Notes from the Window Seat

I took a creative writing class last semester in which my teacher always suggested bringing a notebook around with you and write down any and every observation you make. Whenever I travel, I feel like little pieces here and there go missing, so I decided to embrace the idea of writing everything down, and wrote everything down. I chose a window seat on every single flight we are taking specifically because I didn’t want to end up being that awkward girl leaning forward in her seat for eight hours in order to see out the window.

I won’t post it all up here immediately because some of it is very minor details (such as noticing our flight attendant from Detroit to Amsterdam had a voice alarmingly similar to that of Kristen Wiig’s “Target Lady” character on Saturday Night Live) not to mention I am sharing this computer with eight other people. Here are some highlights for our brief, 26-hour travel day:

  • I think every person in the Detroit airport purposefully gets to the airport late. I have never seen so many people running (which is the least graceful activity when you have a suitcase or duffel bag flopping along side of you) to and from gates. We had about 20 minutes before our next flight boarded which also required us to move at a fast pace. Usually I would try and pull off the “I’m in a huge rush, but watch how swiftly I can still walk” look but since the majority of people were running, I didn’t need to worry about looking like an idiot.
  • As an avid sunset watcher, the one I just experienced probably ranks number one on my list of best sunsets. If I had any sort of influence on the producers of the show Planet Earth, I would suggest filming an entire series from this view point. We’re somewhere between Canada and Greenland, so there’s a bright red sun, with pink and orange clouds, all behind snowy mountain peaks. It doesn’t get much better than that and I would have loved to share a picture with you all, but naturally my camera battery was dead and the thought to use the camera on my iPod did not occur to me until later in the trip as we passed over the Sahara. But isn’t that life? One moment in time truly appreciated to its fullest because it will never be able to be recreated the same way again.
  • We just went directly from sunset to sunrise. Zero nighttime. Thumbs up to a stellar view, thumbs down to the major disruption to my internal clock. For example, according to my body I just ate my breakfast at approximately one o’clock in the morning. Definitely normal.
  • Walking off the plane into the Amsterdam airport was like walking into another world. There was so much for the senses to take in: bright orange and green signs everywhere, flight attendants wearing the PanAmerican style blue suits, hundreds of people walking by speaking all kinds of different languages, and countless announcements in Dutch which kind of just sounds like fancy gibberish if you ask me. No offense.
  • Note to self: first way to feel ridiculously American in a European airport, wear tie-dye.
  • Just flew over the Sahara Desert. That’s one of those places that has only existed as an answer to a question on a Geography map test for me, so seeing it from above was slightly surreal.

At this point, I shifted into zombie status due to the lack of following natural sleep patterns, but I did manage to write “say something creative about sleeping on planes.” Something creative about sleeping on planes. Moving on to the highlight of the travel day:


Keep on keeping’ on,


Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” -Walker Evans


2 thoughts on “Notes from the Window Seat

  1. I love posts about the flight experience. That sunset/sunrise thing is the most confusing thing I think you can experience on a flight, but it’s such a crazy and awesome thing to see. Also, that last quote is gold. Great post 🙂

  2. I quite literally just laughed out loud at your tie-dye American comment. Hope you had/have/are having a great time! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

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