My flight across the Atlantic was a new experience for me. I had only ever flown domestically up until then, and those flights were only ever 4-5 hours at most. Furthermore, in my old age, I have come to dislike flying. It never bothered me until fairly recently; in high school, I won a trip to Washington D.C. in an essay contest, and was absolutely giddy with excitement as I boarded that Delta flight. In college, one of my fraternity brothers had his own plane–a scary single engine two-seater with nothing but a big gear stick for a flight instrument. I willingly got into that Buddy Holly plane and marveled at my college campus far below. Now, instead of being giddy with excitement, I am mainly thinking about how quickly the flames will engulf me as the aircraft I’m in drops out of the sky at 500 miles per hour.
Luckily, they make this drug called Klonopin that has the power to make anyone giddy–even if they’re falling out of the sky at 500 miles per hour. So I was set.
I was also very fortunate to be able to fly business class, which allows one complete privacy to recline 100% and watch a personal TV while potentially falling out of the sky at 500 miles per hour. In all seriousness, though, this really did make the 11 hour flight palatable. I had brought a couple of books, my ipad with games and even more books, and the personal TV seemed to provide a nice selection of television shows to keep me occupied. I had seen these screens on flights before, but had never really used them. I have always disliked the fact that–while they provide a nifty little map that shows how far along the plane is on its journey–they also show the plane’s speed (500 miles per hour, as mentioned previously), and the temperature immediately outside the craft. I pose that it is not necessary to know that it is 30 degrees below zero just inches from my face. So I kept it tuned to the main screen, where I could remain ignorant.
The flight whizzed by more quickly than I expected it would. There was a nice Indian dinner; on the ground, I’ve no doubt it would have both looked and tasted like a plate of lukewarm poo, but in the air it was oddly yummy.
Then there was the opportunity to watch Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
I didn’t pay much attention to the movie, though. I had been wearing a tee with a Cyberman embroidered on it (ignore this if you’re not a Doctor Who geek), and the flight attendant recognized it. We spent a few minutes discussing Who, how the original series was better, how they use the Daleks too much, how devastated we were when Lis Sladen died so suddenly, etc. He brought out a book of companions that had been autographed. I shared that I had met several of the program’s stars at a yearly convention I usually attended in Los Angeles. This all took place without either of us getting beaten up!
Anyway, between reading, watching some TV, playing Slingo on the ipad, napping some, and chatting about Doctor Who, the time flew by. Before I know it, we were being served breakfast and making our descent into Heathrow.
I enjoyed a nice 3 hour layover in the business class lounge at Heathrow. I managed to take another tiny nap, and then stupidly tried to plug in my ipad to charge it. Unhindered by the inconvenience of different electrical sockets, I asked the lounge attendant if he had an adapter. Problem solved! I could once again get online and waste time on Facebook. Woohoo!
I hopped onto a quick connecting flight from London to my final destination: Luxembourg City. There was considerably more turbulence on this hour-long flight than there had been on my flight from SFO to LHR. There were also no business class amenities to help soothe me, but it was also starting to really hit me that I would soon be in a new country. Some of the giddiness I had felt at 16 when flying for the first time found its way back into my consciousness. I would also get to see my partner again after 6 weeks apart. I was feeling pretty damn good by the time I landed.
I stamped my passport, greeted my partner at baggage claim, and stepped outside to take my first photo in a new country: of an airport parking lot.
So I’m finally here, y’all! Now that the boring part of the story is out of the way (taking a cat to the vet, selling furniture, flying, discussing Doctor Who), I will start sharing my experiences of living in this wonderful little country.
To be continued…