The flight

here to there

A 13-hour flight for a nervous flyer may seem like a monumental (and foolish) undertaking, but with the help of an Ativan prescription , good book recommendations and a key aisle seat position, the task was actually not so terrible.

The worst part of AF254 was boarding – walking through the Premium Economy section with wide, fully-reclining seats before being hit with the pitiful reality of my cattle car-like 39E in Economy. I chose the seat on check-in because it looked like no one had yet chosen the seat to its right. Bingo, bango. Except when I get to 39E, 39D is in fact occupied and my new neighbor looks a good 7 inches wider than the seat she sits in, spilling over (and under) the arm rest into my seat territory. I prepare for battle.

All for naught. She appeared to be well aware of her body and kept her elbows and arms on her side of the border. Goes without saying she was European. An American of the same build would claim his/her rightful domain, plus all surrounding disputed and shared areas, with no apologies. It would have been miserable. But, no. Good flight, good food, got some sleep and arrived on time in Singapore around 3 pm local time.

Only issue was swelling in my feet. Has this happened to anyone else on a long haul flight? I got up to walk around a few times (since my mother had me convinced I was going to get a blood clot), but when we landed, I noticed my feet had ballooned and my ankle bones had disappeared. Hoping it goes away…

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Taxi to Joanna’s, unpack, and shower.

 

Land of the Lines

here to there

Thought I was being laid-back and cool by giving myself just 2.5 hours at the airport pre-flight instead of the requisite 3 for international flights. Wrong. All my anxieties were realized as I stepped into terminal E and a huge, gigantic, mega line.

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Now, I had already checked in online, but silly me, had also planned to check one small bag. Almost an hour later and with maybe 2 feet of forward movement, I’m thinking I’m not going to make the 9 pm bag check cutoff for my 10 pm flight. I ask my line mates what flights they are on. Some on mine, some on a 10:50 pm flight. Somebody makes the “guess if you don’t make your flight, I won’t make mine either” solidarity joke. Not an option buddy.

Panic sets in – Should I ditch all the full size liquids in my checked bag and just sprint to security with both? Do I just ditch my whole suitcase and go with the clothes on my back across the globe? Do I just turn around and go back to Somerville?

Instead, I decide to flag a gentlemanly Air France rep and flash my radiant smile as if my palms aren’t sweating, “Excuse me, sir, I am on flight 333.” Magic words. “Oh you are? Come with me, I’ll escort you to the desk.” Later, suckers! I can’t bring myself to look back at my line mates. I am free!

Check in takes all of 2 minutes. Air France, seriously?

Once through security, I mosey over to the wine bar. I need a drink. It’s mobbed, but I spot a solitary seat at the bar. Perfect for the solo traveler. I weave through the diners and politely ask the woman next to the seat if it is free. “Umm there’s a waiting list. The line’s over there.” Of course there is.

I find a seat by the gate, pop my Ativan, and commence the people watching. This is going to be an interesting trip.