Catching that flight

Just a little bit faster. “Sorry!” Damn suitcase. “Excuse me!” I’m never going to make it. That plane is going to leave without me. Faster, faster! Where the heck is the check in? I look around. How did I end up in this situation?

Several hours earlier:

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” I look up at the sign once more. “The one day we’re going to the airport, an incident occurs and puts the tram out of drift?” My sister shrugs, “there’s always the bus…”

Have you ever felt that the universe conspires for you not to reach something? Like your flight home? When going home from Scotland, I had a that-kind-of-day, starting out with the tram (or more like without it). Next, we arrive at the airport, and see that we had no reason to stress, for our plane is delayed. And it continues to be delayed. Until our next flight leaves from our stopover, Stockholm, Sweden.

 

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I just had to sneak a photo of a woman with these pants. I just love how scottish people have their own, unique style. 

When we finally leave Edinburgh airport, we know it quite well. On the plane, the crew tell us we have to fly by Oslo to get to our final destination, Stavanger, Norway, because there is no more flights from Stockholm to Stavanger that day. What’s more, we won’t have much time in either cities. Hurrying from point A to point B on the airport we get to the security control. These things save lives, but are so freakings unconvinient when you have practically minutes to go. And then I beep. And beep again. They take me aside. Search me slowly. Very thoroughly. Why me, why right now?! Walking as fast as we can, without actually running, we eventually give up and run. Tired we sit down in the aircraft a few truns later. One more airport and then we’re home. If only it was going to be that easy.

 

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As we sat down, we saw some more suitcases arriving. They were ours! We were so happy they made it too.

On the plane the crew tells us about a trial system that’s going to let us go straight from our arrival gate to our departure in Oslo. Usually on domestic flights you have to pick up your luggage and check it in again. Finally something goes our way. Or so we thought. Until we get to the place where we have to scan our tickets to get trought to the transfer area. She gets through when our luggage is said to be scanned. But I don’t. It’s like a scene from a movie, me on one side, and her on the other -trying to communicate while time is running out. There must be something wrong with my baggage, it probably hasn’t been checked through. I look at what I can see of my sister through the barriers. “We don’t have much choice, I’ll run. See you at the gate!” Hopefully

Turning, my focus is momentarily stolen by the people moving through the Taxfree singing Lucia songs. That’s so sweet! Then I remember, shit, my plane will leave without me! Where do I go from here? Oh well, I’ll just run and ask the first official looking person.

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Strange, I think. It feels like I’ve been here before. On this airport. With no time. Despite myself I smile, because I have. Back then I was trying to get home too, from Paris, with two friends. However, then we were together, it didn’t matter that much if we had to take a later plane. This time, my sister is already there, and I don’t know when the next plane leaves, or if there is one at all. So I run. With my heavy backpack jumping up and down.

Down in the luggagehall, I scan the area. Where is my suitcase, WHERE? I spot one I know, but it isn’t mine. It’s my sister’s. I watch as it makes another round. Mine isn’t here. But her’s is. Why, what is going on? Oh well, I don’t have time for this. I’ll have to report mine missing if it doesn’t show up later. I grab the suitcase and once again wonder where to go.

Up, up, with an elevator, past people who turn and look at me. Past people who go “hey!” when the suitcase bumps them. Woops, “Sorry!”Damn suitcase. “Excuse me!” I’m never going to make it. That plane is going to leave without me. Faster, faster! Where the heck is the check in? I look around. How did I end up in this situation? Oh right, it’s a that-kind-of-day.

“Here,” I breathe and almost slam my passport and flight ticket on the counter. I heave the suitcase up and make no smalltalk while waiting.
Shit. No,no,no,no. I forgot I have to go through another security control! My sister is on the phone, “you can make it, you can make it!” I take of my coat, get my computer out of my backpack and spot the half-full  empty, soda. No time to drink now, although I’m so thristy.

People stand around on the other side of the security control. I don’t have the time to be polite, so I push through, “sorry, sorry, sorry” gather my stuff in my hands and make another run for it. Texts from, no doubt, my sister, ticks in one by one. Gate 22. I can make it. I will make it. The backpack hangs on one shoulder, I’m sweating, holding my coat and computer hard, zigzagging through other travelers.

Out of breath I arrive. With the plane still there. Finally, I’m going home.

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P.S. Five hours after we were supposed to, we arrived in Stavanger. Guess what though, when we went to pick up our luggage mine was there, but my sister’s wasn’t. I’ve given up on understanding how that happened.

P.P.S Have you ever experienced a that-kind-of-day? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Soulful Edinburgh

Beautiful. Historical. Vibrant. Happy.

“Last christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special.”

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The christmas music almost drowns in the sound of the raindrops hitting the roofs of the stands at the market. The colorful lights draw people in from the nearby busy shoppingstreet. Scots and tourists alike are milling back and forth, looking for the perfect buy, the perfect souvenir or gift. A wooden figure? Some scotch? Maybe a classic scottish hat?

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It’s cold. The puddles I can’t help but step in, soak my feet. Yet, I, like the ones around me, am smiling. I breathe in the smell of warm beverages mixed with cinnamon and ginger bread. Rubbing my hands together, I walk past an elderly couple. Their accent is more interesting than the actual words being said. Rolling R’s. No G’s at the end (“Evening” = “Evenin”). But I do catch “I dinnae ken” and “eh?”

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The moment passes and I move on. I spot a small wooden owl and immediately head for it. “Ey, look, it’s Hazel!” I call to my sister. Turning it, I add “shit, it’s expensive…” She comes over, “owls are so cute”. I nod and again picture the owl I had on my arm earlier the same day.

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I put the wooden owl down and look around. Edinburgh is pulsing. Moving. Vibrant. Alive.

 

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