old dude who never speaks but most certainly is accent-free. This guy couldn't have been released from prison more than a week ago. I stepped into the cab, he said “Merry christmas” and off we went at 80mph down a 25mph neighborhood. I can honestly say that I have never driven that fast on a surface street. I was slightly worried that we were going to be pulled over but was rather confident that he wouldn't stop for the cops in any case. I was worried, but I also felt gratitude about his concern of me catching my flight. That was until he asked if he could stop at a Starbucks to grab a coffee. That really wasn't an option with my already ridiculous timeline. I took a gamble and denied. 2 minutes later I was at the airport. He had turned a 20-minute cab ride into a 7-minute race. 8:30am – moody lesbians I had the great pleasure to sit next to the quite possibly worldwide grumpiest lady to be ever seen on Christmas. She looked mean and she was mean. As she sat down and wished her merry Christmas, she asked whether I was going to occupy her leg space for the rest of the flight. Needless, to be said my legs didn't move and at no point did I give up control of our shared armrest. 5 minutes into the flight she asked to switch seats and is now sitting next to a couple of cool kids two rows in front of the bathroom. Needless to be said, her girlfriend (who still sits in my row and looks much more like a boyfriend) is not happy with this situation. She keeps shaking her head and managed to crumble her sausage bagel sandwich over an empty seat onto my lab. I don't care. I won. 10:30am – 3pm – darn Canadians Apparently our plane had some sort of mechanical difficulty. We were scheduled to leave at noon, then got pushed back to 1:15pm and then 2:45pm. At some point, Air Canada managed to board the place halfway and then decided to begin deboarding, without really telling anyone. Just imagine, one group of people is walking off the plane while another is walking on. In the end, everybody had to get off. 3pm – end of Christmas My flight from Vancouver was rather pain- and eventless. 13 hours of red wine and sleeping pills probably will do that to you. No crazy cranky lesbians this time. Just a Chinese PhD student named Yang. Yang studied Economics at some University in Albany, NY and was coming home to visit his parents. Yang was a pleasant seatmate at all times, easy to talk to and as straightforward as they get. He literally didn't bring a single form of entertainment on the plane (no magazines, no music, no sleeping pills) and seemed perfectly content in just looking at the back of the seat in front of him. It was a pleasant change when he accidentally tripped on of the flight attendants towards the end of the trip, which almost got him slapped. I have never seen a flight attendant so worked up about something that endangered nobody but herself. After all, isn't their duty to just keep us happy and safe? Either way, Yang never forgave himself and kept apologizing every time the lady walked by again. At some point, he actually apologized to the wrong flight attendant.