Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I Get Paid to Do What?! December 15, 2009
Woke up at 7:45. Weather reported fog. Ended up sleeping until 8:30. Grabbed some breakfast, headed for the airport. The taxiway was soaked...it had been raining very recently.
Took off, headed out for a flight plan...this simply wasn't going to happen today. Clouds were everwhere...above, below, left, and right. I could see rain over Boca Raton...Ft. Lauderdale. It is so beautiful to see the "rain shafts" go all the way down to the ground. Picture-perfect.
I flew for a bit, then headed back in. Nothing fancy. I only put 0.7 hours on the Hobbs.
The rest of the day was pretty enjoyable. Ate at Arby's, went down to Ft. Lauderdale International to pick up another pilot's girl he flew in, hung out on the beach for a couple of hours, went out to eat, then hit up a coffee shop downtown. Quite fun.
I've discovered that cities are full of hot people. That's kind of fun. But I've also discovered that cities pretty much scare me. So much crime, sad stories, etc. I see people every day asking for food or money. Whether it's a scam or just downright poverty, I don't know. I had a guy ask if he could buy $20 worth of groceries for me if I would give him $10 in cash. He would buy the groceries with food stamps.
Frankly, it's a world I just don't get. And it sometimes haunts me. Just today alone...
That man at Publix.
A middle-aged mom with a cardboard sign...looked like she had just walked off the beach. She should have a family to tend to. A house to be in. She was begging.
A man in wheelchair downtown. As Mom says, he looked like he had been "rode hard and put away wet." The weight of the world was on his face. Begging.
A young man peddling cars as we stopped at a stoplight. Probably mid-20's.
A woman with a cane on the exit ramp. She never made eye contact with me. Just walked right on by with no emotion.
I don't get it. I just don't get it. I know that for every 100 people like this, there are literally 100 different stories. But it always just makes me appreciate what I have. Who's to say I won't be poor one of these days? I have no control over so much of life.
I just don't forget their faces like I feel some people do. I can't shake 'em.
Oh, and after swimming in the ocean today, I came back to the hotel pool and swam for awhile. I was in the water so much today. Well, at the hot tub, I met a 40-year-old woman...actually borderline attractive. We talked for quite awhile...turned out she was a trucker. An OTR trucker from Canada, actually. Had come down here to pick up some fresh produce. They haul Christmas trees and whatnot down...and then return with produce. Interesting.
Anyway, she told me about her wife. Yeah, you read that right. They have been together for 12 years. Again, it's a whole world that I just don't fully understand. But we talked for quite awhile.
An interesting day. Frankly, it was another day of vacation. Crazy called me and told me it was 24 back home.
I simply don't miss that.
Forecast tomorrow? Clouds at 2500 feet. Surprise, surprise.
Went to bed at 12:30.