Jetlag, giant planes, and sitting where famous people sat

22 Jan

This comic represents my jetlagged life lately:

jetlag comic

I arrived in the UK on Thursday morning and yesterday is the first day I felt somewhat together, and even then I spent most of my day on IKEA’s website instead of working or blogging or doing anything else productive. (More on IKEA in a different post!) So now I’m tasked with writing about events that happened several days ago.

For starters, I flew in from DC on a 777. I can’t remember if I’ve ever been on one of those planes — you’d think I’d remember it though, because the aircraft is MASSIVE. Two seats by five seats by two seats, meaning there are nine seats across. My connecting plane from Cincinnati often has three or four seats across. I was seated in the third to last row, which everyone knows is referred to as “the back of the bus.” There was some good camaraderie among us back of the bus folk as we not-so-secretly prayed no one would sit beside us. The flight attendant said the flight was not full, and as soon as they announced that the door had been closed, people could move to empty seats. The row behind me was entirely empty, as was my row except for me. Every time someone started heading our way the people around me would mutter “don’t come back, don’t come back, sit there, sit there.” There was a collective cheer when the door was closed and we had the back of the bus to ourselves. I decided not to be greedy and allowed a girl to sit at the other end of my row. Five seats to myself is a bit much, I could deal with two and a half. In fact, I actually stretched out and fell asleep for a brief moment, until I woke up with that “this is not comfortable, I should go to my bed” feeling you get after you fall asleep on the couch, and then I realized I was 30,000 feet in the air, halfway between my bedrooms in Cincinnati and London and sleeping comfortably was not going to be an option for several hours.

When I woke up my contacts were painfully stuck to my eyes, so since they were dailies I figured I’d just peel them off in my seat and save myself a trip to the toilet cubicle. The left one came out fine, but the right one was stuck. I poked and poked at my eye, but no contact emerged. Eventually I had to bite the bullet and run to the bathroom, tears streaming down my face, made worse by the bright light of the lavatory. I continued to touch my eyeball until I looked like a proper red-eyed stoner. I never did find that contact and pray it fell out somewhere in my seat instead of rolling to the back of my eye (is that possible?!)

I took the Heathrow Express train to Paddington station, then got in a taxi. “Are you American?” the driver asked me. “Can I tell you a story?” I said “sure,” and he proceeded to go into great detail about how he noticed a “really famous American movie star” in the taxi queue at Paddington station several years ago. He was telling the story so slowly I wanted to shout “Who was it? Who was it?!” but I let him prattle on. Eventually he told me it was Morgan Freeman, and he got into his taxi. Apparently he likes to have the real London experience with the Heathrow Express and a black cab. It’s good to know that the voice of God and I have sat in the same taxi seat.

When I opened my suitcase up at my apartment, I saw this:

TSA notice of baggage inspection

I think this is the first time this has happened to me, which is funny considering the amount of times I travel and the crazy things I pack. I wonder if they do random inspections or if something on the X-ray machine tripped them. It may have been the potato masher. Don’t you always travel with your own potato masher? (OK, I saw it at the dollar store and I needed one to mash my bananas for oatmeal.) I also packed the microwave popcorn popper I got for Christmas that looks like a plastic alien spaceship. Nothing was missing from my suitcase, thankfully, so I guess it’s not illegal to bring your own potato masher or popcorn popper into the UK.

I was going to include some snow photos, but this post is already too long, so stay tuned for those (if I can stay awake and off the IKEA website).

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One Response to “Jetlag, giant planes, and sitting where famous people sat”

  1. caoimhynn January 27, 2013 at 4:10 am #

    I SHOULD really start traveling with a potato masher.. I had the great idea of making mashed potatoes with carrots once when I was on the other side of the world… I cooked the carrots, the potatoes.. but then I found out there was no potato masher… I used a fork instead and was very frustrated afterwards.. note to self: always bring potato masher when going abroad..

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