So I’ve been in Sydney for one whole week. Why, you ask, am I just now getting this blogged started? Well let me tell you. Rewind to my first ever flight. Of course I choose perhaps one of the longest, most grueling flights to slice my flying virginity, but hey, go big or go home, amirite? After having sat an extra 30 minutes due to my flight being delayed, I’ve made it through Security at McGhee Tyson airport after a very tearful goodbye with my family and beautiful friends (paid money to park just to see me blubber all over myself and regret my whole trip, great friends I tell you), when I get to my gate and they inform us that our flight is SO small that rolling carry-ons will not be permitted. Mind you, up until this point, I have planned everything down to which pen will go in which suitcase. This was not on my list of problems I might run into, but there’s obviously not much I can do, so I hand over my carry-on to be checked with the rest of my luggage (for free of course, because this ain’t my fault) and find a comfy spot on the floor away from people so I can continue to quietly sob and question my overindulgent plans. Having only a 3-hour flight ahead of me, I figure there isn’t much I could need from my carry-on that is not in my personal item.
So I board the plane, am very surprised by how actually small this plane is (considering I’m 5’0 and could hit my head on the ceiling, whaaaa?), fasten my seatbelt, and continue my silent lament while staring out the window trying to avoid attracting attention to my red, splotchy face. The guy beside me was very concerned, he never asked me what was wrong but stared at me while not watching his strange anime show for a majority of the flight. Flying was nothing like I expected, having tried to mentally prepare myself as much as possible for that. I did not freak out and I did not hyperventilate, so I’d consider my first flight a beginner’s success. We land in Houston and I quickly realize that my gate for my connection to Sydney closes in 40 minutes. So I have 40 minutes to navigate an alien, much larger airport and also stop by baggage claim to hopefully find my carry-on. I rush from my plane and find baggage claim and ask a not-so-friendly man where my carry-on will go. He tells me I’m in the right place and I blow a huge sigh of relief. Go me! I’ve done this with no help from mom and dad (minus being on the phone with mom while dashing from my plane). I then ask him where my gate is for my flight to Sydney just for future reference and he says to me, “Oh, there’s no time for you to wait. If you don’t want to miss your flight, you’re going to have to leave your bag.” OKAY. Let me just leave my unlocked carry-on that holds my laptop and medications and everything else you’re supposed to have with you on long flights and go sit on a plane for 14 hours without it. Yes, good plan.
So with this new piece of advice, I start to panic. I need that stuff, but once again, what can I do? I take off up the stairs armed with the info that I have to take a Skyway (basically a subway within the airport, because it’s that damn big…to get from one gate to another, you must ride a train *sighs*) to my next gate. I get there in record time after having gone through security again and explaining my carry-on problem to 2 new people that also can’t help me and get through the gate and right as I am about to board the plane, I ask one more person if there’s a chance I can get my carry-on before I board. She takes me back to the gate and right as we are going to ask the gate agent, they close the doors and my fate is sealed. No carry-on for my flight to Sydney. She gives me tips on how to speed the process along when I land to get my bag quickly and wishes me luck (I wish I knew her name, because she was the nicest person I met in my escapades in the airport) and I board my next flight.
This flight was something different altogether. There were so many people and I was just blown away by the sheer size. I walk down to my seat and am ambushed by my neighbor about my Tennessee Vols neck-pillow. She excitedly informs me that she too grew up in Tennessee and I quickly realize that she has probably had a little too much to drink. She asks me all sorts of questions and informs me that she’ll get my alcohol regardless of my age. Soon she tries to turn on a movie and I have to help her push the buttons because she just “can’t seem to be able to get her fingers to work.” Her husband whom at this point is so annoyed with her behavior has written her off and is openly feigning sleep. She finally realizes he’s annoyed with her and quickly sobers up, which is comical because of how completely sloshed she appeared to be.