Lundi, 20 Sept.

OK, so I’m stuck at the airport.

In a cruel twist of aeronautical fate, my beloved 747 has developed what the flight crew will only identify as an “electrical problem”. I don’t care what anybody says about alarming passengers, I want to know what that is. I can’t stand to watch anyone work on anything without havng some idea of what they’re doing.

The cabin is crawling with mechanics, which makes things even worse because they have all kinds of cool tools with them.

Here’s a few neat things I’ve learned about my plane so far:

  1. Apparently 747s just sort of snap together. As far as I can tell, any part of this airplane can be remove by jamming a small piece of wire into one of several billion little holes. To reassemble, you just push things together until you hear a click.
  2. Guess what, when you’re on the ground, you get air and light from something called an “Auxiliary Power Unit” or “APU”. And, quite unexpectedly, the APU can just, as our pilot put it, take a little vacation, leaving you in complete darkness until some uses an extension cord to plug the airplane in.

The flight crew has announced what they somewhat seriously call “good news”. The swarm of mechanics has isolated the problem. I think this means they’re not poking at wires at random anymore. Now they poke at a specific set of wires in a very methodical sort of way. Also, they have disassembled the port overwing emergency escape. (Yipes!)

>>Some more time passes<<

Guess what, the problem has been found! Something to do with shorted wire, and I’ve only been here for an hour. Man technology is cool.

On the good side, I’m sitting next to a nice couple on their way to spend a few months in Europe. Don is a retired bank guy, and is pretty computer literate, which helps me ’cause I don’t know crap about sports, so that standard crutch of a conversation is out. They’ve been to France a few times and seem to think I’ll have a good time there. I take this as a positive omen. Oh, did I mention that the time isolated on a dark and eerily silent jumbo jet has made me irrational and superstitious? Well, it has.

Finally, after about an hour and a half, we’re moving. Next stop: Amsterdam.

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