Late April’s fool tale

2 04 2008

Almost 10 years ago, I took the airport express bus at Pearson (Toronto’s main airport) to go back to my place, but I was so tired that I slept really hard minutes after the bus left the terminal. When I woke up after 2 hours or so, I found myself in the airport again!!! My wife always teases me about that story, and jokes about me sleeping very easily, and risking to do it again in my business trips.

Yesterday, April first, I took the 7:10 am flight from Toronto to Ottawa and, as usual, was sleeping (and hopefully not snoring) moments after take-off. When I woke up, I felt like I had slept for hours, and the flight attendant was announcing that in a few minutes we would be landing in… Toronto!!!

For a moment, I thought that I had done that sleeping-through-multiple-trips again. Then I realized that my plane could not land in Ottawa due to heavy fog in the region. The whole process to allocate all passengers to other flights was really messy and full of errors, but thankfully everything worked at the end. I remember that before coming to Canada somebody told me this not-so-funny joke:

Q: What’s is the best way to orderly evacuate a stadium full with 50,000 Canadians in an emergency?

A: You announce: “Please orderly evacuate the stadium because there is an emergency”

That’s a big stereotype, but yesterday I was surprised at the overall reaction to the situation: lots of confusion, mis-communication, duplicate boarding passes, mishandling of baggages and not even one passenger freaked out. Everybody was very calm and went through the whole ordeal in a very civilized manner. A few passengers in other flights even gave up their seats after they were already in the plane to allow others with urgent matters to fly, without even being asked. Some see this as a problem, as being too accommodating, but the reality is that screaming at others would not solve the problem in that situation, so I’m actually proud of the way the passengers acted. Maybe that’s a bit of being Canadian, after all.


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