I’ve been looking forward to my move to Cambodia for so long I kind of lost track of what it actually entailed. I haven’t been on a plane in over 20 years and when I found out I had a 55 minute layover in Qatar, I thought “Cool! I’ll have almost an hour to explore. Poor me. Poor, naive, practically a box of rocks for brains me.
My first flight was from the biggest airport near me in Grand Rapids Michigan. It was just going to Chicago and would only last an hour so I wasn’t concerned. I went to check in my suitcase at the counter and this is where the issues began. Not even IN THE AIR yet, and there was a problem.
The problem was my bag was three pounds over the weight limit and they were not having any of that! Because it would be checked through to my final destination in Cambodia, the overage charges could have been as high as $200. FOR THREE POUNDS! If someone were giving me $200 for every three pounds, I would live on a diet of Oreos and bacon grease. I would put spoonfuls of Crisco on salads. I would get an operation to have my stomach expanded. You get the idea.
Well, I’m nothing if not cheap so I proceeded to hold up the entire line by opening my suitcase, taking items out, and literally STUFFING them in my backpack which was already at max capacity. All I wanted to do was get on my airplane and I have now garnered the hatred of a slew of strangers who I’m pretty sure were plotting to throw me off mid flight.
Eventually, the weight was within their rigid limits and I was allowed to proceed. The flight itself was fine. One hour. To Chicago. I’d like to say here that airports are not exciting to me in any form. Unless you pony up some cash, the chairs are uncomfortable and the food is ridiculously expensive. I had a SEVEN HOUR layover in Chi-Town.
At one point I was thirsty and decided to buy a regular, 20-ounce bottle of Sprite. I took it to the cashier who rang it up and said; “That’ll be $3.85”. Excuse me? I didn’t ask for a Sprite and an escort! Needless to say for the rest of my time there I drank out of the faucets and ignored the rumbling in my stomach. Which is like ignoring a porcupine running around your living room.
I wandered around the airport with no real purpose other than to ward off death by boredom. At one point, I went down some stairs and came face to door with an exit. An exit with big warning signs telling me the area I was in was only for AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL! Who let me go down there and why aren’t they fired? I mean, this door had a control panel with flashing lights and buttons to push. How am I supposed to NOT play with it? Nobody questioned why a disheveled looking man with a backpack that looked like it was leaking underwear (thanks to the weight issue from earlier) went down a set of stairs that he shouldn’t have been allowed to.
I refrained from causing a news worthy incident and wandered some more. Eventually, it was time to board my flight! The ordeal was over! Smooth flying from here on out! Yeah, buddy! WOOOO-HOOOOO!!
The fact that will be a part 2 to my travel story will probably let you know I was lying to myself again. We all do it. But for this, I made self deception an ART FORM!
Stay tuned for the next part coming soon. Until then, peace!