STUCK: An Overly-Dramatic Account of a Minor Inconvenience

I’m admittedly not a great traveler. I can’t sleep on busses or planes, and don’t handle jet lag particularly well. I am also an accomplished victim of motion-sickness. One of my finest works was vomiting for the entirety of a 9-hour car ride coming back from a family ski trip despite taking Dramamine. (Even amongst my family’s storied history of vacation illnesses, that was a Hall of Fame performance.) I also have an irrational fear of being late for planes because of a scarring experience a few years ago at JFK. Despite all of these issues, I actually like traveling, and I absolutely LOVE airports.

For my flight home from Dublin in December, I was extremely excited, so I over-prepared in grand fashion. I had enough Dramamine and snacks to last weeks, and I was at the Dublin airport well before dawn for my mid-morning flight. I couldn’t wait to spend a few hours strolling through the duty-free shops, drinking coffee, and watching planes defy gravity and take off into the sky. As luck would have it, my flight was even a bit delayed, giving me more time to relax. Little did I know, that small delay would grow. Significantly. The following is a brief account of my unexpected day at the Dublin airport:

Hours 1-2:

Security line moves swiftly. Excitement ensues. Snacks are consumed in bulk. Window shopping abounds. Podcasts are flowing. No gate assignment, no problem. A 2-hour delay isn’t so bad.

Perceived time to flight: 3 hours

Hour 3:

Sunrise! Despite a few clouds, it was exceptionally beautiful. Classic Ireland.

Perceived time to flight: 2 hours

Hours 4-5:

Lack of sleep induces tired state. Coffee remedies situation. Window shopping is completed. Gate still not assigned, flight delayed another hour and a half.

Perceived time to flight: an increasingly skeptical 2 hours

Hours 6-8:

Hunger arises. Snacks simply will not do any longer. Apologetic airline conveniently gives out vouchers for free meal! Cheeseburger consumption ensues. Flight pushed back another 2.5 hours, but we are told to complete US Customs Preclearance. Progress.

Perceived time to flight: 2 hours

Hour 9:

Dark times. Lunch has induced lethargy. Shopping options after US Customs are nonexistent. Podcast reserves have been exhausted. Phone battery approaches perilous low, all outlets have been claimed by other passengers. Luckily the delays seemed to have stopped.

Perceived time to flight: 1 hour

Hour 10:

Delayed yet again, still without explanation. The sun sets literally in the sky and figuratively on my demeanor. My love for airports has been put to the test.

Perceived time to flight: 1.5 hours

Hour 11:

Hope. The plane has arrived and boarding will begin soon. I have secured an outlet. As my phone recharges, so does my spirit. I’m going home!

Even though the trip wasn’t perfect, my time at home absolutely was. I was extremely fortunate to spend Christmas with my family and to ring in the New Year with many of my closest friends. While it was hard to say goodbye again to the people I missed the most, I’m excited to be back in Dublin for the rest of my Mitchell Year.

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New Year’s Eve

 

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