GOING HOME WITH A DETOUR
I slept terribly, Wednesday night. The codeine cough syrup I had been using to quiet my cough had began to make me itch. It was a side effect I had experienced before. Usually I can live with it, but at the same time my bronchitis was worsening and the codeine wasn’t even helping the cough. At about 3AM, I got up out of bed and decided that since I couldn’t sleep, I might as well pack my bags.
By 4AM, I was tired and miserable–but if I went to sleep–would I wake up in time to check out and make it to the airport? I chanced it, and slept until around 5:30AM.
I was to meet “TEX” downstairs in the lobby for breakfast at 6AM. I carried my bags down, checked out, and received my deposit back. (I had to put up a $100 dollars deposit, because I didn’t have a credit card to secure purchases from the mini bar or if I had decided to watch some hotel satellite porn) For the record I got back all my money, except the price of a Pepsi.
“Tex” and I had a nice breakfast and caught the shuttle to the airport. I have been telling the story, since I returned from Prague, that I saw Air Force Two( maybe One) at the Amsterdam Airport and now, as I write this, it might have been at the Prague Airport. I was told after I returned from my trip that Condoleezza Rice had been making a trip to the area.
Again a nice flight to Amsterdam. At the Amsterdam Airport, I said good-bye to Tex and began the long security check. I was randomly selected for a more extensive security check. No Rubber Gloves were involved but they did open my carry-on bag and wave a metal detector wand over me and pat me down. I passed the test.
Then it was 10 hours on board a way crowded flight to Memphis, TN. I’m sure that my fellow passengers were happy to land in Memphis, after listening to me cough the entire trip. I think I might have started a trend before the flight was over. I heard many others cough right along with me. Maybe, we were all suffering from the “Prague Blah”
But, me and my fellow flight mates were not just going to land in Memphis. We had the opportunity to land somewhere else first.
As our flight trajectory brought us near the USA and home, a passenger began experiencing a medical emergency. The pilot made that familiar announcement that you hear in the movies. “If there is a qualified medical professional on board we ask that you report to a flight attendant.” or something to that effect.
About thirty minutes later, another announcement.
“We have a passenger experiencing signs of a heart attack, we are making an unscheduled stop in Toronto, Canada to assist the passenger. Please remain in your seats as medical personnel board the plane.”
We land. We stay on the runway. Fire trucks, ambulances, and other official airport vehicles surround the plane and Paramedics board the plane. We sit. I cough.
Thirty minutes later, they wheel an elderly gentleman from the plane under oxygen and his “vacation” in Canada begins. The trucks leave. We are informed that our flight connections will be informed of the delay and that most of us should make our next leg of the trip in plenty of time.
And I do. I arrive in Memphis with about 45 minutes to spare. Just time enough to pass through Customs, receive my SECOND stamp in my Passport, and board my plane to “Sweet Home Alabama”
My lovely wife greeted me at the Mobile Airport with a hug and a kiss and a container filled with some cold Milo’s Tea. (nectar of the Gods)
Unfortunately, my luggage had taken a side trip to Shreveport thanks to the Customs official in Memphis who I handed it to on my way to my flight.
“Mobile, right?” he said.
“Right.” I said.
Undoubtedly, “Right” means send it somewhere else. So I didn’t get my bags until the next day, but I was home. Who cares?
But, it bummed me out a bit, because I couldn’t show off my handmade marionette to the family that night. He’s a Scot, I bought him because I have some Scot in me and I think I may look a little like him after a few shots of Tequila.
Well folks, there you have it. The entire Prague, Czech Republic experience. Thanks for taking the trip again with me.
Thanks again to David Steadson, Bridgett, “Tex” and “Big Apple” for being a part of the Bloggers 5. Thank you, Rob Zeiger and Alticor Corporation for thinking I had something intelligent to say to your Staff. Thank you, Robin Luymes and Dino Baskovic for putting up with us, hosting us, and doing all that walking in the city with us.
It was a trip of a lifetime, and I’m glad I was “On The Road” to do it.