Pages

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Traveling: Step One

I am writing this in an airport food court after taking a red eye flight and it's 4:30 a.m. my time so I'm probably extra sensitive to the sheer weirdness around me.


A few questions are circulating in my mind.

How are people eating Papa Johns at 8 am? And since when does Burger King serve breakfast? Why did I just give nearly an hour of pay for a Starbucks small breakfast wrap and a coffee?


I'm a little irritated and a lot tired so I'm not exactly writing this as a glass half full kind of girl.


Here's what has happened in the past 24 hours:


Lizzie's birthday dinner and me crying at our mom's home as I realized I was leaving.
Birthday cake and my mom crying (causing me to cry) because she realized I was leaving.
Movie and crying. Packing and crying. Second servings of birthday cake so I stop crying.


The crying eventually subsided as I realized I was going. I had a ticket. A suitcase. Passport and Visa. I was going and everything would be okay.

But before it would be okay I would have to say goodbye and get to the airport. Let me give you a replay:

Lizzie decided she would take me to the airport for my red-eye flight. But before that we had to get my giant, double my width, taking-all-my-strength suitcase down our apartment stairs. 50 pounds is the limit for a checked suitcase and I knew that mine was too big. But I was going away for five months! I needed one and then a copy of everything. I needed 100 developed photos and frames. I couldn't narrow down what books I wanted to bring- so hey, why not just pack the top ten heaviest I own?

Lizzie decided she wouldn't help me with my bags because "you'll have to carry them by yourself later anyways". So I took my bag down two flights of stairs and put it in her car, and I swear her car bounced up and down like I had just installed hydraulics.


When I got to the airport, the woman at the counter watched me haul my bag onto the scale and told me very gently that it was 17 pounds over. 1-7, people. Not just a blow dryer or one of my cement books I decided to carry. I would have to empty 17 pounds worth of stuff.

Obviously I couldn't do that, so instead I asked her what the fee is. $100. I was kind of hoping she would say, "Just kidding! Your bag is miraculously only two pounds in total weight! You're the best packer I've seen all day- actually in my entire life!" And we would high five, and I would skip to my gate, doing a handshake with the TSA officers as I pass through security.


This fantasy was interrupted by her saying, "Credit or debit?" And then, "Why do you have so much stuff anyways?"

If I knew that, I wouldn't be paying $100, lady.

I got to security and forgot I had packed a water bottle. The TSA officer finds the pink thermos and at this point I'm a threat to national security. "I'm sorry," the officer says, "you'll have to gather your things, come with me and go back through security."

Second time I make it through and get on my not-so-merry way to my gate but before I can get to my gate, a woman comes up to me looking so scared and asking about her gate in broken English. "I'm from France, I only talk French," she says timidly. I think to myself, "Hey I'm going to France! And I don't speak French. Wait, what if I get lost in the airport?! What if no one helps me?"

I started to panic, thinking I may cry because that's the pattern of today, and there's no cake to stop me.

But instead I don't cry, and I make friends with the girl (as close as friends as you get can when all you know is "hello" and "how are you?' in French) and I make it on my first flight and sleep the whole way.

My second flight leaves from Charlotte to NY. I have a window seat (win) and as I gazed out the window and took a deep breath, a man looked at me and told me he is sitting in the middle. He is double the width of my giant suitcase and probably 4 times its weight. He sits awfully close. He tells me he has vodka in his cup. He hates flying.



"I'm a big guy, sitting in the middle is never good for me." I laugh, not because it's funny, but because if I don't I'll probably cry. Again.
"So we are about to get real comfy cozy," he says, and stretches like he's in a yoga class and not an economy airplane.

Flying is fun.




Wishing you all a wonderful end of week and weekend! I'll be posting each week about this new journey. 32 days left in NY, 32 days left till my semester abroad.










Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover