Monday, January 26, 2015

Darkness in Winter - Home Coming

Airplanes are good for watching bad movies. Robots was terrible. However I was glad to be watching it. After almost five hours of delays due to weather I was pathetically glad to be headed home.

 I woke up early on Sunday so that I could have breakfast with Corbexx who had to leave at 0930. We hung around and drank tea and talked until nine when he went to collect his things and I went back to my room. I had packed the previous night. I put those last things away, like a brush, and set everything together to go leave my room. It was 0930 and I didn't have to leave until noon so I did the reasonable thing and went and had a nap until just after 1100. My body clock has not adjusted fully and I spent a lot of time very, very tired.

With noon approaching and a late fee on the horizon, I gathered my stuff and went down to check out. This is an area where I struggle in Europe. I wait to be noticed and called to the desk so person after person just steps in front of me and catches the receptionists attention. Check out was simple and I gave them my bags to tend while I lugged my briefcase with me since it contains all of the important stuff.

I found Sion and we wandered in a few circles looking for lunch. The goal had been to go to the Laundromat which is actually a Laundromat as well as a cafe. It was full so we wound up at a place near by for some burgers. Sion owed me a meal so he grabbed a burger for me and I came across one of my deepest problems.

I forgot to ask him for no sauce. I forgot that sauce came on it. So, I receive this burger and it is dripping under the weight of their house 'sauce' on both buns and thickly coating the meat as well. This is not a squeeze bottle apply condiment situation but a generous ladle of horror. Sion got two burgers and dejectedly, I tried another place only to discover they were out of everything that I wanted.

Fine. I had honey nut Cheerios in my bag. I'd be fine. Progod surfaced from somewhere looking like a truck spent the night running him over. We idled in the hotel lobby and received an email saying our flights were delayed by an hour. That was frustrating but nothing tragic. Shit happens. Our ride came and we squeezed the four of us (for Ali was also heading out now) into the car and took the long ride to the airport.

Once there checkin was amusing. I had set up my suitcase so that I could pull weight. Indeed, I was 4 kilo over. I swiftly started pulling prepreared swag from the bag until I hit weight. I then readded a bit and found myself ridiculously pleased with my packing. Then I went to wander through the big shopping/food area that is before the terminals. They are redoing that area. I staggered through with my stuff and started the long walk down the endless coordinator towards my terminals.

The airport is long and slender with terminals at the end. The US bound flights are through a passport control area and down steps. There is another, smaller cafeteria down there and more shopping. To my surprise the customs area was taped off and it was closed. There were all sorts of people milling around, waiting. I found Ali, Sion, and Progod again and we just settled down into a pile on the floor and waited for about an hour for them to open up to let us go downstairs. The bathrooms down there are also weirdly cool and frustrating. Once in the 'Americas' section as I call it, you have to go down another flight of steps to the bathrooms which take up a full level under the terminals. The individual stalls are large, white rooms with Dyson dryers/taps so they wash and dry your hands in your little private softly lit white sanctuary room.

And then the delays kept going. We got downstairs and got delayed again. And again. High winds were the problem. You could hear them slamming into the building and rocking the equipment outside. Our gates were all cancelled and put on a to be announced. The area was filling up with people. I was getting hungry. I gave in to go buy something only to have the lady close the stand as I approached. Sigh. I called out of work and watched Ali play Magic the Gathering Online (no idea what was going on) finished a book, and finally around 1930 they announced a gate for my flight. I said buy to everyone and trundled over.

The original gate was 31. They moved it to 29 after the cancellation. Now it was 32. I got a good spot at the head of the line. The flight crew boarded. The winds had died down. Everyone cheered. Then the board over the gate flipped from Washington to Toronto. The line cried out. The lady checking us in said to wait! An announcement we couldn't hear happened. We waited while she talked rapidly in Icelandic to someone. Then the flight crew came back down and we had to go across the airport to another set og gates, this time 26.

My swag bag had started to rip earlier and now it was struggling. This is probably why you should not follow me on twitter because my twitter feed became a saga of my bags attempt to reach America full of its swag. The bag was just a cover. The actual swag was inside of three separate plastic bags so that if I lost control I'd be able to recover it.

Now we are in line for number 26. We had been in line for almost an hour at 32. It was another hour at 26 while I listened to the man behind me seduce the lady he was standing with. Finally we got to board. My bag was ripping with each step so I carried it in my arms as I climbed steps. For the first time ever leaving the airport there I used a jet-way. Normally they just open the doors and people stampede for the plane across the tarmac.

Once loaded and settled, I crammed into my seat and dreamed of ordering the curry chicken dish. Of course, once we were de-iced and took off and finally fed they were out of it. Sigh. I ate cereal and wished my shoulders were more narrow and watched a terrible movie, listened to my audiobook, and dozed badly and dehydrated while incredibly overheated. Miserable flight and we finally landed. I nursed my bag through the terminals and the bus ride, through global entry (which is amazing) and to baggage where I was able to get a cart and rest my swag bag, now in structure, on top of my baggage and go greet my husband sometime after midnight.

And thus ends this adventure. It will pick back up in seven weeks but I'll go back to writing about Eve stuff for a little bit. Thank you everyone who has followed along with my daily life.

4 comments:

  1. Welcome to travel hell. I do this every week. Whoever thinks that international travel is glamorous clearly doesn't travel very much. My sympathies. I really do understand, unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Green bags, must be a Gallente hull tank, all is normal.

    ReplyDelete
  3. One of the many reasons why I never boarded a plane in my life.. It just seems to take way too much time before you can actually board.. And then there's all the flight hours/more wait time..

    ReplyDelete
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