Monday, April 28, 2014

An Inauspicious Start

The morning (night) I left for Germany, I woke before my alarm.  I never sleep well when I’m anticipating something, so that wasn’t a very unusual occurrence.  My 2:30am wakeup time became 2:20, and I decided to drag myself out of bed rather than salvage my last ten minutes of sleep.  After all, I rationalized, I’d be able to sleep on the 2 hour bus ride to the Dublin Airport. 

I’d packed my bag, and made sure that all of my things were in order before I left.  My plan was to get dressed, grab my bag and be out of the door by a few minutes after 3.  My bus was due to leave at 3:30. 

I stepped out of the door into the cool night air at the planned time, calling my cab as I walked.  That time of night it wouldn’t take long, so I expected it to arrive by the time I got around the corner to the pickup point.  Halfway there, I reminded myself that I'd have to take my thyroid medicine when I arrive at the airport, so I could eat breakfast before takeoff.
“Wait a second,” I thought. 

The box of synthroid I packed only had one pill in it.  And there’s no way that I can ever really go without that medication. Throwing off the delicate balance of my thyroid (or anybody’s for that matter) is a recipe for disaster. 

After frantically checking my bag to confirm my suspicions, I sprinted back up what amounted to four flights of stairs.  I only stopped for a moment to marvel at and celebrate the fact that I didn’t have an asthma attack.   After racing into my room, making more noise than a courteous person should at 3am when someone else is sleeping in another room, I made my way back down.

I received a text notifying me that my cab had arrived just as I reached my front door, so I quickly made my way around praying that it wouldn’t leave before I got there. 

It was there.


My southern manners crept into my consciousness, and I apologized profusely to my driver for making him wait.  He assured me, that it was no trouble.  And so, the first leg of my journey, the five minute ride to the bus station, was completed without much fanfare.

The wait for the bus wasn’t long.  There were several people waiting for the bus, which was comforting in the wee hours of the morning.  Unfortunately, my bus ride didn’t go as planned.  I was sitting near an emergency exit, and it wasn’t sealed well.  I was too cold to get comfortable enough to sleep, so I stayed awake for the entire two hours.

Upon arriving at the airport, I had to get my boarding pass (I was having printer troubles).  And, when it was time for me to go through security, my boarding pass showed a red light instead of green when it was scanned. But, after checking my ID, security let me on through. 

But, alas, I was flagged for a “random” security check.  And, if you’ve never experienced the joy of one of those, pray you never do.  Getting patted down is an uncomfortable feeling by itself.  As a matter of fact, my reflexes were telling me to kick the lady performing the search because it felt so wrong.  But, when said search is conducted in public, it goes from uncomfortable to downright humiliating. 

After being legally violated, I decided that the time had come for breakfast, my favorite meal.  I went to the Burger King in the airport and ordered a bacon, egg and cheese buttie (there are no biscuits here, a buttie is a soft bun).  The meal was totally disappointing.  It had some sort of onion chutney on it that was wholly inappropriate for breakfast.  Yuck.

After boarding the flight, I was feeling a little better after having been harassed all morning.  Aer Lingus has nice planes, and the experience looked much more promising than RyanAir.  Then again, everything is more promising than RyanAir. 

But, there was one final obstacle before I could pass over into the realm of blissful sleep.  The couple beside me started sloppily making out.  And, I’m not exaggerating by sloppy.  The slurping and smacking was enough to make me want to scream in disgust.  And, as everyone knows, there was no way for me to mute the noise with headphones because electronic devices are not allowed during takeoff.


Fortunately, the noises were somewhat drowned out by the sounds of the plane itself, and I fell asleep shortly after takeoff and didn’t fully wake until we started descending into Munich.

And so, it was an inauspicious start to what would be a lovely few days in Augsburg with the Shears family.

But, my goodness, I can only laugh at the way it started. 

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