Friday, August 12, 2011

My First International Flight

I have a small recollection of being on a B747 at some point in my life, mostly because I remember being a little older and getting on the flight and wondering why there weren't four seats abreast and where was the giant screen at the front. But when I boarded the plane from Detroit to Amsterdam, I was overwhelmed by how big the aircraft actually was. I only wish I had been seated on the upper deck! There were 13 flight attendants manning the plane, and I wonder if they worked in shifts because although the same attendants helped my side of the plane, there were always different ones on the other side.

This whole trip, I haven't been extremely happy with my seat assignments. I prefer the window because I generally like to take a seat and not get out of it until we land. Usually, the flights are not very long, and so this is not difficult to do. Besides, I had every intention of sleeping the whole flight, just so that when I arrived in Amsterdam at 9:55 a.m., I would be well awake and ready for my first day abroad.

I had an aisle seat, and sat next to a neurotic couple that used sanitizing wipes on everything. They wiped down their tray tables and arm rests and then their hands. Their mother was one of those overbearing, crazy ladies and I imagine she was from New Jersey, who kept sneaking up behind us and saying, "What do'ya want?" in an exasperated, motherly tone. When the couple said nothing, she kept pestering them until the man was like, "A tissue. Do you have a tissue?" And the mother asked if he was chewing gum. He wasn't. "What do'ya want?"

It went on for some minutes. I tried to dive into a book.

We took off and I did talk to the couple -- who were really very nice -- for a few minutes, I read some, waited until we had eaten dinner (chicken in a squash of some sort and green beans) and then I was out. I tried to watch the movie, but the headphones they passed out hurt my ears and the ones I had brought were too short to comfortably sit back and listen. Besides, the first movie was Water for Elephants, which I had already seen and wasn't terribly interested in watching again. The second movie played, but I missed all but a minute of Jane Eyre, as I was perfectly sleeping. They played a final movie, and at that point, I was still pretty sleepy, but I felt bad for trapping in the couple, and besides, the flight attendants were feeding us breakfast (an egg on a crescent roll and a banana). I pulled out my book, and I was in Amsterdam before I knew it.

The airport in Amsterdam made me nervous. They did have everything in English, which was nice. I was certain I was headed the wrong way, and turned around only to walk to the end of the terminal, where I had to turn around again. There was no time to stop and see the touristy gift shops, no time to use the toilet, no time to do anything but head to the gate and walk through the metal detector (where would I have had time to pick up a dangerous object?) and flash my passport -- they had security screenings at every gate -- and then I stood and waited. And waited. They did not have bathrooms once you were in the gate, so I figured I would wait until I made it to Edinburgh. After a while, they began checking boarding passes and they had us enter another corral area, where we waited to FINALLY board the plane.

This plane ride was easy. I had a window seat. Sat next to an attractive man who assured me I would enjoy Edinburgh, even though the weather was bound to be pathetic until Sunday, and allowed me to read and sleep for the short trip.

We made it to Edinburgh. I made it through customs and filled out my little visitor card, even without Rebecca's address, and then waited for my luggage.

It was not to be. My luggage had not arrived to Edinburgh. Which, for some reason, I had known that this would be the case. I had thought while I was packing in Ohio that I should pack to be prepared for such an occurrence, but I brushed it off. I didn't want to have any toiletries in my bag to worry about security, and I didn't want to be carrying around heavy carry-on bags. They said that the bags would likely arrive around 1:00 p.m., and so I happily went out to find Becca. We called throughout the day, but there was no word.

I went to bed in pajamas from Becca, and decided to worry about everything yesterday. Only, yesterday, we headed to Glasgow to pick up Becca's wedding dress. By the time we got back to Edinburgh, Becca and Christian were off to meet with their Stake President and we were off to hunt for dinner. We knew that the delivery guy would have missed us by that time, but figured we could pick up the bag afterward, since they didn't close until midnight. However, that was not to be. So I spent the second night without my bag.

It has just arrived, and all is well. I will get along much more famously, now that I have my own items.... including underwear.

Happy day!


  1. You're lucky! Only 3 days without bags! When I arrived in Uruguay my bags were no where to be found (same with the other 15 missionaries). Most people got their luggage back within a week and a half; but after the airlines had located my bags and shipped them to me via bus, the dang bus system lost them! I was luggage-less for THREE WEEKS. It REALLY sucked.

    Enjoy Europe and be grateful you're not washing your underwear in the shower everyday! =)

  2. Woah woah woah. Becca is getting married? And in Scottland?I am waaaaaayyy behind here. Please fill me in.


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