Day 1 (tag eins)European Union, Summer 2012

Sorry its so late but my modem has not been working at my dorm so I was going to wait until I arrived at the center to post this, but thankfully the modem decided to start working enjoy. (side note: most of my days will be in shorthand form with accompanying pictures, the description only comes when I am inspired or bored) Day 1 (tag eins): May 29 3:02pm

I leave for the airport, I still have to stop at the bank and pick up my Euros as well as get an adapter.

 

[caption id="attachment_41434" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Euros I bought from BB&T in America"]5, 10, 20, 50 Euro dollars[/caption]

 

Shuttle ride [shorthand]

  • Drivers nametag read Ms. Paula Jackson, written on 3x5 notecard that had been folded in half

  • Half passengers are travelers (I can tell by their jet lagged excitement) , the other half workers (which is evident in their demeanor of melancholy exhaustion)

  • Colorful bags

  • Long ride

  • 7 missed calls; 1 from gf 6 from fam

  • sign that says Delta is Atlanta's Airline

  • Finally over the hill my anxiety is settled, light at the end of a dark tunnel

     

    Lufthansa Airplanes in parked position

 

1st time I ever packed light. TSA wasn't really that bad. I left two items in my pockets, condoms and tissues just to see if they would ask questions. And one guy saw the condoms and put on his awkward face, as expected.

 

So I make it to my gate and I am instantly overwhelmed by the diversity in this one flight. Its a nonstop flight from Atlanta to Frankfurt but I see Koofies, snapbacks, Hijaabs, saris, button downs, polos, scarves and T-shirts. I am a t-shirt of course. Always have been, always will be.

 

When I sit down, I am hit with a rush of fatigue, despite my 8.5 hours of sleep last night. I rub my head and realize, the pin is still in my hat.

A pin I accidentally left in my hat

TSA sucks. I can't remember what it's for but I think cancer. Obviously not an important cause to me but merely another freebie that I took with no intent to share with others but merely advertise. human billboard.  Two seats in front of where I'm sitting a man goes to pick up his bag and knocks over his drink, a clear soda either Sprite or Sierra Mist. His wife jumps up and immediately begins cleaning as if she were the one who caused the spill.  I wait for them to speak to hear an Eastern European accent but my wish is left ungranted. They move to a dry area.  Its almost 5:30 and I board at 5:50, I guess I better call the gf back. No answer. I guess I'll take a nap...

Time to board the plane but my phone isn't done charging, so I wait. I am the next to last person to get on the 6:20 flight and its only 5:52, punctuality must be of high importance to the Germans. I am flying Lufthansa, the premier German airline. Ha, I'll be the judge of that. When I step on the plane I feel as if I have just stepped into a movie.  I am greeted by a average sized woman with, soft ocean blue eyes, and bleach blonde hair with no trace of dark roots, so I know it's real. She is attractive and smiling, a winning combination, and in her best English she says "Welcome Aboard" as if she had been waiting there for me all this time and every other passenger was merely a space filler. I was the guest of honor. Well that may be a bit of my ego ruining wild but nonetheless she made me feel welcome, probably that winning combination.

My cinematic experience did not end there. I walk past the first class and I see two older gentlemen, calm and relaxed. They made first class seem as if it were a kickback, type of party held in the southern U.S. Where music is played, refreshments are served but no actual dancing occurs, instead people often sit around the most important people laughing at their often bland jokes. These men where the most important people. Neither of them were wearing spectacular outfits, simply shorts and t-shirts, but everyone around could tell they were good old fashioned button downs. Old money. East egg. The larger of the two began desperately flirting with a young woman passing by on her way to the economy class.  "You're the lucky one," he said "I'd love to be your size, I just simply can't fit into those seats back there. And you're pretty," he respectfully added "small and pretty."  Then the other gentleman joined in on making the young lady feel uncomfortable. I could tell their words uttered with the best of intentions did nothing but add to the young woman's already nervous state.  Her torture comes to a quick end as the line moves and we enter economy class.

Next I see a group of thirty or so teenagers, accompanied with about four adults, all wearing gray t-shirts with an indecipherable jade green picture on the front. Of course there's nothing on the back so their school or affiliation will forever remain a mystery to me.

Then I make it to my seat an see a young lady, white, with blonde hair and dark roots and a little above average in both height and weight. "Are you sitting here?" I tell her that I have the window seat and to take her time. I am in no hurry, never have been one to rush.  Shortly after we have our carry on situated just before we take our seats two Indian teenage girls ask if they can trade seats with us so they can sit together.

That awkward moment when you ordered a window seat and somebody has ask for you to show compassion and give it up. We comply with their request. I end up moving one seat forward and sitting with a petite old lady. She informs me that she is German born but now an Atlanta resident. We chat for several minutes while the plane is  turning and adjusting itself on the runway.  She doesn't seen to believe that the Euro will hold up because there is no one ruler for all of Europe. The federal reserve works because the different states of America are United. The French are French and wish to be known as such, the title European is to belittle ones nationality with vague nomenclature.  After our brief yet informative intellectual discussion we each continue reading our respective newspapers, the Wall Street Journal for me and the Financial Times (of Europe) for her.

Because of my slightly paranoid nature I look over my shoulder constantly and catch an accidental glimpse of a young couple engaging in a submission match between lips and tongue resulting in full facial contact and tangled hair. (how can they breathe?) Their signs of affection for one another bring about signs of disgust in the young gentleman to their right. He looks to be 20 or so and due to his Ralph Lauren polo shirt and brown skin I would most likely assume he is American born with middle eastern ancestors. After my observations, I fall asleep.

 

It was either as I was falling asleep or as I was asking up or somewhere in between that I write a poem...

 

Old hands have been mistreated

Old hands battered and bruised

Old hands abused and beated

Old hands worn out and used

Old hands so tired and weary

Old hands you've got to wait

Old hands I know you hear me

Old hands you must take a break

Old hands I do admire

Old hands you do inspire

Old hands must soon retire

Or old hands will soon expire

 

 

I awaken to find that we have left the ground but still ascending because the seatbelt sign is still on.  The stewardess pays extra attention to the two young children in front of me. American and if I had to guess I would say 4 and 6 years old, the older, a boy, in the aisle seat. Every few minutes the younger girl looks back at me I guess to make sure I haven't disappeared just as the ground had done a few hundred miles back. "Look, the ground is gone, we're in the sky!" Her excitement is unrivaled for the older passengers, and by older I mean those with two digit ages, are being constantly annoyed by the incessant and unmelodic sounds of a baby crying.  To escape this noisy reality, I fall asleep again.

Snack Time

Pretzels, crackers and orange juice

 

Dinner time, pasta or chicken? Well of course I picked the chicken.

chicken and rice entree with side salad and desert[/caption]

This concludes day 1.

 

 

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