I jolt awake atop unknown oceans. flight time 7am, a few more hours to go. Every other passenger casually noshing on some microwaved mushrooms and veggies as I look around in confusion. The flight attendants decided to pass by me while giving out all the amazing canned food. (I kid, airplane food is pretty okay for what it is)
I turned on the flight map and resumed my music, Green Day’s Revolution Radio really wakes me up and gets me right on track. I began picking at the newly given out tray in front of me too as we started to approach the awaiting land.
A few ours pass and here I am. A new country, a new airport and an all new domestic terminal to explore. My flight was a transit flight which meant I had to land in an international terminal and then take off again in less than an hour through a domestic terminal. This is where it got really really scary, English apparently isnt a strong suit for many in this new European country so making it all the way across the air port with only vague signs to guide me was a total night-mare.
Finally making the impossible journey through the airport to the domestic lobby I remembered that I needed to buy a new SIM so that I could update my location and let everyone at home know I had landed safely with 50% of my journey done. I got scammed really badly ( I learned this later on) but apparently the SIM and prepaid package I bought was supposed to be half the price of what I paid. The person clearly understood I spoke close to 0% of his language and used it to his advantage, yes there are surely scam artists in every part of the world but this was okay, I was prepared for things to be pricey.
So I, the nervous child make my way to the lounge area closest to the gates of my flight, being extremely anxious with loads of palpitations I spot a woman travelling with a pet kitty in a cage, I asked to pet it and she declined but just staring at a cat was a bit relaxing I suppose.
I wait anxiously for another 45 mins to pass and then boarding starts, luckily I was group B right after all the high-end snobs (and maybe some nice people who won a ticket) of first class. I was too scared to actually read my seat number thoroughly and only noticed the letter A on it, which lead me to the first “A” labelled seat on the plane. This ofcourse was not my seat and about 5 minutes later after actually winding down and getting a bit calm I was shook once more by these really angry looking men and women who apparently had booked their seats together and I, the annoying little kid had sat in one of them. So off I went to almost the back of the plane (makes me wonder why I was in the second boarding group if my seat was so far back).
I felt quite peculiar, didn’t really speak the language, couldn’t understand the first run of the in flight safety video (good thing it ran the second time in English). The pilot had also warned of some turbulence but alas! In his local tongue yet again, because pilots gotta fly a plane they clearly don’t care if someone understands them or not (good thing the seat belts light exists, and the no cigarette one because people clearly still don’t know not to smoke on planes)
My peculiar feelings were comforted a bit this time, by the in-flight entertainment which I actually watched. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children a good in-flight movie if you aren’t really a big movie buff and just want to relax on a flight.
30 minutes into the hour-long flight and a few more horrors await. Snowfall all around ready to dance about on the wings of our plane. The pilot’s announcement which I hadn’t understood earlier had actually warned of harsh snowfall and -3 degrees (celsius) temperature.
I come from a tropical coastal city, the lowest temperature we experience is around 12 degrees and that too on the coldest of winter nights and here I was, about to land in a snowy wonderland where people just casually chill in -3 degrees on a good afternoon.
So there I am, coat ready. Waiting for a long turbulent descent. Even Miss Peregrine couldn’t distract me from this. The plane goes almost into free-fall. Never having experienced this sort of turbulence I look around, almost looking for a confirmation to my panic but nope, everyone seems okay, its only me I suppose (or Europeans just don’t really give too much though about anything).
The landing, as expected, is rough. I can almost feel the gigantic tires collide with the surface as the breaks start to resist out motion. I was finally here, the land I’ll be calling my new home for the next 4 years, but we were far from done for the day. I still needed to somehow make it to the university and register. For now, I was still glad I wasn’t just another crashed plane victim in the headlines.