Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Walk Down Memory Lane

(I hope you don't think I'm too lazy)

Here is a post from my old Myspace blog...when I used to spend all my money running around the world.
Remember when we used to be able to take liquids on planes? This blog is about the day that all ended:

August 11, 2006

When You Don't Buy Me A Drink, You Let the Terrorists Win

Thursday morning, 6:15 a.m. London: I arrive at the check-in for my United airlines flight out of london....there is a huge line. i get a little nervous that i'll miss my flight. I ask someone. "Oh...there are just a 
few security concerns, we're taking some precautions."

6:45: airport staff starts looking for people are two specific flights, one being mine. they take me out of my line (queu...because i don't want to confuse anyone) and move me to another one, where they instruct me to put all my carry-on luggage into a huge plastic bag they have given me. "only keep your money, passport, and prescription drugs." can i take my chap-stick and my book? "nothing." but...."nothing."

7:50: I am escorted from check-in to security with a group of other people on my flight. i throw my "things" in the little bin and ask about my shoes....don't worry about it...the guy tells me...i'm wearing flip-flops. i go through the detector thing. then....oh joy of joys...cause i really needed it...a woman searches my body. you know how usually when this happens, they're real careful, and tell you everything they're going to do...and touch...before they do it...and touch....well...she just felt me up. it was hot. then she yelled at me for not sending my flip flops through the xray thing. "shoes are shoes." but...the guys said....whatever...not worth it.

7:55 we are instructed to run to the gate or we will miss the flight. I get there....i didn't need to run....they search my body...again. then i sit...for about an hour and a half.

8:10 this is when i notice the news on the t.v. apparently some peeps were trying to blow up my plane...and some others. I get a little sick to my stomach. i lean forward and put my head between my knees. i can't get anything to drink because i don't have any change...and i can't take it on the plane.

9:30 we start loading on the plane.

10:00 maybe...i had no concept of time at this point...i had no watch or phone to tell me. we take off.

11:15 i get something to drink...for the love of everything that is holy. i feel like crap. the movies are crap, i don't have a book, and the music eventually starts repeating. i sleep for a few hours.

1:00 p.m. chicago time (7:00 p.m. London time). 8 hours and twenty minutes have passed since the plane took off. we are greeted at the gate by armed homeland security guards that can't believe i've been out of the U.S. for upwards of five weeks. who would want to leave this place for that long? your mom. now give me my damn passport and get me away from this plane.

1:10: baggage claim. announcement: it will be around 45 to an hour before we can get our bags. they are going through a second screening. it takes about an hour and a half. there are no phones before you get through customs. i cannot call my mom. i am tired.

2:20 i get my bags. i go through customs. "czech republic? what'd you do there?" teach english. "did you drink a lot of that delicious beer?" too much. " don't seem like a threat. you can go on through."

2:25: someone grabs me outside of customs. do you have a connecting flight? yes. they tell me where to go...they tell me the wrong location...i have 20 minutes before the flight leaves. i check my bags. outside there are crowds of people yelling questions at me. did i just get in from london? what's taking so long with the bags? blah blah blah? how long were you stuck there? i call my mom. i get on the train to go from terminal 5 to terminal 1....sonofabitch. i get there. i need a boarding pass. i have to go through security again.

2:38: i'm waiting in security for this guy to stop being mad about them throwing away his vitamins.

2:40: my flight has been delayed.

2:45: I start thinking some french fries might be good...and a dr. pepper. oh wait...i haven't changed my money. shit.

3:20: i get on my hour and a half to m-town....right?

3:30: the pilot speaks. "hey folks. I'm (whatever his name was) and i'll be your captain today. i'd like to able to tell you that the flight will be smooth, BUT it probably won't be. so....sorry about that. we'll get you to memphis though....where it and humid."

3:45 we leave the gate and begin to taxi around the airport.

3:55 we arrive...back at the gate. the pilot speaks again, " are a lot of storms up there, so we've been redirected around them, but we don't have enough fuel to make the new we're going to fuel up. also...i'm going to make a phone call." because we care...about the phone call.

4:10: the pilot speaks again, "okay. we've probably got enough fuel now to travel around the country, but we'll just go to memphis. enjoy the flight."

5:20: the pilot speaks again, "go ahead and buckle your seat-belts, we're coming up on some really bad storms, i'm going to try to get around them, but i may not be able to. we'll be landing in about 20 minutes. the weather in memphis, i hope you're sitting down for this (i love a pilot with a sense of humor) 105 and sunny. 105. yes. 105."

5:30 i look out the window. half of the sky is clear and gorgeous. i can see the world below. the clouds all around me have built cities out of themselves. we are flying around them. i can see the curve of the plane's course. for the first time ever...i wish i could fly outside of the plane....but not actively fly...just float. some of the clouds are pure and white...some are angry....deep in the core of the cloud city there is a lightening storm. i catch my breath.

5:45: we land...smoothly....i close my eyes and feel memphis wrap around me. home has a feeling. just the feel of the ground beneath the plane...and then my feet. reaching up through the soles of my shoes....grounding me....the soul is connected to home....always.

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