Saturday, September 12, 2009

Airplane Knitting.

Stork's Nest Scarf

Storks nests aren't covered in Audubon's survey. Figured the lace pattern inspired by their nests looked good against the book cover art anyway. The scarf's being worked in Green Mountain Spinnery's Sylvan Spirit, color Antique Brass.

When I fly, I generally plan for little if any human interaction. There's so much technology available on planes nowadays for shutting one's neighbor's out. (Doesn't help matters that am pretty painfully shy; shy to the point of looking rude.)

For the last trip, packed two sink-one's-teeth-into lace patterns and a couple of books I've really been savoring lately. Didn't make much headway into anything, as both flights were filled with much more social interaction than I'd have expected.

Was a bit surprised to see a familiar face in the security line at Logan: turned out that an old friend from school was heading out to wherever his company outsources their manoeuvre to nowadays. Since it was a jam-packed 747, about the only place we could go to catch up on things was in one of the emergency exit doorways in front of a toilet. Somehow we managed during our chat to not annoy anyone too much (I hope) and to not get cricks in our backs from standing hunched over for as long as we did.

Returned to my seat to the gentleman next to me rousing from a nap. "You're getting home late. Where were you all this time, Young Lady?" Told him that I ran into someone I'd not seen in like 15 years. He expressed (complimentary) surprise that I'd be old enough to know someone for that length of time. His wife, the graceful, egret-looking French lady next to him, laughed.

Over the course of the rest of the flight, learned an awful lot about them: where they worked, where they lived. How they met,* why they chose Boston for settling down, why they went back to France every year, etc. The lady seemed fascinated with what I was knitting, so showed her the pattern and talked about the yarn I was using, which came from a mill in Vermont. (Later learned that she had more than just a passing interest in Rudolf Steiner's educational theory; knitting's a major component of the curriculum.)

Of course, given that this was an Air France flight, we talked about the two downed planes earlier in the Summer. That led to talk about 9/11: they'd actually flown one of the first AA flights out of Logan after the attacks; said that it was a strange, but generally positive (and surprisingly spiritual) experience. Talked about air rage**, fears of stuff falling from the sky, our worries about the world in general. The news was just coming out about one of the Lockerbie bombers being freed soon, something no one was happy about.

Made it to our destination early, though had a fair wait in immigration due to something like six other planes arriving from different parts of Africa. Got to introduce my new friends to the Frenchie, who offered them a ride to their hotel. Turned out that they were going in exactly the opposite direction from us, so said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.


* The Frenchie, who's a 68er himself in spite of his denials, told me that how they met is a classic scenario for that generation.

** Over the past six flights, have seen three particularly pointed incidents, all with European males losing their tempers. The Frenchie tells me that American airlines have a bad reputation in the French papers for their tough approach to these situations. I don't like to make sweeping generalizations on these sorts of things, but am not so sure that cause-and-effect or an understanding that the world outside one's day-to-day might be different from what one is accustomed to are particularly valued/nurtured in this part of the world.

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