Saturday, October 18, 2014

N is for "Nope"

Denizens of Juneau have more than a passing familiarity with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA/TAC). For the benefit of non-Alaskan readers, that's because you can't leave Alaska from Juneau without spending several days yakking off the side of a ferry onto an iceberg or at least three hours in SEA/TAC courtesy of Alaska Airlines (and Delta in summer). 

Of all the things that happen in SEA/TAC, landing at the N Gates is the worst. The far-flung N gates have the shittiest food (First World Problem #523) and are accessible to the rest of the airport only via an underground train that takes longer to walk to than it does to ride to the main terminal. And for whatever reason, all the stops on this train are announced in Japanese, in which "C Gates" is translated as "C-Gate-ah-duh." Really? I don't speak Japanese, but if that's an accurate translation, I'm not sure the translation is necessary. 

Of course Juneau kids love the train because it's a novelty. Also, what do they care if your arriving flight was late due to a "mecahnical" in Sitka and your connecting flight, which leaves in 15 minutes, is the equivalent of a mile and a half away? All they care about is riding to the "A-Gate-ah-duhs" where the indoor playspace is. God help you when you tell them there's actually not enough time for them to lick seven styrofoam play structures and get explosive diarrhea 24 hours later. 

When you've got more time, however, the N gates aren't so bad. You can enjoy your relaxing half mile walk to a two minute train ride. And when you reach your destination, you can choose from a wide variety of slightly less shitty food and scour the atrium for an empty seat, which doesn't exist, because every four-person table is occupied by a single adult pretending not to see you with two kids and three trays of food balanced on your arms. 

But I don't expect the rest of the traveling public to accommodate my life's choices. After all, no one told me to move to Juneau, have two kids, and spend every red cent I have hauling them all over creation. And no one told me to sleep through Japanese 101 in college either.

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