This journey felt as if it would never come until I was in the airport hugging my parents goodbye. Even then it felt like I was standing in the line for security, dumping my water, taking out my tablet, etc…just for the heck of it and when that was done I was going to head out and eat dinner at an overpriced airport restaurant with my family. Even through security it still didn’t feel quite like I was going anywhere. I am supposed to be headed off to the valley (Pioneer Valley) to go to school soon, right? To top this off I ran into an old schoolmate from my days at Pine Hill; this was not yet the real world, as much as it tried and pretended to be. I talked and schmoozed with those around me until I made it onto my flight.
My biggest fear, I suppose, when it comes to air travel is catching connecting flights. This time, however, my mind was set at ease on this note. There were so many Israelis on my flight I knew that I could just follow them. Unfortunately this left my mind open to worry about the ancient Alitalia flight that I had just boarded. You know the type of plane, inflight entertainment consisting of one screen for each section of plane (broken), controls to volume, radio and overhead light on the armrest (also broken). Most disconcerting to me, however, was a panel, about 12″x6″ by my right foot that looked as if someone had tried to kick their way out of the plane. Even though the flight attendant seemed mostly unperturbed about it when I asked (she barely looked at me as she ran off to assist someone else) the entire shaky take-off made me wonder whether or not we might loose cabin pressure, wear the yellow oxygen masks and make an emergency exit of the plane in the middle of the ocean. At least it was a nice sunny day.