Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The pause before...



Now if only that big button had racing lights, the sound of a thumping heart, and a fanfare blaring...that would be the kind of feeling I (Sarah) tend to get before booking a flight, buying a train ticket, renting a car, etc.  Without fail, there's a huge race up to the act of purchasing something on line and then the pause before saying, "oh, okay, I'll do it!"  When it comes to travel - unlike my usually realistic trepidation prior to a big choice/decision - I always err on the side of "book now, ponder later."  I suppose that's a good thing.  Not that my usual thoroughly-thinking-through-things thwarts me from doing anything, I'm just someone who likes to talk things through, see all sides, obsess a bit, and then decide.  There's often a very good reason if I decide against something - but, as I mentioned above, the anticipation of travel brings out that competitive nature in me that tends to lie dormant every other moment of the day.

Part of that heart-thumping feeling may come from my gullible nature when it comes to the power of the interwebs: if the interwebs tells me I'm getting a deal, I tend to believe it.  Not to the point that I'll buy buy buy a service that will find all of my long lost high schools friends at the click of a button (and a swipe of my Visa), but if a reputable site (such as an airline) tells me I'm getting a great deal - I can't pass it up!

This brings me to the moment that just passed about 20 minutes ago.  Here I am, at home, having slept poorly last night due to upcoming move-related stuff (I'm sad to say, my periodic excitement-induced insomnia has rubbed off on Steve who now occasionally suffers from the same thing...hey, misery loves company), and I got word from my Aunt Laur in London who said that we may be better off finding a cheap flight up to Edinburgh from London over New Years rather than driving like we'd planned.  That's all I needed to get the ball rolling...AND SHE'S OFF!


(Please read the following aloud in a quick horse race announcer voice)
sarah reads an email from her aunt and IMs steve to see if he's received the forwarded email from her aunt about how it would make a lot more sense for them to fly instead of drive because of the traffic gas prices UK drivers, sarah waits impatiently for steve's google IM to respond (steve is typing...), as sarah waits for steve's IM to pop up, she's on ryan air easy jet and kayak all at the same time searching for the best price, lest we forget the frantic switching back and forth to a currency converter site because sarah has no concept of how much a pound is versus a canuckian dollar...steve finally responds with a "sure, sounds good to me" which gives sarah the ultimate go ahead to zoom in on the cheap flight that awaits her on easy jet, but wait - if she doesn't book it this very minute maybe some brit over yonder across the atlantic sea is about to book a quick flight home to edinburgh to see his mum, thus taking sarah and steve's cheap flight!  how dare he?! she must book it now!  she goes through all the rigmorale to register for the website (though she'll get annoyed by their email promotions in the future and send them maliciously into her spam folder) when finally the moment comes to purchase her tickets and she pauses...

heart thumping....
should she "click here"...?
what about the brit who needs to visit his mum...?
what about figuring out how to get to gatwick airport from her relative's home in london...?
what about that hot cup of water I left in the microwave...?
the crowd has gone quiet...

NO WAY, BABY!  THESE TICKETS ARE MINE!  I GOT HERE FIRST!  WHAT A DEAL!  WE'RE FLYING TO EDINBURGH, HOO-WEEE!
...
...
...

There's a hush as Sarah waits for the email confirmation to come through.  She takes a deep breath and IMs Steve, "booked." to which he eloquently responds, "cool."

And that, my friends, is how every flight, camel ride, boat tour, hotel booking, and on-line reservation for a show with dancing girls will take place when we're on our world trip.  If you hear cheering crowds and whinnying blaring from our living room window as we approach our departure time - you'll know why.


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