I've been back over a week now, I’m so good at keeping up to date y’all don’t even know. So I guess we’ll start at the beginning of the trip.
Monday the 30th of November: I wake up at 7:30, get the rest of my stuff packed, get dressed, and we're on the road at 9. We eat lunch at 11 across the road from the airport and are at the airport by 12. I go to check my bag and I’m 7 pounds overweight. Ok, that’s a lie, I’m about 60 pounds overweight, my bag was 7 pounds overweight. I’m told that they can check it for $200 or I can get another bag and pay $50. Off we go to buy the cheapest $30 bag I’ve ever laid eyes on to shove things into.
I get my bags sorted about and hour and a half before my flight, so plenty of time thankfully. We do the whole family send of thing. I’m 24, have lived at home my whole life and the furthest I’ve been on my own is about 6 hours north for a weekend. I’m a homebody, and here I am gearing up to be gone for 5 weeks through Christmas. (Obviously that didn’t happen but I’m getting there.) We all cry. A man playing Christmas songs on a grand piano across the small plaza looks at us with pity and curiosity. This does not bode well. I start to head to my gate.
It takes about 10 minutes tops to get through TSA, find my gate (the first on on my right) and sit down. I have an hour to kill. I call mom (she’s still kind of crying) then use a tenth of my waiting time to catch up on easthorse because that’s all it takes.
Jump forward the remaining 45 minutes.
We get on the plane. It’s smallish with two rows of seats on each side, about 20 rows. I have a window seat right at the wing. I've never flown commercial before. I've been in a helicopter once, and I've been in a single prop crop duster once. We take off.
For the first half hour I was mesmerized by the whole being off the ground thing. Everything was tiny yadda yadda you've heard all this before I'm sure. I kept getting introspective followed shortly by the feeling that I was trying to hard. We get above the cloud layer. I marvel at that for about 10 minutes then read the book I brought for the journey (Warped, a book about the fictional season 8 of Star Trek: The Next Generation, read it if you're a fan.) I finish it before we even land in Chicago. Good.
We land. I find out where my next flight is and proceed to walk what feels like 2 miles and probably was. I was underground at one point. It was actually pretty cool. I get to the gate for my flight to Frankfurt. At some point during the hour and a half wait I vow to never travel like this alone again. I call home. No one is crying. I call work and gloat a little about not having to be there. Time for flight 2. Eight hours in the very back of a large 777 (I think). Three sets of three seats.
We take off. It's a bit bumpier than I expect. I continue not panicking because I'm not a child. I watch the Paper Towns movie on the screen in the headrest in front of me. It was ok. I try to watch 2001 A Space Odyssey. I feel unable to pay it the attention it deserves. I watch Monsters INC. instead. Twice. We still have like 3 more hours. Dinner is brought by. I decline. I can't eat when I travel. I watch Up. Twice. We finally land. It is 9 AM local time. My internal clock is telling me it is 3 AM. This is going to be a long day.
I get off the plane and walk for like 15 minutes until I reach customs. I show my passport.
Customs Guy: “Why are you here?”
Me: “Visiting friends.”
CG: “How long will you be here?”
Me: “Until January the 7th.”
CG: *Stamps Passport* “Enjoy Germany.”
I wanted in line 20 minutes for this. I get to baggage claim. I grab my bags and immediately check to see if my desktop is ok. It is. I go to the lobby and get hooked up to the wifi. Martin is late because traffic. I am neither surprised nor annoyed. Traffic sucks. I pull out my laptop and make that short blog from three weeks ago.
Martin arrives. He has Rainbow Dashed his hair. I am to tired to react properly. We go to his car. We catch up on the long drive back to his flat. It was nice. We get to his flat. I hook up to the wifi and Skype call home. No one cries. I spend the next few hours setting up and settling in.
Jump forward. It’s 11 PM local time. My internal clock says 5 PM. Martin has turned in. I have been up for 32 hours. I can not sleep. The first wave of homesick panic sets in. I skype call a good friend of mine back home. We talk for about 10 minutes before I kinda start to cry. I am very tired, I am very far away from home, and I cannot sleep. I say these things out loud and cry more. I am bad at traveling long distances it seems.
Martin gets out of bed and gives me tissues. I jokingly tell him to go to sleep so I can cry in peace. My friend suggests watching youtube together until I think I can sleep. We watch Vinny play Majora’s Mask 3d until about 5AM, 11 PM by my internal clock. Bedtime. I thank her for sitting up with me.
I pass out for about 7 hours. I wake up just before Martin get’s back from class. I email my travel agent about going home early. We play games, watch videos, and just have a good time in general until he goes to bed. I call my friend again. We watch more Vinny. The cycle continues until that Friday.
Friday is the day we head over to another good friend of mine’s place for the weekend because we’re all going to comic con. We leave around 3 and arrive around 6. They are not home because work is a thing that happens to people. We go find a Subway. They get home sooner than they think. We head back. Hugs are had, smash is played, Mario Kart 8 is played, we go to bed. And by we I mean everyone but me. I set my laptop up next to the spot of ground I’m sleeping on (Martin got the couch since I figured he would actually sleep) and again skype and youtube with my friend back home.
Throughout the night, I get about an hour of sleep. I don’t mind. I’m numb to tired at this point and enjoying my friends too much to care. I go in the bathroom. Ragnar the Destroyer emerges. We head out.
We stop by a bakery in the middle of a mall like shopping center. I eat raisin bread and fail to ignore the fact that I am the only one wearing fur and a cape. We all share good natured laughs at my expense. We go to Comic Con.
Germany’s first comic con turns out to be a giant flea market of nerd related goods. There was like one panel I think. I don’t care. There is cool stuff everywhere. We get a good feel of the floor. We take pictures with the German 501st battalion. Boba Fett flicks and squeezes one of the horns on my viking hat. I accidentally confuse them with handshakes. We decide not to burn ourselves out since we’ll be back tomorrow.
My friend makes delicious hamburgers for us. They are delicious. We play SOMA for a while then go to bed. (see definition above). The second day we spend most of our time slowly going through a large booth of retro game stuff. I have to be talked out of buying a boxed copy of Super Metroid. Once back at their place we watch the first few episodes of One Punch Man then Martin and I head back to his place. Rinse and repeat week one until Saturday.
I wake up around noon, 6 AM by my home clock that I never adjusted away from. Martin and I enjoy our last day as we have been and he turns in like normal. We have to be up at 5 the next morning, which has been about when I’ve been going to sleep. I pull an all-nighter.
We leave at 6, and arrive and around 8 I think. I honestly don’t really remember. I halfway napped on the drive over. I get my bag checked. I left a good bit behind that I wouldn’t need so my bag is not overweight. I am still overweight. We find my terminal and I say goodbye to Martin. I apologize for cutting the trip short and not getting to meet his family. I am bad at being not home. It takes about an hour to get to my gate. I still have an hour to wait.
Skip forward, we begin boarding, and by that I mean we start getting on a bus that will take us out to the actual plane. While waiting I notice that stuff holding the padding in my right headphone has come loose. It does not affect the fit. I’m mildly miffed but overall not upset. We get on the bus. We ride for 5 minutes. We get off the bus. We get on the plane. We sit on the tarmac for an hour longer than we should because air traffic control got the only two fights going to Washington D. C. that day backwards. I start watching movies.
I watch Homeward Bound, almost cry multiple times. I watch The Avengers 2. I watch Ant Man. I watch Captain America 2. I realize I have watched these out of order. I stop caring because we land. I call home while walking to customs. I talk to mom until I reach the TSA checkpoint. That takes 10 minutes. I talk to mom until I find my gate. I change my shirt because I can smell myself. I kill an hour by calling and texting various people.
I get on my last flight. I listen to an old Two on the Vine podcast while I enjoy seeing city lights at night from the air. The man next to me works on a powerpoint, assumedly for work. We land. I manage to contain myself while enough people move out of the way so I can get off. As soon as Mom can see me she runs halfway to meet me. My mom never runs. We hug a lot. My sister is crying. She is the only one. We hug a lot. I hug my dad. He took me being gone harder than I did. He says he is very happy to see me. I cry a little.
We get my bag and I check on my computer again. It is still fine. We go eat because I’m properly hungry for the first time in two weeks. I decide to drive home. We get home at about 9. I have been awake for about 40 hours now. I don’t feel this because I stopped registering tired. I get all my stuff set up and shower. I like to sit in the shower because I have a tub shower. As soon as I sit down I fall asleep for about half an hour. I wake up. I am no longer tired.
I decide to play Destiny with my friends. We get in a party and I learn that I need to update. We wait. An hour later it’s midnight. I have been awake 42 hours. My calves start cramping really bad. I try and get to the kitchen to get a drink or something sweet. I get halfway and realize that I am going to pass out. Mom and Dad are asleep. I call my sister.
I sit in the bathroom floor while she gets me water. I set it between my legs. I tell her I am going to pass out and will need something sweet probably when I come too. This has only happened once before. I was alone then and was fine. My sister leaves. I realize I didn’t get to tell her that I shake a bit whenever I pass out. I pass out.
I wake up a minute or two later to her screaming my name. My leg is wet. I foolishly devote all of my processing to determining whether or not I pissed myself. Dad shows up at the door. I tell him I did not piss myself. He says something like “Of course you didn’t there’s a cup between your legs.”
I realize I should probably start telling them I’m ok. I tell them I’m ok. It takes about 15 minutes of telling them I’m ok for them to agree. They make me go to bed after eating some sweets for sugar and drinking a glass of water for dehydration. I check my phone and realise my friends heard everything because I had the Yeti mic plugged in and they were about 2 minutes away from calling an ambulance. I tell them I’m fine and that I’m going to bed. I sleep as soon as I hit the pillow.
I move for the first time at around 9 the next morning. I text my friends and tell them I’m not dead. I go back to sleep.
I sleep for another 5 hours before getting up. I tell my friends I’m still not dead. I go and visit the friend who kept me company with skype and youtube before she goes home for the holidays the next day. We have fun.
And that’s pretty much it he says five pages later. I really did enjoy the trip but I’m very glad to be home for the holidays. Feel free to pan me for all the crying in the comments. I’m grown, I can take it.
Until next time,