You know how you get super nervous about something, but you know if you let your guard down you are going to totally lose your shit and never get it back? Yeah, this trip is like that. On our way to the airport on Wednesday I expressed this concern to Derek. He told me I’d have a good time and forget all about it once I got going.
Up until the 2nd hour of my first flight, which was 11 hours by the way, I was having a great time. I was going to watch one of my favoite movies, have my dinner and drift off into a medically induced sleep to slumber away the duration of the flight.
I’ve made the trans-Pacific flight 7 times. I know it sucks. I hate it and it’s my least favorite part about going to Asia. Ok, maybe not being able to read anything may be more difficult and make my brain hurt more in the end, but an 11-14 hour flight is no walk in the park.
So sleep. That was my plan. My body had other plans. I took my sleeping aid (which I’ve taken before) and within about 30 minutes something was not going right. I got up to use the bathroom and before I could really get all the way inside I projectile vomited all over the wall in the lavatory. Not a shining moment in my adulthood. I then proceeded to vomit up the wonderful airline food that was left.
What occurred after that was a bit of a blur. I remember coming out of the bathroom and telling the other people they don’t want to go in there. I then had to tell the flight attendant what happened. I must not have looked good because they swarmed me, had me sit down on the floor near the rear galley and gave me blankets. They had set me by the rear emergency exit door and it was fricken freezing. All I can remember are people in my face asking what is wrong, what do I need, then asking if there was a doctor or nurse on the plane. A man was taking my pulse, a nurse was taking my blood pressure, a flight attendant was giving me oxygen, it was chaos. I was just asking them if I could lay down. It would be fine if I could lay down.
I shivered on the floor of the galley for at least 6 hours. I must have slept off and on because it didn’t’ seem like that long. I just remember it being so. damn. cold. Eventually I asked for another blanket (I think I had 5 all together with one wrapped around my head). One of the flight attendants gave me a large bottle of Evian that she had heated up. I cuddled my hot water bottle. I must have slept for another hour.
When I finally woke up and was able to sit up the flight attendant asked me if I wanted a banana to eat. I had just thrown up all of my food and only had a bowl of fruity pebbles and a piece of peanut butter toast that day. I ate the banana then finally returned to my seat. I tried to go back to sleep, but that banana had other ideas. Back to the bathroom with me.
I’ve thrown up on an airplane before. I was alone that time too. There is nothing worse than throwing up on the airplane. Needless to say I was feeling a little crappy. Somehow I managed to get myself through security in Tokyo and found my gate. I tried to call Derek, but it was 12:30 in the morning at home and of course he had the sound turned off on all of the devices in the house. Luckily my wonderful friend Camille had a fussy baby so she was up and I chatted with her on Facebook. I needed someone to talk to.
If throwing up on the airplane wasn’t bad enough, I wasn’t done traveling. I was only 1/2 way through the journey. I had an hour and 45 minute layover in Tokyo, a 3 hour flight to Beijing, a 4 hour layover in Beijing and as I write this I’m currently on yet another airplane (2 1/2 hours) to Khabarovsk. I’m almost there.
I endured a very smelly Chinese guy for 3 hours. When I got to China I had to go through passport control, but I don’t have a valid Chinese Visa. Mine expired May 2011. I was in a panic that they wouldn’t let me transfer to the other terminal without a visa. Fortunately you stand in a queue for immigration and they stamp your passport with a ‘transfer visa.’ I then had to collect my bag, find my way to the terminal 3 shuttle, take the shuttle, find the ticketing counter, stand in a queue to re-check in with the Russian airline, stand in a queue to check my boarding pass, stand in a queue for immigration control again, then proceed to yet another queue for x-ray and security, where they were patting down every last passenger and making you take out not only your laptop, but your camera too (of which mine was at the bottom of my bag).
By this point I was nearly in tears. I was hungry, exhausted and felt like complete hammered dog shit. But I did it. I found my gate, laid down and took a 40 minute power nap. It’s amazing how just a little bit of sleep can make you feel better.
So here I am on the airplane. It’s cramped and the chick next to me is laying down taking up 2 seats and I really want to say NYET sister, I’ve been traveling for over 24 hours just let me lay the hell down, but I had tea with dinner and I’m wide awake now.
I’m going to make it. This trip is going to be great. I’m very proud of myself for not totally losing my shit.