It comes off almost as a sigh.
Chicago-O’Hare is well known for being a finicky place to make connections, due to weather or traffic. I’ve mostly had good luck coming through here, with only one weather delay. Today though I have enjoyed the hospitality of the C concourse for most of the day, compliments of a United flight to Vancouver that was cancelled at 9:00. I’m now awaiting the call for the 3:25 flight home.
So what does the C concourse have to offer the stranded traveller? There are Starbucks outlets, but they lose their appeal after a couple of shots of watery espresso. Hudson News is omnipresent but despite selling The Atlantic, The New Yorker and The Economist, they seems suspiciously short on Harper’s. I am half imagining that the reason is political, given Harper’s stinging rebukes of establishment American politics of late. Whch is why I want to read it. Instead, I bought a copy of Best American Short Stories 2006, edited by Stephen King who provides an entertaining and honest assessment about the state of American short stroy writing: alive but not well. His selections for the anthology are great.
Food…so not much around here of note. I’ve always appreciated the fact that you can get Odwalla juice pretty freely around here. I’m loaded on some kind of blueberry B-vitamin power mix. Of the outlets, the Corner Bakery has the nicest sandwiches, freshly made pannini. When I need a fill, the Manchu Wok offers heaps of non-descript Chinese food, MSG free at least and it fills the belly for the four hour flight to Vancouver on United, which I have redubbed “The Hungry Skies.”
Wireless is cheap, at $6.95 a day which is a steal if you’re logged on for as long as I have been, and there are these power stations that are nice to work at. Power plugs in the waiting areas are scarce and nearly all in use by businessmen sucking down the watts while they make uberimportant cell phone calls.
And so the day proceeds, slowly, without any remarkable incidents, watching the crowds ebb and flow and waiting for UA1119 to spirit me to the west coast, eight hours later than I expected to get home.