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If only I could apparate!

Let’s face it, I hate Harry Potter. But the past 24 hour of zombie like travelling has made me yearn for a concept found only in the world of Harry Potter, and that is the concept of apparation. (In other news, I finally found out how Scott Adams gets his weird ideas.)

Let me give a summary of the last 24 hours. I'm currently at Frankfurt airport, and I'm sure that this blog post will not be published until I reach home; but I'm writing it anyway, so that the flavour is not diluted by the happiness of being at home.

Travelling is tedious. I woke up at around 07:00 EST, reached the bus stop in Ithaca at around 09:15. The bus arrived shortly after, but some 6 idiots passengers forgot to give the driver their tickets. This meant that the driver counted the tickets three times over, in his painfully slow 60s-something grandpa style, after which he declared that he would not move the bus until the tickets had been submitted. Result: bus supposed to start off at 09:40 started off at 10:10.

Things were just getting better. The bus broke down on NY-17 around 220 miles from NYC. The breakdown resulted in the driver calling a mechanic, who subsequently fixed the bus (or so I think), but then a replacement bus showed up, and we were all asked to switch buses just to “be safe”. This involved lugging a suitcase, a backpack and a camera bag around 30 feet in the snow on the side of the road; which may not seem like much, but picture 55 folks trying to do the same at the same time.

The breakdown cost another hour and a half. By now, I was really worried about making it on time for my flight from JFK. Then I saw the NYC traffic…

From Port Authority Bus Terminal, I did not get the shuttle to JFK for a long time, apparently because all the shuttles were stopped by the police for “inspection”. The manager apologised, and said that the police were probably looking for “Christmas money”, though I suspect that claim.

Damn, Times Square is the worst place on earth. Half an hour just to get out of three blocks? I've begun to hate that place already.

At JFK, I made it to the gate just 20 minutes before the scheduled boarding time, but my day was just getting better. Apparently, Singapore Airlines, an airline which I’ve not known to delay flights did just that, and boarding was delayed by around 45-50 minutes. I'm sick of waiting.

Thanks to the delay, we get stuck in the congestion at JFK, which means that we’re further delayed by around 45 minutes.

Then, I face the daunting prospect of sitting in one place for 7 hours, something I rarely manage. Deplane at Frankfurt while the plane is being serviced, and that’s when I'm writing this blog.

I wonder how nice would it be to be able to travel without the time wasted in travelling. I wish I could apparate. Poof, and I vanish from Ithaca, to reappear in Singapore, halfway across the globe. This may not even need magic. It could be possible to study the structure of my body, break it down atom by atom, and send the atoms over to the other side of the globe. In fact, this may not even need the atoms to be transmitted, but we could have a certain stock of atoms at every apparation-port. Given that people travel fairly randomly (that is how airliners today are able to survive, as they have assured fares both ways of operation of their flights), this idea may not be all that infeasible.

One danger however is the lack of identity that this method will introduce. Essentially, the person will be destroyed at one end of the world, and his essence retransmitted to another part, where he would be re-assembled from spare atoms which in turn may belong to thousands of other people.

On the plus side, this would mean that over the course of time, all of us humans will be able to claim that we are all made up of each other. Perhaps this method will be able to promote world peace and brotherhood (hey, after all, we’re all made up of the same borrowed stuff, right?).

Any thoughts? Wouldn't it be great to be able to travel without actually travelling? To be able to reap the benefits of going home, meeting friends and relatives, without spending close to two days each way in pressurised metal tubes travelling at the speed of a bullet? Or worse, spending hours in a Shortline coach, which apparently has lesser reliability than Poonam Pandey's claims.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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