Thursday, April 26, 2012

Manchester or Bust

Manchester or Bust

I thought that I would give an update on my trip since I had some time.  I was up at 5:30 am yesterday morning to be able to make it to the airport on time for my flight.  The I made my flight on time and left my sick daughter the capable hands of her daddy, even though it nearly broke my heart. My flight left at 10 am and when I got it Washington Dulles it was 4:10 their time.  I was totally confused.  It was only a 3 hour flight.  My mind is still a little boggled by that.  I was able to grab a $16 chicken tender and fries meal and make it to my Scandinavian Air flight to Copenhagen, Denmark.  This is an eight hour flight.  It was only 2:00 pm my time so I thought it would be an alright flight.  The flight was uneventful. I was able to write my 8 page paper on how the Greeks borrowed early Jewish law to create their occult mythology, watch Avatar and try to sleep.  I had bought a neck sleeper thingy before I left and in all the confusion when Strong dropped me off at the airport, my pink dreaming machine was left in the back of my van.  The gentleman behind me was a rather tall man and scruntched his knees in the back on of my seat which didn’t allow me to recline my seat at all.  So needless to say, sleep did not come.  We arrived in Denmark finally at 7:15 am local time.  Which was about 11 pm our time.  I was exhausted but I was still managing to keep my eyeballs open!
I was making my way to the terminal for Manchester and when I arrived, no one was there.  The doors were locked and it was a ghost town.  Travel in foreign countries is a little bizarre.  They don’t have TSA agents swarming all over the airport like American airports.  When I finally found someone it was the Passport checker guy.  So here I am, a hormonal, exhausted, hungry and having to use the restroom pregnant American bursting into tears at the Passport checker in Denmark who looks at me like I have a third eye.  He tells me to check the monitors, I think so he can collect himself of the floor from my total lack of formality.
I check every monitor that I can find and don’t see any flight with my number or even to Manchester, for that matter.  Finally, in one screen on the opposite side, I see that Manchester flights have been canceled and so have all those going to England and northern France.  In tears once again I make my way to the poor Passport checker.  I tell him that it has been canceled and I have no idea what I’m doing.  The Copenhagen airport is a little different than any airport I have ever been to. There aren’t a lot of signs or agents to help you with much.  He tells me to go through to the Transfer Station and stamps my passport quicker than than you can say, “Bob’s your uncle.”  I can only imagine what he thought of me and my hormonal mess.
I make it to the transfer station, past the mall of fine clothing and ritzy suits.  The sheer number of people at this station made me cry all over again.  The one sign in this place says, “Take a number.”  No agent to ask questions, so other directions.  Crap.  This is going to be a long day.  I wait there for about a half hour when I see someone and flag her down like my life is on the line.  She tells me that I need to go to a different station called the SAS arrival desk.  I thank her and find my way towards it.  Keep in mind, I still haven’t used the restroom, gotten anything to eat or even taken my medication for my pregnancy that I desperately needed.
The only friendly sign that I recognize is Starbucks.  The joy it brought me in seeing something familiar was almost too much.  I didn’t get a coffee although it nearly killed me not to.
My hips were starting to ache, a sign that an injection was needing to be given and right away.  And I can’t give this one to myself.  I was counting on having Mindy do this for me when I saw her in Manchester, but Manchester was a long way away.  I was shoving aside the worry until I found out what was going on.  After another 30 minute wait, the SAS arrival desk tells me they can’t issue me another flight and I would have to call Expedia to book another one.  I am thanking God that He led me to purchase a global phone where I could call anyone that I needed to.  I called Brian who I was supposed to see in less than 3 hours and explained to him what was going on.  He prayed for me and told me to hang on.  It was a relief talking to someone who completely understood what I was going through.
Expedia though was less than helpful.  They said they can’t book me a flight either.  They tried to call SAS to secure another flight for me and they were closed.  So the SAS attendant gave me a hotel and taxi voucher for a 24 hour care.  After finding someone that could tell me where in the world my luggage was, I broke down in tears again when I told him that I was pregnant and needed an injection and couldn’t find my luggage and that I was stuck in a country that I wasn’t supposed to be in and didn’t know what to do.  Oh the poor people of Denmark that have to witness hormonal Americans and their plight.  I waited for an hour for my bags and when they finally arrived the gentleman from SAS bag claim called the firefighter paramedics to give me my injection.
I nearly doubled over in laughter when they arrived.  They were two handsome late 20s and early 40s handsome Danish men.  I was totally embarrassed.  I needed a shower and some sleep and now I will be bending over a chair and exposing my lower back to a total stranger that was very handsome.  It totally cracked me up and made me wish I had my husband with me more than any time before on this trip.  We had to wait for permission from Danish authority (whoever that was!) for them to give me my injection.  We couldn’t get it.  So we did plan B.  They escorted me to the restroom and said I would be doing it myself with “assistance.”  He did it for me.  He was an EMT for 10 years before he was working for the airport.  So, now that I had made it through that fiasco, I hailed a taxi and headed to my hotel.
It’s weird when you arrive in a country and everyone is driving the same manufacturer of a vehicle.  Volkswagens were everywhere.  It was hilarious.  I get to my airport and it was one of the greatest scenes ever!  The entire counter top was covered in Apple computers!  I know!  I’m a big nerd!  They said they were a very environmentally friendly hotel.  I chuckled!  It was because they didn’t need to trash their PCs every two years!  I got checked in and was told that lunch and dinner was also on the airline.  Oh, thank you Lord!  Had someone take my bags up to my VERY nice room and grabbed a shower and headed downstairs for lunch. I did a lot of people watching during lunch.  They don’t use salad dressing here to top their salads, they use cottage cheese.  They also don’t eat with just a fork.  They have both a knife and a fork and use them both for the entire course of the meal, not just when they need to cut something.  They seem like a very formal society as part of the culture.  It was interesting.
After lunch, I headed back up to my room and nearly collapsed on the bed for a nap.  And so here I am.  I have called Expedia and was told that every flight from here to Manchester today is completely booked.  They have flights for tomorrow but Expedia can’t get through to talk to them.  They said that everything has to come from SAS.  So I am stuck in Copenhagen with a airline company that I can’t even get in contact with.  I feel so alone and helpless.  I covet your prayers.

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