Wednesday, November 21, 2012

February 2012 - Visiting the Homeland for the Weekend.

Ladies and Gentlemen, This is your Captain speaking, I am sorry to tell you that it will be at least another 2.5hrs before we will take off today. We decided it was better to get you onto the plane and wait, instead of probably cancelling the flight..  (Well something along those line)

Its Friday morning and the first weekend in February, and I’m sitting in a plane towards Amsterdam.
A couple of days before I had been to see the Optometrist to see about what the way forward was with my Contacts and the road to tackle my vision. And I felt good…..pretty good indeed.
The reason I’m on the plane is that my brother is off to work in Afghanistan, at Kandahar Airbase and they are throwing a surprise leaving party for him. 

And as I wasn't doing anything else anyway it was suggested it would be nice if I could be there as well..
So there I went, should be pretty painless… take the 11am bus from outside my apartment to Heathrow Terminal 5, check-in, make my way to the Gate, get-in, get –out at the other side take the train to the closest station to my Parents home, get picked up, and eventually go to the restaurant…. Should be pretty straight forward no?

Well, getting to T5 was easy, getting checked in was a bit more difficult, as all the lights in there were completely freaking me out…. But hey, that’s why I’ve got my Yellow tinted Shades, to take the glare of in the first place..

Once I had managed find the check-in desk and got myself checked- in and make my way to the plane  is when the fun started… due to bad weather conditions in Holland, Schiphol airport had closed their runway for a while. So, a plane ride which normally would take an hour or so, now ended up taking 5hrs…. which itself was fine, I mean, I sat in my chair, listened to my audiobooks and Podcast, so I was fine… untill I got out at the other end…  
Not only had Schiphol grinded to a halt, the whole of the public transport network and the motorways were on its ass… so, no trains either, no buses, no cars able to pick me up, no nothing….
Now, there I am, in the middle of Schiphol’s arrivals halls, glaring lights everywhere, surrounded by a crowd of people, all stressed about not being able to get where they want to go, I’m stressed because of not being able to go where I want to go, but on top off that I’m being bumped into every couple of minutes or so… this is not good….

Until I suddenly realise, I have A. My cane and B, my silly yellow tinted specs… surely people will notice me hobbling along that way right?
Well, yep they did… did it get me to my destination any sooner?  Nope…. It took me the best of 3/4hrs to make my way to where the surprise party was with the train as they had starting to drive again...and as  it was chaos, I went in directions that were so counter intuitive that I figured the people organising the train had the same visual impairments I had… but finally I did get there.

Sure enough, by that time, the dinner party was already breaking up, in fact people were already grabbing their coats. And I’m guessing my brother must’ve figured something was up when my dad just kept texting someone (me) back and forth (the man doesn’t know how to text in the first place)
In the end it took me over 12hrs to get to the party, and yes it was disappointing that the party was in a way already ended, but what was more saddening is that I didn’t recognise my own Dad until he approached me at the Station, I didn’t recognise my Mum until she hugged me, and I Didn’t even see where my brother was sitting in the room until he got up and approached me.. ony then I figured it must be him coming upto me for a hug.


What a way to come down from a massive high of only 3 days before.

If only that was the only downer in the next week’s or so….

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