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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On Leaving America - Part 45

Mission Impossible
I am without wi-fi, also my regular computer, and still jet lagged. These next blogs will most likely be iffy and probably not in proper sequence. There will undoubtedly be more spelling errors than as I have not been able to find any kind of spell check on this little laptop computer.

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The trip started well. A neighbor took us to the airport . . . four huge check-in bags and each of us with a carry-on and one cat cage. The cats were not happy, but we got on board and soon became a bird in flight. The plane had fifty empty seats, plenty of room and reasonable meals. The cats were wonderful. I was totally surprised, just an occasional meow and not that loud. The ride was long, but uneventful. Ten hours later we set down in Paris. Then the fun began.
We had just eighty minutes to get to our connecting flight, barely enough time, and of course we had to get our passports checked again and go through another security check, but it looked like we might make it.
Enter the Border Police, or rather, don’t enter the Border Police. Where were they? Over 300 of us waited, standing impatiently as thirty minutes passed. Finally two of them showed up and sat at a counter behind glass windows. The process was slow and incompetent. Hard to understand why as all they did was look at our passports and check to see if our faces matched our photos. The process seemed endless and of course we missed our connection.
De-Gaulle Airport is huge, but we found our way to an Air France counter where we were told us the next flight to Sweden would leave in eight hours. By now we’d been up fifteen hours since leaving our place in Seattle. Passage to Sweden would take another two and a half hours. Lou turned the tears on and we were somehow bumped up to a four hour wait . . . not fun. The cats were extremely unhappy, perhaps no more than ourselves. So close and still so far.
At last we were boarded onto a cheesy and not particularly clean Air France Airbus filled to capacity with all the others who had missed their connecting flights. There was barely room to jam the cat cages under the seat in front and no room for my legs, one of which went to sleep. I wish the rest of me could have done the same. By the time we landed in Stockholm Bucky seemed barely alive. His fur was cold and there was no reaction when I reached inside the cage to pet him. Just a lifeless ball of fur. I thought we might lose him.
We missed our connection to Borlange, the town where we now live, but happly Lou had friends in the city. We spent the night with them, rented a car the next morning and arrived home in the early afternoon, totally jetlagged, wired and exhausted. Bucky and Amber recovered more rapidly than ourselves, happily exploring the new and very empty space of our new house.

1 comment:

  1. Bruce,

    I feel for you. At least you made it.