well, i am back in maastricht, and finally feeling up to spending a little time updating things here. and reading everyone else’s journals, but only if they come up on the first 25 entries of my friends list. so, sorry if i’ve missed anything important.
i had an interesting return to the netherlands. i got myself checked into my flights from minneapolis with no problems: 2 pieces of checked luggage, one carry-on. got upgraded to first class FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE for the flight from minneapolis to detroit. yay! went through security, no problem. bought and ate some sour patch kids. yay. then first class was boarded, and i got on. then we were offloaded, due to a giant rip being found in one of the wings. then a couple of hours while we waited for a new plane. boarded again. then delayed in take-off.
missed connecting flight from detroit to amsterdam due to delays. was put in a hotel for the night, with food voucher coupons for dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day, with a new flight time for the following evening. i have never been more glad of packing a change of underwear, shirt and all my toiletries. last time this happened, i had nothing. a book and a bottle of water. i also got vouchers for $125 off later flights, and some air miles! score.
interesting fact: if your flight is delayed because of weather, rather than mechanical problems, northwest airlines DOES NOT compensate you in any way, or provide a hotel room. can you believe that? i was in line getting all my goodies and overheard others being very upset that they weren’t. i think that’s really wrong. it’s not their fault that they were delayed for weather, any more than it was my fault that i was delayed for mechanical problems.
anyway, the following day, i checked out at noon, and headed to the airport for my 5 hour wait until my flight time. heh heh.
if anyone remembers that i was complaining about a missing knife after my road trip, well, good news: it was found.
bad news: by the security people at the airport, when i was going back in. oops. heh heh. this was actually pretty funny, because they were really short staffed, so before they had a chance to go through my bag, i had ample time to be chatting with the ones who were searching other people. i was really relaxed because i had so much free time, and besides, also knew i didn’t have anything worth searching in my bag. i thought. so i was chatting them up, and having a good time. when finally someone came to search the bag, he asked me if there was anything sharp, and i said that somewhere there was a pair of tweezers, but i didn’t think they counted. then he mentioned that the xray had shown something that looked like a knife. and i said, “oh! was it about THIS long? excellent!! i’ve been looking ALL OVER for that! but i don’t think it can be in here. i completely emptied it looking for it.”
he said, “no, it was clear as day in the xray, so i have to search it.” i said, “no problem! i’m happy if it’s been found; that was driving me nuts!” and he looked at me funny and said, “this isn’t a good thing; you could be fined. or jailed.”
“oh, you’re right,” i said, a bit chagrined, then, “but at least the mystery would be solved!!”
so he searched, through everything, twice. didn’t find it. took out the toiletry bag. searched it, twice again. nothing. put it through the xray again. searched again. still couldn’t find it. put it all in pieces through the xray. searched again. found it, in the toiletry bag.
the woman i’d been chatting with before pleasantly escorted me back to deal with rechecking it in my check-in bags. 2 hours later, i was back through security, no problems this time.
i have three possible reasons why i was lucky enough not to be fined or jailed. one, i was already relaxed and chatty with everyone right at the beginning, two, i was genuinely excited to have had my knife found, and three, that the guy who searched also looked and looked in the same places before finding it. he must have believed i’d really looked, since he had as well, without finding it. i don’t exactly have an xray machine at home. mixture of all three, perhaps? anyway, very lucky.
so, after getting through security after the second try, i had just enough time to pick up some lunch and get to where i was supposed to board. only to be delayed by broken air conditioning on the plane. and then again for some small mechanical reason, then by some paperwork, apparently. anyway, we finally were airborne, but the flight was nearly empty, yay! so i had my own seats all to myself, and those personal video screens where you get to choose your own movies. yay! so i didn’t sleep; i watched movies instead. all night. and missed my flight from amsterdam to brussels, which i was happy about because then maybe i could talk them into letting me off at amsterdam.
they wouldn’t. so i called matt and he told me to go try at another transfer desk. so i did, all in dutch! yay me! and this time, the very nice lady helped me out. and told me where to wait for my luggage, but that it might take a while, which i didn’t mind.
about an hour later, i went to check with the baggage people and ask about how long i should wait until i got worried. they said another hour, so i went back an hour later, and a very nice guy there said, “why wait around? we can just say it was lost, and courier it to you later!” so i got to go home without having to lug my bags. and caught the train right away with no wait. yay! that was all very nice. one bag came in the next day, and the other the day after. same courier both times.
it was weird not being met at either the airport or the train station, by anyone, but as matt says, we didn’t know where you were getting in or when by that time! and he’s right.
and that’s the story of how i got home.