Jsem v Praha!

Where do I start?! This is my very first time out of the U.S. & I don’t know why I expected getting here to be any less dramatic than any other part of my life when it’s new or different...

I started out the day finishing packing, notifying credit cards of departure, making sure my animals were properly set-up for while I was gone, loading my phone with good music, etc. The flight was delayed a bit, so instead of 6, we were to leave at 8 from LAX. This gave me a bit more time and yet I still left my huge stack of useful český flashcards at home. #fail. Regardless, I managed to pack everything else that could possibly get me through an 8-day European vacation with or without unexpected occurrences. Little did I know.

First off, I’d like to say that Swiss Air is amazing. Truly. I’ve had worse service at the Ritz Carlton. From check-in and security to on-boarding, the process was flawless and pleasantly reassuring. What wasn’t reassuring was the almost full-fledged panic attack I had upon exiting the car at LAX. I literally had no idea where it was coming from since I was not the nervous flyer in our family, my mom was. She normally has the type of birth grip that makes me have empathy for what my father must have gone through in the delivery room...I have a mild palsy for about an hour after take-off’s is all I’m saying. So why me right then? I was crying, couldn’t breathe...my dad reached in the car and got me tissues, explaining to me how it was all unknown and to be expected I’d be nervous. Sweet, but it didn’t help. Perhaps realizing I’d be on a plane for the next 11 hours of my life with people I didn’t know going to a place I’d never been just hit me all at once. I felt like I was about to go get married. So note to self... European travel = as claustrophobic and anxiety-inducing as commitment. Got it. Always good to learn something new about yourself.

Once on-board, I sat next to a delightful woman named Tammy. She and her partner/boyfriend/civil-union-participant Gary were wonderful company for the duration of our flight. I started out the introductions by inquiring after her health, but not in the way that you might think. If you’re sick, I am not sitting next to you for 11 hours and carrying your disease into my vacation. Thanks. Upon clearly establishing their lack of virus, we began talking about where we were from and what not. Then the topic of beer came up as the beverage cart came along & Tammy ordered way more than 1 drink. I was surprised because normally on American flights, these are about $6/each. I said “Wow”, to which she informed me that on European flights, you can drink as much as you want, as long as you want, whenever you want. Hello! Ok so I felt like it was time to try this. My system was already quite cozy on 2 Xanax & 1 Dramamine, so this couldn’t hurt, right? I ordered OJ, Bailey’s on ice, and was recommended a Swiss beer. I know I know, I mixed my alcohol. Shut up. I’m sharing this with you because what I just listed is the cocktail of perfection for falling dead-ass asleep for nine straight hours. That’s right, 9. Swiss Air doesn’t just hydrate you a lot, they also feed you a lot. I had dinner and breakfast, better than what’s on my school campus. Breakfast was especially impressive, probably because I was most conscious by that point. They brought you a box containing a warm biali roll & croissant w/ yogurt, cream cheese, Tilamook, chocolate, and OJ. Then intuitively, as soon as you were done, they bring around a warm towel for you.

Now here was the downside, cuz there is one...we were 3 rows back from bulkhead in the plane, (4 behind business/1st class). In bulkhead, there were 2 babies in 2 different families: a white family and a Korean family. This matters, so stop. Both babies would cry when altitude changed, they became hungry, the poo'd, or were generally upset. Here’s the difference. The white baby didn’t scream. If it was fussy, the mother would utilize this amazing thing called a pacifier along with walking up & down the plane’s aisles to soothe her child. The Korean parents apparently had no idea they should soothe their child. Maybe this will better prepare the said child for the world someday and it will get good grades, etc. Who knows, that kid could be my next neurologist someday. Anyway, that kid screamed. I mean a wail that could pierce Helen Keller’s eardrums and miraculously restore her hearing. Geese stayed away from our propellers because of this kid. It was ridiculous. And the parents did nothing, which included having no expression whatsoever. No pacifier, no soothing walks, no apologies, no peanut butter, tranquilizer gun, nothing. I mean, c'mon. I had my iPod in my ears turned up to almost the max volume and I could still hear the kid, the only reason I slept the way I did was because I drugged myself (another testament to my concoction). Eleven hours of that.

To be continued ...

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