I fell asleep on the plane to Warsaw very close to midnight and although I only slept for two hours at most, I was awoken at midday the following day as we were approaching Chopin Airport. I spent the remainder of my time on the plane attempting to watch “Marley and Me” for the first time. This was a much funnier film than my friends had led me to believe. Before I get called a monster I should say I only got through about half of it. It very well could have been funnier and I would never know. I should also admit that even just the one half of the film was more than sufficient to remind me of all the excellent reasons why I should never get a dog.
When the plane finally landed after abruptly cutting off what could have become my new favorite movie, the two
hundred or so passengers each started out of their seats and into the aisle as if they were prepared to rage through the streets of Pamplona with the only difference being that they had no inkling of what to do with themselves once they found themselves in the crowded streets. Of course this inevitably led to the entire herd densely crowding itself and carelessly rubbing against whatever or whoever happened to be nearby. During this tense ten minutes each individual widely stared into the wide eyes of their neighbors all the while generating just short of the requisite amount of friction to spark a cabin fire. Eventually, with the speed and efficiency equivalent to that of attempting to hammer a fully grown bull through a rusty sewer grate with nothing more than a dilapidated rubber mallet and sheer willpower, the cabin emptied.
After disembarking, I did what any reasonable person running on only two hours of sleep and facing a jet-lagged 21 layover would do; I caffeinated. It wasn’t until I finished my 2 PM coffee that I realized I had made a rather regrettable mistake. I had
somehow lost my only packed sweater somewhere between the plane and my coffee. Being the prodigious supersleuth that I am, I somehow managed to deduce that the best course of action would be to exit all the security checkpoints to arrive at the airline’s Lost & Found office before retracing my steps to see if I had simply dropped it. As luck would have it, the airline would not. Fortuitously, the airport maintains its own Lost & Found office to which I headed next. With the ever radiant Tyche as my escort the second office also left me empty handed. Now, in a wholly unexpected reversal of fortune as I found myself with the sense to retrace my steps, I discovered that because of the sheer length of my layover my ticket could no longer grant me access through the security checkpoints. So again I caffeinated.
Now eight hours have passed. I am beginning to become suspicious. I am sitting mere feet from the security
checkpoint watching travelers enter through that which I have been forbidden. Guards walk by every couple of minutes. I feel they are beginning to suspect that I now live here. I feel they are now beginning to suspect that they are now MY security guards.
I am now accepting handouts from strangers. A man with more bottles of water than he has mastery of the English language must have surmised that I am dehydrated. As I open the bottle of water and begin to fill myself with what must be, judging from the taste, nothing but water I watch the man vanish beyond the Polish metal scanners beckoning me to follow. Soon, I will.