My flights from Rwanda to Chiang Mai were pretty uneventful, except for all the emotion and crazy things going on in my mind.
1) I was in a melancholy state (at best) and heaving tears in the bathroom (at worst) saying goodbye to J. We had flights only a few hours apart so we said our goodbyes at the gate we would both leave from in the small Kigali airport. I watched him walk across the tarmac out to his flight and just felt completely nauseous wondering if I was doing the right thing. I envisioned him running back in to tell me he loved me, or me changing my flight last minute and joining him to London. But none of those things happened. I just watched out the window as his Ethiopian Air flight took off, while I tried unsuccessfully to hold back the tears.
2) I was fairly certain there was an Islamic extremist on my Nairobi to Bangkok overnight flight. Drama queen! A friend sent me an article about 148 people being killed by Islamic extremists in Kenya last week and it occurred to me the militiamen might have been trying to leave the country. I’d seen a man with a furry beard going through security with no carry on luggage – who doesn’t even carry one small bag/briefcase – and thought to myself, ‘self, that guy looks like he wants to crash a plane.’ Saul from my old favorite show, Homeland would say, ‘it’s not racial profiling, it’s actual profiling’, but I’m no CIA operative. I’m just a paranoid traveling girl.
I know it’s a TERRIBLE thing to say about a stranger, how judgmental of me. I’m sure he’s a nice man. I think these are the things most of us think and don’t say out loud though in our post 9/11 crazy world right? Right? Am I terrible? First the Rwandan children annoy me, and now this? What’s next, not liking clowns? Well, actually, I don’t like clowns either. Except Bozo from that 1980’s kids show Bozo’s Circus. He’s the only one that doesn’t freak me out.
Anyway back to the flight. So I board my flight and wouldn’t ya’ know it; my seat is next to the furry bearded dude. Ok Eryn, be cool honey bunny. This is just a test, you sitting next to him. This is just some normal guy who happens to travel a 9 hour flight without a carry on. Stop being an idiot, nothing is going to happen. I settle into my window seat and put it out of my mind.
Much to my surprise, the flight attendant walks down the aisle telling people that it’s not a full flight and they can move if they like. And just like that the two gentlemen got up and moved to another seat. See, there are some advantages to being sweaty from the African heat in a smelly shirt – people don’t want to sit next to you. Perfect! For the record, I was wearing a clean shirt, honest; but you don’t understand, it’s so hard to actually get clean laundry in Africa. It came from my clean pile of laundry that morning and it wasn’t mixed in with any dirty stuff, I promise. Anyway, I quickly moved to the middle seat so no one would take the aisle seat. At least I could be not-so-comfortably sleeping outstretched in my three seats if there was ‘an incident’. Luckily, as you’re reading this, you know we made it safely. Hallelujah! And shame on me for thinking such terrible thoughts about a stranger! Shame on me!
3) I half expected to get quarantined for 3 weeks when I arrived to Bangkok. I had learned just the day before my flight that my airline had recently resumed service to the western Africa Ebola countries and there were 77 flights weekly between Nairobi and West Africa. Say whaaaat??? I’d read online that Kenya is at high risk for Ebola breakout because of this. Eeekkkk! I’m thinking recirculating air, food service issues. I’m such a paranoid freakazoid! Aggghhhhh! J reminded me how unlikely it would be to have any issues, plus it’s supposedly not airborne; but I don’t know, if it weren’t airborne, they wouldn’t have to wear those space suits.
Anyway, I figured if it was my time, it was my time, either by Ebola or plane crash. Not too much I could do. I watched the movie, Wild, since I just read the book, and then went to sleep. Lucky for me it wasn’t my time. I made it safely to Chiang Mai without even being quarantined. I only had to fill out a health questionnaire. That certainly would’ve been an interesting blog post though, being quarantined. Ha! I envisioned myself in some Thai government lock up facility like in the Bridget Jones movie in a cell with the other women from my flight, mostly Thai. We’d all be singing Madonna’s, Like a Virgin, and comparing lingerie.
And that’s the end of the crazy thoughts on my big travel day. Hey, I don’t think it’s fair I share all my strange, embarrassing and shameful thoughts and you don’t. Feel free to share yours in my comments. C’mon, it’ll make me feel better.
Huge thanks to everyone who is sending me their love and support. I’m getting texts, emails, FB messages, comments on the blog and phone calls. I am having a tough transition from the uncoupling, but I am feeling the love from you all. You guys are my cheerleaders – thank you! It means the world to me to be hearing from you all since I’m out here floating the globe alone again.
On a separate note, I found out today that my ex-husband will soon be getting married again. Through the magic of Facebook, it somehow magically appeared on my page through mutual friends being tagged. Anyway, I am happy for Mike and his new love. I truly wish them the happy ever after they’ve always dreamt of – I know Mike deserves it. I think maybe I’m like 90% happy and 10% jealous; that’s normal, right? Ok, I guess it’s more like 80/20. Ahhh hell, who am I kidding, I’m lucky if it’s 70/30. LOL… No seriously, I’m happy for him, I just want my happy ever after too.