April 25, 2013 – The day we all have been waiting for. The day I leave for Europe!! I had a typical bad day at work, made even worse by it being “Bring Your Kids to Work Day” Finally the day is over and I am FREEEEEEEEEE!!!! Europe here I come!!
Well it seems that in addition to being “Bring Your Kids to Work Day”, it is also “Bring Your Kids to Belgium Day”
Whenever I book a flight, I pick my seat. Last row, window seat on the right side of the plane. Last row because it gives you the best chance of having a row to yourself. Window seat because i can not breathe on planes. Having the window next to me is psychosomatic and makes me feel like I have more oxygen. Right side because that’s the way I lean when I fall asleep sitting up.
Tonight I get on the plane. I am still at the door and I can hear the SCREAMING kid. SCREAMING. Now let me stop and explain a bit here. Usually when someone talks about a screaming kid on a plane, it’s about a kid having a meltdown and just scream crying. That was not what this one was doing. It seemed to have having the worlds LOUDEST conversation with itself in a language only it spoke. Lots of “BEEEEEEEEEEE BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP” just nonstop.
I make my way to the last row for my seat and this SCREAMING kid is in my seat. Not in my row, not next to my seat, but IN MY SEAT. Screaming away IN MY SEAT. Not only that, but it looks like it is in for the long haul. It is standing on my seat, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP-ing away, with all its stuff all over the place. All over my seat, the floor, the seat back pocket. It has a bag under the seat in front of it. I recheck my boarding pass because surely I am at the wrong seat? I’m not. So my next logical thought is that this thing is in the wrong seat. I try telling it that it’s in my seat and all I get back is “BEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP” Finally, the father surfaces and asks me to switch to a middle row aisle seat. Oh Hell no. Don’t tell me you got on the plane and completely unpacked your kid in my seat, just expecting I would agree to switch because I won’t. I tell him no, I need the window or else I will vomit.
So the kid is then moved to the available aisle seat next to mine. This is an enormous production since it had so much stuff unpacked and all over the freaking place. Even though we are at the back of the plane, there are still people trying to get by so now we have a traffic jam. The kid is still screaming. Never once did its father try to get it to be quiet. Not once. Finally its out of my way and I am free to take my seat so I do.
I get settled. Get my stuff out. Notebook, pen, gum, MP3 player, headphones. I now have everything in the back seat pocket, I am ready to go. Now that I am all settled, this guy now goes all over the plane trying to find someone to give up their window seat to me, so that I can move and still have a window seat. Then this SCREAMING kid can have my seat and the new person can take the middle aisle seat. He finds someone. I am tempted to still say no. I never actually said I would move if he found me a new window seat. Everything about this is obnoxious.
The father tells me he will keep an eye out for them. “NO GUY, THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS. I AM NOT GOING TO SPEND A SEVEN HOUR FLIGHT WIHTOUT MY HEADPHONES, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR KID WONT SHUT UP” I now feel every eye on the plane, now on me. He looks around and finds them. SCORE. I get to my new seat and SON OF A BITCH my pen is in the seat back pocket of my old seat. Now the seat belt sign is on. I can’t get up. I try to explain this to a flight attendant, it gets me nowhere. Even when I explain that “My pen is in the back seat pocket of that SCREAMING kid. I had to move so it could have my seat” The nice man next to me comments “that’s not your family?” to which I say “Absolutely not”
I mourn the loss of my pen for an irrational amount of time. I have a diary raring and ready to be filled with tales of my Eurotrip Extravaganza. I have to rant about this SCREAMING kid DAMMIT. But I also have a new laptop type thingy. Hmm. I guess it’s time to make the transition.
My flight leaves 90 minutes late because there is an FAA furlough that is screwing up air traffic all over the damn place. I think I knew this before I left home and just blocked it out. The entire time, this kid is SCREAMING. We are still not allowed to have electrical appliances on. I am trying to watch a movie. The pilot keeps making announcements. Have you ever noticed that pilots are stereotypical slow talkers? So much dead air between words and even syllables. And right now, every dead air moment is filled with this kid SCREAMING. Since this is an international flight, everything has to be repeated in other languages, with this kid SCREAMING between every syllable.
Then some idiot gets up and opens the overhead luggage bin. OH COME ON. Here comes more announcements about how the seat belt sign is on, don’t get up, more movie interruptions, more SCREAMING kid. This is so painful. I want my pen, I want to jam it into my face and end this. I want to take off. I want to get to Brussels. I have such a ball of burn inside me that im sure is my uterus self imploding after being subjected to the SCREAMING kid that is STILL FREAKING SCREAMING. My flight is 6 hours and 35 minutes. I’ve been on this plane for almost 4 hours and there are still 5 hours left. I bet that kid is still screaming too. I long for the day when I don’t fly to places any longer because I’m already there.
After the flight of death, we arrive in Brussels. I have slept a grand total of zero minutes and I feel like I am going to fall over. We arrived late, the luggage was delayed because of some stupid reason that I can not remember since I was sleep walking my way through this. I finally exit to find my friends waiting for me. HELLO!
My friend Gert had come to pick me up to take me to my hotel. Kindest gesture ever. With him are my friends Rachel and Foz who are going sightseeing in Brussels for the day. We say hello and good bye and then Gert and I are off. The exact second I finish saying “I want to stay awake for the car ride so I can fall asleep all at once at my hotel”, I fall dead asleep.
Check into my hotel. I have five hours before Gert comes back to get me to take me to see Kid Dynamite. I slept only for two because I was too tired to figure anything out. All I really had to do was put on my pajamas and lay down, but this was such a huge ordeal because I could not think straight.
At 5:00, Gert is back with Rachel and Foz. We go to the show, get stamped, find out they only have Stella. We are horrified by this and end up pre-gaming at a tavern that has Duvel. I drank four. They were delicious. Back at the show, Rachel magically manages to get us more Duvel from a stranger who made my night by giving us Duvel at a show that only sold Stella.
After the show, I am dropped back off at my hotel where I am just dying to be in bed. I feel like I slept one hour before Gert was back to collect me the next morning.
I am honestly completely unsure of what time I got to bed. I was however, dressed and ready to go when Gert showed up to collect me at 11:30 am. I am still exhausted. Between the flight and lack of sleep into standing for a few hours watching bands play, I am completely drained.
Gert’s wife Elies is a fantastic cook. She was kind enough to make lunch for us. As soon as the first bite hit my stomach, I realized this was exactly what I needed. I felt much more like a human being after that meal.
Gert’s neighbors have sheep. Every trip I take here, I have to go out back and say hello to them. Living in New York City, the concept of having sheep next door to you is so odd to me.
On the other side, there is a goat. It is so adorable.
After our bellies were full, we sat around and relaxed a bit before heading to the fest. Once we were there, it was beer time. I love beer, it is delicious.
My entire night into day and then back into night was spent with incredibly generous people, who go completely out of their way to make my trip overseas as wonderful as it can possibly be. I also got to drink beer and watch bands I love while spending time with the people that I love. Excellent day/night all around.
Afterwards, Gert dropped me back at my hotel where we said good bye until next year. I will definitely be back. I am just going to look into teleporting before I leave.
Up next: Brussels.