“Shut up, he’s NOT my boyfriend,” Karen the flight attendant whispers gigglingly to her -also giggling- colleague. Her face turns red when she sees I heard all words of her last sentence. It turns even redder when I approach her. “Sorry about that, sir, you weren’t meant to hear that,” she stutters,“she always says these weird things..” I smile and, a little lost for words, look at my arms.
I’ve got one hand in a pocket of my jeans and the other one is just dangling alongside my body like a flexible oversized cucumber. Now I noticed it, is just seems silly. I decide to put the other hand also in a pocket, and now completely casual I feel even more silly. Why did I just do that? If someone pushes me now.. As a final lateral limb movement I take them out of my pockets and start leaning on Karen’s counter. She looks at me, looking for a response. “Ah, yeah. Colleagues. They are the worst.” Funny comeback, dude, I sarcastically tell myself .
It’s Thursday afternoon and Karen, the Latina flight attendant is about to let us get onto the second to last plane ride of our magnificent journey. Destination: Dublin.
No missed flights
After an all-American breakfast at Johnny Rocket’s where I eat a burger for breakfast (#burgerforbreakfast), then spend our last dollars at the wharf on some trinkets before returning to the hotel and finding out (thankfully in time) that our flight is two hours earlier than we anticipated. Oops.
So we start packing, which I get done rather easily. I might be a big mess when travelling, but the upside of never really unpacking is that all your stuff is inside or in very close proximity of your suitcase. I go for a quick swim and enjoy the last bit of Californian sun. It’s nice. The past couple of days I’ve been asking Annemiek every now and again if she was looking forward to going home. The answer was invariably no. No, no, no. She didn’t.
I was looking forward, and not because I was fed up with the States, the company or the climate. One of the great things about travelling is coming home, seeing your loved ones and sitting down in your home city and seeing the city rush past. Will write something about that later this week.
Doesn’t get any more American than this breakfast joint.
Okay, it just did. I had a burger for breakfast. Looks terrible, tasted great.
Please don’t sit down next to me
What’s your biggest fear sitting down on your plane seat? I’ll give you a top three of the worst possible outcomes. Smelly neighbour? That’s a good one. Fat guy next to you squeezing you out of your seat? Close second. The absolute worst thing though you can see coming towards you from the entrance of a plane is a woman… or a man… WITH A BABY. My face must have shown signs of terror as the lady with her 1 year old baby came closer and closer, but THANKFULLY eventually just walking past me. HA. I think. Lucky me.
“Oh, I believe we DO sit here,” I hear in my right ear. My worst fears become reality: she sits down right next to me. 13,5 hours of sitting still is bad enough but having a baby sound machine right next to your right ear is not a perspective I will ever look forward to. Probably recognising the disappointment and temporary depression on my face the lady leans over and whispers: “I know what you’re thinking, and I apologise beforehand. She’s usually pretty mellow though.” Alright, lady. Let’s pray for the best.
Over the course of the next couple of hours the little baby does turn out to be pretty quiet. Which is nice.
San Francisco airport. Nice place.
Not too excited for the long flight.
Only 8178 km away from (not even our final) destination.
Baby. Next to me. Thoughts: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….. Why does this always happen to meeee?
What is the worst situation you can set up for someone with ADHD? Make him sit in a chair. For 13.5 hours. Now is sitting in a chair for that long no fun for anyone, now that I’m writing it. The solution? There is none. You’re just have to go and sit it out (no pun intended). What makes it a little better is watching something I LOVE and that is….. Formula 1!
Yes, the race was held 4 days earlier, but I managed to keep my eyes and ears closed at all the right moments. Earlier at the hotel I shut down the internet network for most guests as I downloaded the full race & qualification in 720 HD during two full days. The result? A flight that seemed to go past a lot quicker than it in reality did. Great success!!
When the qualifying, the racing and the analysing had all been done it was time for the normal airplane routine: looking at the time, closing your eyes, realising you can’t sleep, finding a nice posish, realising you can’t find one, getting up to pee, stretching, sitting down, taking selfies with sleeping passengers, eating the undefinable plane food, looking at the time and finding out somehow only two minutes have gone past. First world problems.
Formula 1 done, what do you do? Stretching exercises with the ladies of the cabin crew
Spectacular colours with the sunrise over the Atlantic.
How cool! The inflight entertainment system has a Barcelona city guide!
Shameless selfies with sleeping passengers.
Eventually though we did find our way to Dublin airport, which was funny because I was here about a month ago and we were in Dublin, California about a week ago. It was here where I had the toughest time to stay awake, even after a triple espresso. Like a dandyesque zombie I wondered around the really quite nice Dublin airport (who knew it was so nice? I’ve only flown to Dubdub with Ryanair and flying with them they make damn sure to keep the scum (you) away from the nice terminal) with my scarf and bracelets and tight pants. Not long until we were on our way again and before long I could see the shore lines of my home country: Holland! Nice, nice nice.
At Schiphol the luggage people had some trouble locating Annemiek’s stroller so a little later than expected we walked through the gates of customs to see my mom there waiting. A pizza to go made the 2 hour car ride a lot more pleasant, and after being awake for nearly 40 hours, I could finally lie my knackered body down for some well deserved sleep.
The next morning I wake up, having slept exactly 12 hours, and go downstairs to find a breakfast table with a small note from my mom, saying “fresh bread in the oven.”
It’s good to be back..
First signs of land in the past 11 hours: Ireland!
An hour later and the typical Dutch clouds welcome us on the runway. Back in Hollandland!
Breakfast at home-home. Lovely.
Coming home and meeting the family the next day: just perfect.
This is where I am right now (my mom said this would be a good idea):
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