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Retroactive Post from 35,000 Feet

August 31, 2011

I am writing this as we pass over the Atlantic Ocean, at an elevation of 35000 feet, 596 miles per hour, and with just over 3000 miles to go until Tel Aviv.

It has been my goal during the last academic year and definitely this summer to cultivate my patience. And boy, did it come in handy today. If you’ve traveled internationally, you can imagine what I’m about to explain.

Following the excitement of the East Coast’s visit from Hurricane Irene this weekend, the airport this Monday morning was quite a buzz. My family had brought me to the airport.

After I had said goodbye to them, I was finally was in the role of jetsetter. Nothing to it but the two suitcases I packed and the carry-on on my back… I met with Kyle and we checked in with the group, tagged our baggage, and waited, as instructed.

My last post about the “waiting game” was a generous euphemism. From the time we checked in with our Hebrew University group, we waited in line for two and a half hours before we got interviewed. My interview took a little longer because I’m a non-traditional student and non-traditional visitor to Israel.

After that checkpoint, we waited in the slightly more quickly moving baggage check-in line. This was a more eventful half hour wait. Things were getting hectic, as the check-in area was flooded with people making up the flights they had missed because of the hurricane, and two airlines sharing the same lobby space. Roped off lines were crisscrossed, and frustratingly redirected.  Our Interglobal Travel agent, Moni, was a huge help in being proactive in keeping our group together and as on-schedule as possible. [Let me just remind everyone of the first and most important rule of Cutting:  You NEVER look back.]

Side note!  The bad news is some other students brought up to three carry-on items! I don’t know what made me think I could only bring one. The good news is that my checked baggage weighed in at 23.4kg (51.59lbs) and 24kg (52.91lbs), and they didn’t charge me anything!

A handful of us were loosely sticking together at this point. After we checked our bags and received our boarding passes, we took the [overcrowding emergency] detour to the TSA checkpoint downstairs. The energy was a whole lot calmer down there. We did the usual:  shoes off and laptops out. Again, this checkpoint held me a few minutes.  I was finally able to go to the bathroom after this, almost four hours after my arrival at the airport. I then waited in a shorter line to board the plane. I found my seat, and napped until the plane took off, at 3:20pm EST. That’s a total of five hours from the time I arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to my taking this video of takeoff.

Another side note! If you couldn’t tell, the good news is I got a window seat. The bad news came when I found that my seat falls right over the wing, so my seat actually does not have a window. All the more flat surface area for me to lean on to find a comfortable sleep, though!

The flight until now was been just fine. I’m not sure about where Kyle or the other students are on the plane, so I’ve been quiet and restful most of the way. Snacks and lunch came in the first two hours of travel. Lunch for me was a delicious meat pasta, salad, warm pita, hummus, and chocolate mousse dessert. I followed it with coffee.

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s an amount of turbulence urging me to put my laptop away, and I think an episode of Glee is starting on channel 9. About five more hours of sitting and waiting until we arrive in Tel Aviv.

My patience is serving me well!

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4 comments

  1. Wow…what an adventure already even before you leave. You’re about to go through a journey that few individuals get the chance to experience. Things aren’t always going to be easy so on those days take a moment to remember the reasons why you are there and to engulf yourself in the good times and bad. Your courage and bravery to take upon such an adventure is extremely admirable and even before your 10 months has begun, you already have something to be proud of.

    You and I have always been drawn together for one reason or another and I’m looking forward to the day that we get to see each other again and share what life has been throwing at us. I believe in you!

    love,

    miKey


    • Mikey, thank you for your encouragement! We’ve always been close even though there’s been so much distance between us! I’m so glad you’ll be with me if only virtually via blog… Love you!


  2. carlo,
    i’m glad you got through it all using your patience. your maturity is an asset for being one of our pioneers on this Big Trip! but, all in all, it sounds like you’ve been taken care of well, and i expect that will continue…
    my best wishes to you and kyle,
    jeff


    • Yes, we’re taken care of quite well. Most of my worries so far have to do with getting my body back on a normal eating and sleeping schedule!



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