Wherein I regain my optimism

(Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport)–Obviously yesterday did not go as planned.

A combination of bad weather, a broken plane, and Delta Airlines being Delta airlines meant I never left the ground yesterday. Rather, I spent about half the day at my home airport and then went home to sulk. I am even uglier when I sulk.

I woke up this morning in no better mood. See, once I finally make it to Buenos Aires, I have to go another domestic airport and take a puddle jumper down to Mar del Plata. That is, that was the plan until yesterday went belly up. Now, the same flight, the only flight on Wednesday, is fully booked (presumably with well-heeled degenerate poker players). That leaves two choices. I can either hop on a train or hop on a bus for the six-hour journey. Based on everything I read this morning, the bus is actually the better option.

I have a contractor at my house this week. I told him of my plan.

“Is it going to be one of those rickety buses with the suitcases all strapped on top and people hanging out the windows?” he asked.

Upon boarding my plane to the ATL, I discovered that my 160 gig behemoth of an iPod had been running all night and had run down to zero. To say I’m not looking forward to the next 19 hours would be putting it nicely. That said, I declared 2009 the year of capital “O” Optimism. So, here we find a silver lining.

I sit in the E Concourse, perhaps the finest international terminal in the U.S. How so? Well, within minutes of my arrival, I’d purchased 900 Argentinian pesos from a very friendly girl, picked up a strawberry smoothie from another friendly girl, and found a convenient charging station for the iPod. I sit in a very breezy food court with elevated bars that come complete with multiple electrical outlets. I am not cramped, the people are smiling, and–I kid you not–there is a guy whipping out some pretty tight jazz on a black baby grand. The internet in this concourse is free and, should I choose to have a drink before my 8:30pm flight, there are two very nice bars within steps of where I’m seated. Take everything you have ever thought about an airport and reverse it. That is the E Concourse in Atlanta.

Of course, I’ve traveled through this airport and concourse before. Every time before, I thought I was just giving the place too much credit. Now, as it has completely reversed my mood, I am prepared to say it is a font of optimism. Hell, a pilot just walked by with a violin. Again, I’m not kidding.

Now, all of this might seem a little bit forced if I didn’t admit to one final thing. See, yesterday when Delta bent me over, they did offer a little make good. As the gate agent was informing me of my re-booking, her face scrunched up.

“Well, that doesn’t look right,” she said.

She told me.

“Somebody must have made a mistake,” she said.

“Well, don’t change it!” I begged.

“I won’t,” she said, “but don’t expect it to be that way tomorrow.”

Now ticketed, checked in, and holding my boarding pass, I assume nothing will change. I can only assume Optimism is a lot easier when one is riding in style.


Next stop, Buenos Aires.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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7 Responses

  1. emme says:

    That’s the way to turn it around! Good lesson for me today.

  2. Pauly says:

    Don’t forget to bring an international power adapter!

  3. Pauly says:

    Oh and by the way… we were both on the same vibe… while you penned this post, I was scribbling down something on Tao of Pauly about “the bus”….

    I could only imagine what a bus ride in South America would be like… chickens flying around, crying babies with snot crusted on their face, holes in the floorboards with dust swirling all around. not to mention, a gaucho with a blade in the backrow challenging anyone who wanted to use the toilet to a fight to the death. So instead of riding on a dilapidated bus without AC while sitting in my own warm piss, I decided to avoid a scene out of a Jose Luis Borges short story and I paid money out of my pocket for a flight to Mar del Plata to avoid the plight with the unwashed masses.

  4. change100 says:

    Oh man… business class. I think you need to use your PokerStars Blog “One Time” chip.


  5. rj says:

    NOTHING is finer than international business class. Enjoy that fully reclining seat, and not being able to kick the seat in front of you. That rules.

  6. Uncle Ted says:

    They call it IRROPS. I call it EPIC WIN.

  7. Da Goddess says:

    Lucky! And I’ll continue to pray your luck only improves.