smoke beneath the dark atlantic sky

i am a complainer.

it's not so much that i'm negative or ungrateful, it's just that A. as a human, i have more strands of bad luck in my DNA than most and B. my best stories and most eventful times are generally recounted as days of misfortune.

take the last three days of my life, for example. i finally decided to come home from europe. [go ahead, stop me right here, tell me that i can't complain about anything because i just spent the last five weeks traveling. i'll wait].

i'll start with the morning i left denmark. it was six in the morning. i didn't sleep the night before, that's just what i do when i travel. with 24+ hours of no sleep, i piled up all my suitcases and headed down to the train station. by the time i got to said train station, i had calluses on both my hands from pulling my suitcases down cobblestone sidewalks. i was already prepared to call it quits. i went in to buy my train ticket only to find my card didn't work. and my backup card didn't work. i went to an ATM to get cash, only to find that they don't accept cards with a magnetic strip. northern europe uses these little card machines that have a chip.

i would elaborate on my mixed levels of exhaustion and frustration, but it's going to get a lot worse.

after a few minutes of scrambling, the side of the brain i got from my mother kicked in. i fished out all the leftover kroners and euros i had stashed in my backpack and plunked all my loose change and crumpled bills on the ticket counter. at this point the two ticket ladies [who'd seen me come in four times and were trying to help me with my plight] cheered and rushed me out of the door. i had four minutes to get down to the train.

with a wave of determination i gathered up my suitcases and backpack and train tickets and cell phone and headed down the escalator, balancing everything precariously. i got to the bottom of the escalator when a man came running after me and yelling urgently in broken english. he insisted that there was a problem with my ticket. i sighed, thinking of course a proper ticket was too good to be true. i gathered everything up again and stepped on the escalator. the escalator had moved about two steps up when i saw the lady from the ticket counter coming down the escalator to meet me. it was too late for me to turn around, so i rode up as she rode down. she yelled an explanation to me across the gap; i'd given her 200 kroner too much [about $40]. i got to the top floor, grabbed my bags, turned around, and headed back down. i took the money, thanked her, and got one last look of pity from her as i ran to catch the train.

the three hour train ride and first nine hour plane ride were a sleep-deprived fog. i don't know why i can't sleep on planes, but it's incredibly annoying. this particular flight it may have been the seven year old boy who would literally sprint back and forth down the aisles, sometimes without a shirt. i didn't find that annoying at all; i actually envied him. i'm sure every adult wished they could do the same. well, maybe not topless.

i staggered off of the plane into toronto where i was detained by security. the body scanner and i did not get along. they showed me the picture the pulls up after the scan [a beautiful sight, the outline of my body…]. there are little squares that pop up on your body, indicating an area of concern. if you  have one, you're not allowed through. if you have thirty-seven, as i did, you become a dangerous suspect. i was patted down, wanded-over, and went back into the body scanner multiple times, dutifully raising my arms above my head over and over. eventually i suppose they got bored with asking me questions and trying to figure out what was triggering it because they ended up letting me through.

because of the ridiculous [read infrequent] flights to this tiny town i live in, i had an overnight layover in houston. that wasn't so bad; i got to catch up with my cousins for a while and i had a warm, comfortable place to sleep.

but i was so ready to be home. the next afternoon, around four, my plane finally touched down in the good ol' dry, brown, plains i live in. unfortunately none of my luggage made it. figures. 

i got to my mom's house, thrilled to finally see my family again. i was incredibly jet lagged, tired of traveling, and eager to get home to my humble apartment, take a shower, and sleep in my own bed. unfortunately, no one knew where my keys were. house keys, car keys, and my hope of being home all vanished.

i called it quits. i collapsed in a heap in one of their numerous spare beds, and have been staying here, eagerly anticipating the discovery of my keys and delivery of my luggage. in the mean time, i've been wearing kenyan's horrifying pug shirt.

ridiculous, oversized, comfortable shirt aside, i am home. i may not be all the way home yet, but i'm at least at my mom's house where i can bake all day and take showers. i am thrilled to be back in the land of chipotle and card readers that use magnetic strips. 

[title from back home by yellowcard]

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's one way to start a journey home, hope your enjoyed your stay here in this oddly populated place, just remember that you got Bud lite and lime fruit's that's all you need for a perfect drink we all know it's not your fault