Friday, December 30, 2011

Spain 4: The French optimize inefficiency


Once you have made it through the nightmare that is security and that should cause a new French Revolution, go to the gate in F terminal. Wait in line. Wait for ten minutes with the line moving slowly, then wait ten more minutes with the line not moving at all. Wait for the new bus to arrive.

Yes, the bus. The bus is going to take you to your plane. Even though you are at a gate with a jetbridge, you are not going to get on the plane from that jetbridge. No, you are going to wait in line for the bus, then walk down the F terminal jetbridge to the very end, where you will descend two flights of stairs, walk past the young woman wearing her ground crew yellow vest who is busy smacking chewing gum and texting on her pink phone, and board the bus.

Stand near the back of the bus so nobody will have to push past you.

Move repeatedly as people shove past you. Move because you will actually make eye contact with people, unlike the man who is standing in the middle of the aisle and blocking passage with both his body and the huge red bag he has slung over his shoulder. Move as the guy makes eye contact with SH and uses the Latin America Lip Point to indicate his destination.

The secret is not to make eye contact. That's how the sidewalks work as well. The person who has acknowledged the presence of the oncoming person is the one who has to move, even if the oncoming person is way on the wrong side of the sidewalk. The secret is to look down and keep moving.

Wait and wait and wait for the very last person to board the bus, which will happen five minutes after the plane was supposed to have departed.

Drive for seven minutes to the E terminal, winding through other planes and jetbridges.

Get off the bus. Climb up two flights of stairs to the E terminal jetbridge. Walk down the jetbridge to the plane.

Converse with the flight attendant:

Me: Why is the plane at the E terminal? Why do we have to take the bus from F to E?

FA: Because the Spain flights leave from the F terminal.

Me: Then why isn’t the plane at the F terminal?

FA: Because this plane just came from London and the London flights arrive at the E terminal.

SH: And this way, there is a job for a bus driver.

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