Yesterday I wrote about old texts, but didn’t offer any to read. I will make up for that today…
Yesterday evening, when I was walking the dog, I saw our neighbors carrying suitcases to their car.
“We’re flying to Rhodes tomorrow. 29 ° C and sun.”, they told me.
“That sounds great. Have a nice trip!”, I answered standing in their driveway dressed in my winter jacket while the rain was sticking my hair to my face.
It’s been a while since we traveled anywhere, November 2015. Iceland has been our last destination…
Iceland – impressions in note form
We are the first passengers at the airport. We are the first passengers passing through the security check. (Yes, it is a very small airport!) We sit down in anticipation. We wait. We wait some more. We marvel a little. Then we marvel a lot. We hear an announcement through the speakers. I curse the first time. Our plane is late. We start getting nervous. People stand up and leave the gate. We watch the clock. The gate empties. We watch the clock some more. Another announcement. Our plane isn’t coming, like, it isn’t coming at all. Technical difficulties. It had to return to its airport of departure. We are told to leave the gate. I curse some more. We are told to wait in line in front of the check-in desk. I curse a little louder. The son starts whimpering. We are told that there will be no alternative flights. I curse. We are told that there might be places in the next plane. I dare to hope a little. I planed this trip as a birthday surprise for my husband. But now all of my plans are jeopardized, because: even if we get tickets for the next plane, there’d be no time left at the stopover, no time left at the stopover means no time left to check in for our connection flight which means no chance whatsoever to have our vacation. Frantic I start gibbering all my thoughts to my husband. He tells me to calm down and talk quieter, because everybody was listening. I say: “There’s nobody listening to what I’m saying!” The man in front of us picks up a conversation. He says he has been listening to what I was saying. He has ideas. Ideas how we might be able to have our vacation. He mollifies me, says there might be tickets for us on the next plane. If we’d run… If we’d be really fast… Hope grows. A stewardess walks by and announces that “There are no more tickets left for the next plane.” Hope dies. The man starts talking again. Says he and his wife will drive to the next airport with a taxi. They ask us to join them. We do some maths. It wouldn’t pay off. We shake our heads. I curse and cry. A stewardess comes over to talk to us in private. She guides us away from the line. I get a little scared. Will she rebuke me for my emotional outburst? “We have tickets for the three of you for the next flight.”, she says. I love her. “But you cannot take your luggage.”, she continues. I am startled. “If you want to catch your connection flight, you can only take hand baggage.”, she explains. We want to repack. The husband call his father. The husband’s father drives to the airport with three suitcases small enough to pass as hand baggages. We repack. We are reminded by the stewardess that we are not allowed to take more than 10 x 100ml liquids into the hand baggage. We abandon the toothpaste (125ml), our deodorants (2 x 150ml) and the son’s lotion for his atopic eczema (200ml). I write a note to myself: “Buy: toothpaste, deodorant, lotion.” The next plane is also delayed. We worry once more. But then finally – we make it to Helsinki in time. Like headless chicken we run through the airport looking for our next gate. We have to board straightaway. The son needs to pee. The husband wants to board. The son says he will wet his pants. The husband gets frustrated. The son starts crying. I – the family’s germaphobe – take him to the toilet. Quite an operation! Finally we board. It’s a fancy plane. Even in the economy class every seat has its own touchscreen with a nice collection of entertainment. It’s really nice here, but also hot. Very hot and dry. Very hot and very dry. The son’s skin reacts almost immediately. He’s soon red like a lobster. Shortly afterwards my eyes redden and start itching. The son and I try to not scratch. Exhausted from not-scratching, I fall asleep. I’m happy that the flight goes by pretty eventless. We land. We search the bus. The bus is very full. Family cannot sit with each other. Son finally falls asleep. Three minutes before our destination: panic! Son really, really wants to go to the toilet. Son misses the toilet. Pants, socks, shoes and floor very wet. Wee-wee’s basically everywhere except in the toilet. The son begins to cry. The husband takes care of the half-naked child, while the germaphobe really defeats herself and cleans the bus’ toilet’s floor!!! When I’m done I realize that the toilet cannot be flushed. All the papers I used to clean the toilet stay inside the bowl. I get frustrated. I want to wash my hands. No water comes from the tap. I feel overly dirty. I dress the son in dry clothes. Then we have to hurry to leave the bus. Checking into the hotel. Bringing baggage to our room. Finally able to wash my hands! Then we change money. Then we go to eat. Shocked by the prices. But happy with the food. People here are very, very extremely friendly and fond of children. Taking a shower. My eyes are almost deceased. The son is happy we cannot put lotion on him. His skin, however, is not as happy. We crawl into bed. A little bit of TV. Then sleeping.
To be continued…