GREECE // ATHENS - DELPHI - METEORA
October 29, 2010
Charles de Gaulle Airport, France (enroute to Athens, Greece)
Normally when traveling, I'm pretty good at going with the flow. Something is always running late (or not at all) which is beyond my control. Stressing out won't help me or anyone around me, so I take a deep breath and figure it out.
Today I was not cool. I was not calm. Today I lost my damn mind.
I left Boston last night at 6pm for Athens with an AM layover in Paris. I had an hour to switch gates – just have to get from D to F, that shouldn't take too long, right? Per usual, no other passengers seem to care about others with tight connections; they slowly stand in the aisle zipping their jackets and rifling through their carry-ons while I'm sweating, tapping my foot and silently trying to burn a hole through their heads with my glare. Once off the plane I am running, for what seems like forever, until I finally can see F in the distance.
Why are there so many people standing there? As I get closer, I realize that I need to have my passport checked. I tell security my flight is boarding and they say they've alerted the gate. Ok. Ok. We're ok. The line crawls; children are screaming and I desperately wish it was acceptable for me to join in because, kid, I feel ya.
Once my passport is stamped I sprint into terminal F. The entrance is in the middle of all of the gates; I instinctively run left yelling for assistance from an employee – they insist yes, that is the correct direction. But the numbers are going down, not up. Dammit. I turn around and run past where I entered; the gate now in view, but no passengers in line. As I wildly wobble over, weighed down by my carry on and "personal item" (Giant backpack), the woman turns to me and says that they've already closed the doors. No. NO! Security told you I was coming! She shook her head and pointed me to the information booth, already filled with the other passengers from my previous plane. I drop my bags to catch my breath. Normally a travel hiccup like this would not phase me; however, I'm not 100% sure the travel agency I booked the running package with is legit. I fear that no one will be at the airport in Athens to pick me up, that I don't actually have a hotel booked, that I won't have the opportunity to run the 2500th anniversary of the original marathon.
Trying to maintain my composure, I slowly make my way up to the information booth to have my flight rescheduled. As I'm trying to explain my story I burst into tears. Not like a little trickle you can dab away while continuing a conversation; no, I am full on sobbing, becoming incoherent. Deadpan, the man hands me a cup of water. He takes a deep breath as I chug, becoming somewhat sane, again.
The next available flight to Athens isn't leaving for six hours. Damn you, Charles De Gaulle.