Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.

Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.
Image by Cameron Lyall, GNU license Wikimedia

17 June 2011

Kate's Travel Experience to Scotland (not that exciting)

I left for Scotland on a warm Indiana summer day. I woke up around 8, got my things together and my family into the car. My flight left from Chicago so after I was dropped off my family went to the Sears Tower to see the new Skydeck. I’ve been flying since I was a baby and I’ve been flying by myself since my younger teen years so it was routine as soon as I got out of the car.
I checked in at the ticket machine. I checked in my duffel bag after getting my tickets, something I usually don’t do but it wasn’t like I hadn’t done it before. The bag man wasn’t very nice but he got the job done. After that I made my way to security. The guy behind me shared the slight curiosity that I had over the body scanners. He must have been an experienced traveler also because I didn’t really care about someone seeing my body like that. I find the process of airports to be relaxing, I love flying and I love airports so it’s always a treat when I get to travel.
My plane ride was nice and boring, just the way it should be. I arrived in Newark and wandered around for a long time because I had a two hour layover. I had never been to Newark Int’l airport before and it was probably the worst one I’ve ever been to. It was so disorganized. I had to call everyone to let them know I was ok and that my flights were all on schedule.
I grabbed some food and looked for a place to charge my phone which was about to die from people calling and texting me. It took me forever but I finally spotted an obscure pole marked as a charging station. I plugged in and stood for a bit because it was squished in between two rows of seats. One of the other people left so finally I was able to sit down. Other people had the same problem I did finding a place to plug in and soon a family walked up and tried to plug in too. The father asked me a question that made it even more annoying to have them there too, “Is this (a coffee cup) your trash miss and would you like to throw it away, yeah?” I said no and they stopped trying to pressure me out of my seat.
We taxied on the tarmac for fifteen minutes because of a weather delay in an unknown part of the path we were originally going to take. Luckily there was no one between the woman and I who shared the three seats on our 777. Like always I couldn’t really sleep on the plane so I watched parts of the movie selections available and watched our plane slowly move along its new path. I read de Botton on both of my flights and finished it early on my second.
After the pilot announced that we would be landing, my favorite part of flying, my stomach did a somersault. I was going to another country. By myself. The anxiety subsided as soon as we got off the plane however. Glasgow airport was in fact the worst airport I’ve ever been to. They were doing construction I’m guessing because their flow system was nonexistent. Customs was easy, finding a bathroom was impossible.  I was able to find the bus I needed to take and the driver got frustrated at me for holding up the line. I got off at my stop with a few of the suits that had filled the bus with me. I checked in at the counter and waited for my train. Observing the seasoned train riders I was able to figure out what I needed to do. On the train I met some nice people who were on their way to a teaching convention. One of the retired teachers happened to know a professor at Purdue so it was nice to find a connection so soon into my trip. 
After arriving in Dundee I found a taxi. The driver was impossible to understand but he did get me to my flats and he was able to direct me to where I needed to check in. Being the first person to arrive, I suppose this post should have come sooner. After entering my room and settling in a little, I skyped with Salvo to let him know I was here and what I should do next. After a short nap, everyone slowly filtered in and now we’re all here.

1 comment:

salvo said...


I posted the class blog URL on a discussion list for new media scholars. Sushil Oswalt of the University of Washington asked me to post this on his behalf:

Hi Kate, glad to read that you can connect navigational history to technology, discovery (Science) and pirates.

Besides being a Tech Comm. Prof., . I'm also a Postcolonialist. One of my students just this last quarter research Scotland while she was studying a historical novel, Sugar and Slate by Charlotte Williams--an author born in Scotland and of West Indian-Scottish heritage. The novel deals with this woman's father's life--an ex-West Indian slave, and his missionary journeys to Africa from Scotland representing the White British Christianity. The story becomes more interesting when you realize that Scotland itself is a colony of England even to this day.

I wonder if you are coming across any navigational history connected to the role of Dundee in Britain's colonization expeditions to Africa. Any ships leaving from there to any of the colonies? Anything about the role Scots played in the whole commercial enterprise? Any connections with slavery or missionary activity? Will be very eager to read what you find out...


University of Washington