Monday, July 28, 2008

Какой ухас...

Just kidding, it was only the travelling that was terrible.

Here is how it went:

We checked out of our rooms and brought down our linens, and Alexandra and I wrastled with our bags, and I crushed a small child who didn't seem to notice that I was carrying more than a hundred pounds worth of stuff and trying to get out of the elevator. I thought she would move, honest!

And then we waited for our ride, and then got in the van. Another sketchy van, with another sketchy driver who really didn't say a thing to us. He drove us to the airport, if hazardous and traumatizing swerving can be called driving. When we got to the airport, the sign said we couldn't check in for more than an hour, which is always delightful. So we sat around and snacked on the various foodstuffs I brought with me and played mad libs, and then checked in when we could. No problems anywhere, really. Except they made me drink my juice that I had just bought inside the airport before we checked in to the waiting area (you have to go through another separate x-ray business before you go wait.)

And onward we flew! I sat next to Charlie who was, of course, sassy. Somehow, because we all checked in together we ended up in a cluster - Vanya and Sasha were right in front of us. Not a bad flight at all. And then to Copenhagen! Which I am struggling to remember, actually. I guess that means it was uneventful? We were all super thirsty and there was no way for us to get water (because we didn't have any Danish money, or any Euros), and that made us grumpy. And then onto the next plane!

Which was also not bad, as 8 hour flights go. But 8 hour flights can be pretty annoying. I managed to sleep, but I just cannot sleep sitting up like most people can. So I'm contorting myself all over the place trying to find a way to rest my head on something. Usually, I go with the tray table option. And on SAS I also like how there are a bunch of movies playing. I watched Horton Hears a Who and Oceans Eleven, and some of a weird Danish movie that I couldn't make myself pay attention to (although that may have been the tranquilizers).

And then came Chicago. And there's no appropriate way for me to put how that went.
First, it was just a mess. We had to go through customs and the line was huge, giving them our passports and things, blah blah blah. No problems with that though, they just asked why we had been in Russia, for how long, and stamped our whatnot. Then we got our luggage. Then a woman told us it would "be easier and faster" if we re-checked it later instead of waiting in the line. So we went to find our counter. And the boys took the escalator, but we couldn't take our baggage cart on the escalator and found an elevator...eventually. We had a baggage cart partly because it was easier, but also because they lost the wheels part of Alexandra's bag. And it came down one floor...eventually. And then since the middle floor was "AG" and had pictures of cars, we thought it would be Auto Garage or something. So we went up to the Upper Level and were lost for ten minutes. And then went back down just in time to see the boys getting on the TRAIN to the other terminal. You have to take a train. A TRAIN. And we missed that train, because the luggage carts can't go on the train - which is dumb in itself. So we got on the next train, and the boys had waited for us at the platform. So we all walked onward and onward.Until we got to the broken escalator, which was a whole nother load of fun. And I partially dragged my hard suitcase because there wasn't room to carry it (which had 6 jars of honey and three bottles of vodka in it, btw).

And at the bottom, we got in line. At the end of the line? Machines. Whose idea was that, United Airlines, you colossal idiots? "Please scan your passport!"the machines said. And then didn't work. And everyone else was standing around too shy to ask for help. And I had had it (I was very hungry). "Excuse me!"I said loudly "But we have NO IDEA HOW THIS WORKS, can you help us out please?" The woman came over and almost helped us, except that it didn't work for her either. When she found out it was a connecting with SAS she implied that we would have to go back to the other terminal, and we all just looked at her. And then she told us to get in line because "we would have to see an operative"as if we wouldn't have preferred to do that in the first place.

And then the operative told us our bags were too heavy. When flying United, ladies and gentlemen, any bag that weighs anything over 50 lbs is subject to a $100 fine. No, I'm not kidding. But luckily the woman at the counter was the first helpful person we had met in a while, and let us move stuff between our bags and gave everyone else (I was the only one with 2 check bags) heavy duty plastic bags to put their stuff in. So that took a very, very long time. Eventually we got our tickets and stumbled along to security. Where we had to take our computers out of our bags for no apparent reason (neither of the other airports required it) and take off our shoes and Charlie got sassed for forgetting about his computer. The man lectured him on being more considerate, because of how hard they worked. The man who said "Please walk to the yellow line. Ok, you passed, please go left." He watched us walk through the metal detector, I guess to make sure we weren't tossing any rifles over it unnoticed, and then checked to make sure we could identify the colour yellow? Nope, none of us are colour blind.

And after all that, the Chilis Bar was too busy for us to find a seat. No margaritas for us. No cheese fries, more importantly. So I got a sandwich (that was made at a glacial pace, part of the bagel fell off and I was so impatient that I just told her to forget it, and then cost me $12 with a powerade). And we hung around, and then boarded. Luckily the whole crap process had taken us so long that we didn't have too long to wait. So we boarded. And then the stewardesses told us the pilots weren't there yet, haha, but they should be there within the hour! And then twenty minutes we all had to disembark and wait, and then reload onto the plane 45 minutes after we were supposed to have left. Awesome. And the pilots finally got there about twenty minutes after we got back on, and said "We would apologize for the wait, but it wasn't really our fault. They gave us a broken plane." Make me wait and then shatter my illusion that airplanes never break? How dare they. And they played a weird movie, and I slept most of the time. And we got in to Newark at 1:30, and the Women's bathroom was blocked off

And then we got our stuff, and I found another bathroom, and Vanya's mom found us, and Charlie's girlfriend Steph (who is fabulous) found us, and Ann found us, and we all wandered off our separate ways. Well, except for me because I went with Charlie. And then mapquest had us take the George Washington bridge because mapquest sucks, and we got back to Charlie's around 3:15, where I took a shower and ate two burgers and fell into his sister's bed and slept like a rock until 8:30 when my phone beeped and woke me up. And I couldn't go back to sleep because it was dinner time and I was hungry. So I had two cups of tea, and some waffles, and we watched MythBusters and Flight of the Conchords, and then chatted with Charlie's mom, and then my mom came to get meee!

And now I am home, and home is wonderful. I had sushi for dinner, and the dogs are silly, and my family is grand, and Chris is very tan and tropical. And my bed, well. To say the least, I can't feel any springs poking out of it. But my shoulders and back are still killing me from carrying all my shit through the airport. (Pardon the profanity, but after you carry it for that long, it really is just "all this shit").

And now I'm going to go have a snack. And maybe turn on the stove just because I can.

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