Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kim, I Need Oxygen

My story begins before my actual arrival in Dublin, Ireland because I had quite a long, stressful, and rain-filled journey there.

On my way to the airport my friend Joanne called me to tell me that our flight was apt to be canceled due to the threat of thunderstorms and she had scheduled us both on an earlier flight. I had already left later than planned, so I began to get very stressed out. I called my dad and told him we would be unable to see him before we went to the airport, which made me sad. As I passed through security, I realized the earlier flight would make no difference. The flight kept getting delayed because it was en route from Chicago and flying through the crazy, windy storms there. After we finally got on the plane, the thunderstorms finally reached Detroit and we were stuck on the ground for 2 and a half hours. By the time we got to Chicago we had ten minutes to board our plane to London. After rushing to the London flight, we ended up having to sit on the runway again because of increased air traffic.

The flight was reasonably comfortable. I didn't sleep much, as usual. My dinner consisted of three pieces of lettuce, pot roast, mashed potatoes, peas that were still frozen, a roll, and a brownie for dessert. Everything tasted pretty much the same...spongy and flavorless. I had a convenient tv right on the seat in front of me so I wouldn't have to crane my neck and I could choose between 5 movies. Since it was midnight I chose a chick flick, so I wouldn't feel guilty about sleeping through it. I watched Because I Said So..., a movie I had planned to see at an earlier date but ended up getting in a car accident on the way to the theater. This time the movie was uninterrupted and entirely predictable. Mandy Moore is cute, though. My mom would have loved the movie, probably because Diane Keaton is in it and she says "because I said so" every five minutes.

After the movie, I tried to doze as best I could. All of a sudden I was awoken by screaming. I took off my headphones and looked around frightfully. I saw nothing out of ordinary, most people were sleeping. A flight attendant came on the p/a for the second time, urgently stating: "Is there a physician on board? I need a physician if there is a physician on board. [pause] Kim, I need oxygen." I was taken aback. I thought, is this for real? what's happening? I looked around and could still see nothing wrong, but there were no flight attendants in sight. Five minutes later, the pilot came on the p/a insisting on the earlier request for a physician. I started to panic because I freak out on planes in general, I don't need help from a medical incident. I put my headphones back on and tried to relax. I began to smell vomit and flight attendants were briskly walking throughout the cabin, not letting anyone get up from their seats due to a medical emergency. I stayed calm by playing red hot chili peppers and trying to air drum the songs.

The emergency must not have been all that perilous because after about an hour business went on as usual. I was served breakfast, of which I ate none (yogurt) and we landed at a god awful time in the morning eastern time. At this point, I was on my own for the rest of the journey, as I still had to catch a flight from London to Dublin. All I want to say about this point in my journey is that security restrictions in the UK are strange and really strict. The security guard unpacked everything in my carry on as Germans watched and discussed everything in my bag in german. At least there wasn't anything embarrassing in there.

The flight from London to Dublin is a short one flying from Detroit to Chicago. In this short hour I still managed to get a good nap and make friends with a sweet older British woman with a beautifully sophisticated accent. She sat down next to me and I got a waft of her scent...she smelled of baby powder and lavender soap; it was comforting. She commenced to read some smutty magazines (very popular over here, I know more about British pop stars plastic surgery and trips to the zoo than I ever wanted to) and a romance novel. She and her husband (who was sporting a tweed jacket!) were traveling to Ireland on Holiday and going on a 5 day tour of the countryside. She actually was also a professor of Medieval History at Trinity College (I didn't even know what it was when she talked about it...seems funny now). She told me a lot about Dublin and traveling and asked about my life in the U.S. It was a very pleasant plane ride.

We touched down in Dublin around 2:45 in the afternoon there. I finally arrived at my flat at 4 pm. Oh boy. What a trip.