Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Trans-Atlantic Journey

Cradling my souvenirs that were about to be wrapped into my jacket as cushioning

After two short hours of sleep, I woke up ready to jump to my feet.  I have always been an amazing morning person, but today was especially important.  I had some errands to run before heading to the airport at noon.  After the bed bug incident, I had to throw away my backpack so I was in dire need of purchasing a new suitcase.  I had already packed all of my belonging, duct taped my souvenirs, and shoved everything into a double bagged trash bags. I idly considered just getting the Ukrainian airport workers to plastic wrap my trash bag, check it in as is and cal it a day, but I was afraid of everything falling out so I decided against it.  I woke up sleepy James and got him to come shopping with me, because having his company in the morning was one of the conditions of staying out late the night before.  I managed to find a mesh-like colorful bag that reminded me of my Mexican relative and a suitcase which perfectly fit my trash bag bundle.  I was way too tired for painful good-byes so I said, "Until next time," and called my cab.

I made it to the airport, bought some bread and one Russian Cosmo magazine.  After all that, I had a whole 4 grivnas left (50 cents).  I was so happy not to run out of the country with pockets full of cash.  I believe James accidentaly took out a ridiculous amount of money while in Estonia and was unable to get any other country to change his money back.  I was so excited to sleep on the plane!

I got onto my plane with minimal problems and was ready for my nap.  After getting on my flight from Warsaw to Chicago, I decided that I should try my hardest not to sleep too much or else my overnight lay over in Chicago would be incredibly difficult.  I arrived in Chicago and made it straight through customs without a problem.  The airport security didn't want to let me back into the airport because my flight wasn't until the following day, but eventually they let me in.

My overnight layover was harsh.  I was the only one in the terminal besides the airport employees who were on their way home.  I went to the bathroom to wash up and was happy to remember that I had a long shirt in my carry on.  I took my jeans off and managed to remain decent because I also had thick nylons.  I wrapped myself in all the warm clothes which included my fur hat.  I woke up quite a few times to the melodic voice of the lady telling me not to leave bags unattended only to realize I was freezing.  I readjusted my jackets and managed to make it through the night.  Why have there been so many times along this trip for me to feel homeless??  Let's reminisce.

Exhibit A: A story I have yet to tell on my blog out of respect for the dignity of someone who used to be my best friend.  Well, guess what?  She no longer has dignity or my respect.  Come to think of it, she might not even have a soul.  Too much?  Well, while I was in Hamburg my "best friend" kicked me out of her apartment for no seemingly good reason.  So below is a picture of me looking homeless with all my belongs gathered together.  Luckily, James had come to visit me in Hamburg so he was there to help me move out and drink wine with me in my lowest of times.  My recently new best friend, Katryna who went to Santa Rosa High with Nat, took me into her apartment, so later that day I had a home yet again.  Thank God for real friends.

Hamburg, Germany

Exhibit B: Or remember that time I got bed bugs and had to throw away, boil or DDT all of my belongings - including my coat and shoes?  I had no choice than to resort to wearing Men's clothing until my clothes was dry, and I bought a new warm coat, and a pair of snow proof boots.
Odessa, Ukraine
Chicago airport was not quite as bad, but I definitely had bad flashbacks.  I just kept counting the hours until I got to run into Nat's arms.  The following morning, I was excited to make the phone call where I could state, "Hey babe, remember when it was 'I will see you in 3 months?' Well, I will see you in 3 hours."

I was so excited to get off the plane, I wanted to just run away without my carry on that was forced to be checked-in.  I was at the very end of a long line of passengers that were in a similar situation because we were in a plane so small that we had to walk through the Chicago snow to the stairs leading to our vessel.  I jumped around, waiting anxiously to bolt out of the terminal towards my love.  I saw my Ukrainian Mexican carry on from the back of the line and ran forward to claim it.  I used my winning smile to nonchalantly and jokingly state, "I can see my ugly bag from a mile away!"  I got a few laughs.  "Phew, safe."  The last thing I wanted is some big Texan upset at me for cutting in line, but I was desperate to get out of the airport.
Ukrainian Mexican Bag

I literally ran, then walked like a little kid being watched by the side of the swimming pool, then ran, careful not to break into a sweat - after all, I already slept in a airport, it was the least I could do to retain some semblance of attractive after my 28 hour voyage home.  I looked around and there I saw him, Nat dressed in his best suit holding a dozen roses.  Crying because you are so happy is a miraculous thing.  I have told Nat before he shouldn't be embarrassed if I start crying in public during times like this.  He still thinks it makes him look like a bad boyfriend that made his pathetic little girlfriend cry in public.  So, I cried a little, just enough to make the point that I am happy to be home clear.  Then dried them up and waited for my bags.  One of the wheels on my new Ukrainian suitcase broke, after I got out of the taxi at Odessa's airport.  Minor damages when looking at the big picture.  In the end, I am home, in one piece.

My roses live in a pitcher in my apartment, and I love them for it
My Trans-Siberian Journey may have ended, but my adventures are long from over.  So I encourage you to keep reading, because rest assured, I will keep writing.

No comments:

Post a Comment