The day has finally come. After months of planning and getting excited, today is the day I meet my mother in Paris for a 6 day girls only trip before her Bulgarian visit. My 5 AM flight started in Burgas and my wonderful husband drove me to the airport even after a sleepless night of cat related attacks and disruptions. The local airport is very small and it only took 5 minutes to check in and go through security (3 of those minutes were taken up by a full body massage from a woman officer making sure my underwire bra didn’t conceal deadly weapons). With a few minutes to spare I ordered an espresso and a miniature bottle of soda water setting me back a shocking 5 whole dollars, 3 times the price I’ve become accustomed to living in Bulgaria.
The first leg of the flight was great. I sat in a window seat in a Bulgarian Air Airbus, the German man next to me was very pleasant and I was happy to discover that the runway had ZERO potholes, an astonishing fact for a Bulgarian made road. Our Airbus got rerouted 2 weeks back and we were now obligated to do the milk run and pick up more passengers in Varna (spit), adding an extra 30 minutes to my schedule. It took about 15 minutes to fly to Varna (spit) in pitch black, the sky was so clear I could see the Big Dipper right outside my passenger window. The moment we were back in the air the plane started to descend. I was convinced something had gone wrong and that we needed to do an emergency landing in Plovdiv but no, I was wrong, we had already arrived in Sofia.
As I make my way off the plane I notice the boarding time for my next flight is 6:35 AM and that my cellphone reads 6:32 AM, SHIT! Now I’m running around like a mad woman, Gate B, Gate B, where the hell is Gate B, ok found it! I turn the corner and BAM, 150 people waiting in queue for the security check. I have no time for this, I deck under the barrier and budge right in front of the line like I owned the place. A few people follow my lead and shit hits the fan, people are yelling but I don’t care, I tear off my boots and don’t look back. My bra sets off the sprinklers again, quick massage and I’m in front of the Bulgarian customs lady. I’m panting, red faced and sweating, trying to compose myself for the officer. She reads my colorful passport with an inquisitive look “Are you staying in Bulgaria for 6 days?” “No, I’m going to Paris for 6 days then return to Bulgaria” “Do you live in Bulgaria?” “I have a summer home there. I have a campervan and have travelled through Europe, that’s why there are so many stamps” She looked unsure what to do next so I sealed the deal with my best asset, my sweetness. “I’m meeting my mom in Paris, I’m so excited” I said in a soft voice. She looks up at me with a warm smile, CLUNK! Passport stamped, on I go. Running at high speed now, I almost crash into the check-in counter. Pant, pant, “did I miss it!?!” pant, pant. “No mam, we haven’t boarded yet”. Oh dear…
Now I’m the airport jerk. I go as far away from the crowd as I can and take pictures of the sunrise, anyway it’s probably best I’m removed from the crowd, I have a feeling that I’ve worked up a sweat. I will never truly know what happened but I think my boarding pass (and probably everyone else’s waiting in that long line) was typed out wrong, boarding commenced at 7:35AM.
I truly believe in karma, as I take my seat on the Embraer 190 (made in Brazil my plane enthusiast husband informed me this morning) I am surrounded by not one, not two but THREE crying babies, one baby is even equipped with an insanely loud audio book singing annoying songs about a farm. OK, fair enough, let me get comfortable in my seat and take off my brand new knee high boots, this is going to be a long ride. Ewwwwww, what is that? That, that smellllll. Seaweed? Wet dog? Garbage? Nope, that’s anchovy paste. Who the heck travels with anchovy paste? Then it clicks, I bend down and sure enough, my brand new “pleather” boots have a factory coating that smells like anchovy paste. Great, aren’t I miss popular today?
The rest of the flight went without a hitch with the exception of lunch. Every single person on board got a mini baguette with lettuce, cheese and ham, I on the other hand somehow managed to get a day old baguette brick with a huge slab of sheep’s cheese, no ham, no lettuce, just a dry ball of glue in my mouth insulting my taste buds. Yuppie!
To conclude and gloat a bit, I’ll be spending 6 glorious days in Paris with my wonderful mother eating my weight in cheese and foie gras while washing it down with wine from the Gods.
Part DEUX tomorrow…