This time, I didn’t even need to get to the airport. It started halfway down the stairs, leaving the office. Turned the corner on the landing, and the melody for “Graceland” blossomed in my mind. By the time I was on 101 northbound, I was already deep into that mystery that I’ve called “The Magic of Departures“.
Last time I went to Ghana, it didn’t happen at all. But now, now the groove had found me, and I was riding it. Wind blowing through the sunroof of Jenny’s car as we talked about plans for the coming week. She’s showing up with the rest of the team on Sunday, about when I get back from my excursion to Kpong. Breezed through security – the uncharacteristically cheerful TSA agent chatting me up about the stickers on my laptop: “Antarctica – you’ve been there? And you work for Google? Awesome!” He tells me he loves “the Street View thing” we did there, and I let him in on the secret. I feel like I’ve made his day, he’s gone a long way toward helping make mine.
Picked up some See’s lollipops for the AvTek girls – more about them later – and fired off some email to confirm the downstream parts of my rapidly-evolving travel plans.
Oh yeah: the “rapidly-evolving” part. I was supposed to be on DL701, connecting via JFK, but a lovely automated voice message late last night told me that wasn’t gonna happen. Presumably the latest weather catastrophe to hit New York had convinced Delta to preemptively cancel everything they had aimed in that general direction. But they found me a spot on some hopscotch connections via Detroit and Amsterdam, getting me into Accra about eight hours later. It meant shifting my Kpong plans to Saturday morning (don’t want to be on rural roads at night in Ghana) and finding a place to stay in town for Friday, but in the grand scheme of things? I’m blasting halfway across the planet in a pressurized metal tube – a delay of eight hours is nothing, not when you’re in the groove.
Climbed into my last-available-seat-on-the-plane and settled in for the ride. For long time Delta flyers, you’ll be pleased to know that you no longer have to endure the Frank Anderson pre-safety video where he drones on about how lucky he is to sit at the Founder’s desk. He’s clearly been getting some coaching, and the safety video itself has been updated, taking a page from Virgin Airlines. It’s not as over the top as Air New Zealand, but – I hesitate to admit – it’s actually pretty clever. There’s even a cameo by the vaguely-menacing, finger-waving flight attendant/actress from Delta videos of days gone by.
Even the in-person flight attendants seem to be having a bit of fun. Maybe it’s the new Delta (“Now with 33% more snark!”) – I kinda like it.
[Anyhow. One more thing: So, I’ve got a middle seat, but it’s 22B, and it’s only as far as Detroit – I’m in the groove, so it’s fine. Oh hey – and I was trying to find a chance to watch “Liberal Arts”, but failed to catch it in the theater, and it’s not out on disc yet. So let’s see what’s on the in-flight… oh, who would have guessed? Yeah.]
More from Amsterdam. Or Ghana. Somewhere.