Tuesday, February 10, 2009

taking off

iPhone photo of SAS in-flight shopping catalog

despite the fact that i have, for years, now, thought known that i will die in a plane crash (a statement that makes people very, very nervous when you utter it calmly and matter-of-factly), i love to fly. i adore it. it gives me a rush and a high.  sitting on the runway, catching a glimpse of the shadow of the plane, i feel a flutter of good excitement in my chest:

just thinking about how incredible it is that such a large hunk of metal can be airborne. the moment where it's our turn and the plane pivots into position at the end of the runway.

you can almost feel the whole plane taking a deep breath and getting ready for the rush of speed that will  lift it off the ground. and then, the blissful rush of speed. and lift and the sight of the ground moving away beneath us. the feel and the sound of the landing gear tucking up into place in the belly of the plane (unless you're on one of those Dash 8-400s (note: never name a plane something that rhymes with crash) planes that SAS sold off to Philippine Airlines, the landing gear not so reliable on those, naughty design, you Bombadier people. however, i digress). the climb up to cruising altitude.  i love it all.

i love seeing the ground recede. i love catching a glimpse of sunshine glistening on the wing. i love bursting through to the quiet, clear skies above the clouds (which almost always happens in leaving copenhagen, since it's ALWAYS cloudy).

i have more affection for taking off than for landing. i think it's because i'm always a little disappointed that we're landing already, especially on the short flight from oslo to copenhagen, which i will be taking more frequently again, since i'm starting a new job up there. with the same company as i worked for last year, but in a different position and this time as a "real" employee, rather than a consultant. and despite the GEC and CO2, i will be flying quite a lot, not only to work, since i live in a different country than my workplace, but also to all sorts of exciting destinations to interview people and gather stories. so i have lots of take-offs and landings to look forward to. and i think it only hit me yesterday, when i flew for the first time in nearly two months, how much i crave that take-off rush. i hope i never get tired of it.

maybe i was a bird in my last life.


Amanda said...

Phew, I thought it was odd that I loved flying. Being a rather small person, the plane isn't "too small" for me like it is for Todd. I enjoy the window seat. Airplane air makes me sleepy. Flying once a month lately has been kins of a secret joy for me.

Char said...

I love flying too...it's just so freeing.

Bee said...

I hate to fly, but it is good that you love it -- particularly since you will have to do lots of it!

I have the same creeping feeling of dying in a car that you have of going in a plane.

Barb said...

That was a great description. I haven't flown a lot, but I too love that feeling when the plane turns to speed up and take off. Exciting. I actually felt like I was taking off with you. Barb

Delena said...

I used to like flying until my husband brainwashed me with plane crash horror stories. He is absolutely terrified to fly because he can't fly the damm thing himself. It's all about control, if he is not in the driver's seat then he just can't go there. We drive home at Christmas from Yuma to Alberta on icy treachous roads rather than go on a plane that would take 3 hours.
He proved this "control thing" to me when he actually had 4 panic attacks on a bus tour from Yuma to Laughlin last year. He wasn't the driver and this drove him into a cold sweat. Everywhere we go with friends if he is not the driver than we don't go. Thanks god everyone knows him and just lets him drive. He explains that he has to be responsible for his own destiny... I asked one time if we could go to Hawaii and he said "As soon as they build a road". !

will said...

If God had intended humans to fly, the cost for a ticket would be far less - and there would be more leg room and better inflight meals.

tangobaby said...

Okay, no more plane crash talk! I know you are a very brave and adventurous girl but we all need you to live to a ripe old age!

I can't wait to hear about all of your takeoff rushes and safe landings, and even the crappy airline food, if you want. I love all of your adventures. Congratulations on your job!