Sunday, March 24, 2013

Adventures Coming Home

I am home from Romania but had some interesting, but not dangerous, adventures while doing that.

It was a 13 hour trip from Barlad, Romania to Amsterdam. First we traveled 5 hours by train, then I took a taxi to the Bucharest airport. From there it was a plane to Paris, then what seemed like a 2 mile hike to the gate for the plane to Amsterdam. We left Barlad at 8 AM Eastern European time and I got to Amsterdam at 8 PM Central European time. When we landed in Amsterdam the pilot said Amsterdam was having exceptionally cold weather. Oh, my it was. I'm so glad I didn't make a plan to do some touring in the area before coming home.

Once at the hotel I went down to the "canteen" and got a bottle of water and yogurt with muesli and then went up to my room to eat the food. Then I crashed in bed.

I was up at 6:30 this morning, and out the door around 7:30, and it was even colder than last night. The three minute walk between the hotel and Schiphol Plaza seemed like a 3 mile walk!

Boarded the plane and got an aisle seat on the center where there are 4 seats in a row. I was amazed and happy to see an empty seat between myself and the next passenger. That much space almost seems luxurious now.

Things were uneventful until we crossed the land mass for Canada where we hit some bad air and we did rock and roll! I noticed immediately the flight attendants were walking the aisles to make sure the overhead bins were not coming open so someone would be hit by flying luggage. Sometimes people think flight attendants are high paid wait staff, but they are right there if there is any danger, that's for sure.

I soon figured out that  the passenger in the row between the empty seat and me had his wife and little son in the row ahead. But then I met his daughter too who was in the row ahead of me. She would slip around the corner to talk to "Dad."

About 3 hours before we were to land, the little boy, maybe soon to have his third birthday, crawled over the seat to sit by "Dad." He spent a lot of time playing games on an Ipad and coloring on paper with his father. About 20 minutes out he somehow knew we were soon to land and he buckled up his seat belt all by himself. I said, "Oh, good boy!" and he immediately crushed with shyness. It was the only thing I said to him during the whole flight, but I was surely surprised that after sitting next to me for two hours and that he would be shy if I gave him some praise.

When we landed I pulled out my passport and the customs declaration card and put both in a side pocket of my carry-on bag so I could get them out quickly for border patrol. As I was leaving the plane someone from border control grabbed that and wrote AX on the custom declaration form. I wondered why. When I hit passport, the officer motioned to someone and I was told I had been selected for a survey. The officer told me to pick up my luggage and then come to certain line for an interview. The interview was basically the same information that one writes on the form. It was short and not a big problem, but next time I think I will keep the passport and custom declaration more hidden!

Finally out of the border patrol area and I was on the phone to building shuttle to see if  could get a ride home. While on the phone a flight attendant approached me and asked, "Are you the mother of Najale's (my granddaughter) mother?  I said yes, but was surely surprised. I sent a text about this to my granddaughter and she helped me remember there was somone in my old neighborhood who was a flight attendant. I never really knew this woman, but Najale did from staying from me and playing with the neighborhood kids.

So that's the coming home adventures -- maybe fit the description of "mundane" in my blog heading above!

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