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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chapter 9 - Lying Pays Off - Literally!

Chapter 9 - Lying Pays Off - Literally!

Thursday, August 11th, 1988

It is 6:30am, I have a smile larger then my face can stand on it. Can you hear my heart beating with love and excitement right now? I feel as if I am about to burst with joy!

The double glass doors part as we walk up to them. They are welcoming us in, almost as if we are meant to be there. We are! This is where we are meant to be. This is the day that all my lying, hiding and sneaking around has paid off. For this is the day that I will step foot off of American soil and into another land! I am heading to Europe. Luggage in hand I am off to Europe!

I get us checked in and while I have seen an airport before, it hasn't been often. I am soaking up all the sights and smells. The cute old ladies sitting off the side, laughing and talking to each other. Amazing how their voices sound so loud in this large expanse of an airport!

My heart skips a beat in excitement.

Tell me how do the pilots and stewards maintain there excitement each time they have to fly? They do this for a living! Amazing, just plain ole amazing. It brings me back to when I was 8 years old. Mom walking me across the street to meet our new neighbors. We lived in San Luis Obispo, new to the neighborhood ourselves, and shes walking me across the street to say hello. They moved into this grey house with white trim. Katie comes to the door skinny and beautiful, her hair perfect and just a picture standing in front of us. My mother holds out her hand and introduces us. "Hello, I'm Jessica, this is my daughter Robin (Ya, my name was different, that's a whole different story there) we live across the street over there." Mom pointed to the gold house on McCollum street. We were always the welcome wagon. If you moved onto our block we were there welcoming you home.

What happened next blew us both over, near backwards. "Hi!" The voice coming from the small frame "I'm Katie" Sounded like a high pitched mouse! "It's nice to meet you!" Someone quick hide the glassware its gonna explode! Wait? Is she talking? Is that sound actually coming out of her mouth?

It's not often I get to see my mother taken a back, this was one of those times. A memory ingrained in my head as we finished our welcome and headed back across the street. My darling, always sweet and proper mother says from under her breath, "Do you think that was her real voice?" We didn't remember anything that she had said. Later we learned she was an airline steward, the first one I ever met and in the 70's I wanted to be her so bad! I would lay in bed and dream of flying off to countries and cities all over the world. Traveling my way around the globe and getting paid to do it.

To get myself started on my career in the air I did the closest thing I could, I hired myself out to be her precious Kitten's care giver. It was a start. I would lay on the floor in her living room with Kitty rolling all over me, lick me up and down. She would profess her undying love to me and gratefulness that I was playing with her and feeding her and I would get away from school work for a bit. It was a win-win situation if I ever had one.

Now, as I sit in the cafe, my husband sitting across from me I stare at the 2 men sitting to my left. They are speaking in a foreign language and I am intently listening. "What language are they speaking?" I finally ask JP.

He listens a bit, "German" He replies.

I'm Smiling, "that will be us in a few hours."

"What?" He asks. I repeat and he looks at me puzzled, "Belgium isn't in Germany." He says, as if he thought I was thinking he was German.

"Oh I know that." Nothing will break my smile. "That's gonna be us, talking English in another country." I stare at them more intently. They don't notice I am watching them. "We're going to be the foreigners." I am in dream land, my brain is already in Belgium.

"You will be." JP says nonchalantly. He's right, he will be home. It has to be a better experience for him. He is going home, what could be better then that?

What am I saying? Visiting for the first time could be! I'm still on a cloud.

They load us up into the plane, all placed in our assigned seats nice and neatly tucked in. Like sardines packed tightly just waiting for our destination to arrive so they can tear off the lid and let us roam free in the new land were heading to. JP was nice enough to let me sit in the window seat. I sit intently watching as we prepare for take off, my eyes roaming everywhere. I find myself starring at the man of to the side of the plane, he is holding to sticks, short. They appear to have lights on the end of them and I stop and watch him till he disappears towards the front of the plane.

We start to move now, going backwards. My hands clenched tightly in my lap, I feel my breathing pick up in pace. What is the plane crashes? I did tell my mother where I was going? She knows when I will be back. What happens if we end up lost in a deserted area?

What if we crash? We start to drive forward, picking up pace faster with each second. The scenery outside of the window is going by in a green blur, I am sitting in my seat about to throw up. The front of the plane lifts up, I feel my body shift backwards slightly and I can no longer feel the wheels under the plane. We are in the air! I look down at my hands, still clenched tightly in a tight ball, I release them and let out a sigh. We didn't crash, this time.

We are on our way to Vancouver Canada to catch a plane to take us directly to Amsterdam where we will drive by car to Belgium. I am amazed at how smooth the ride is. If the seat was a little bigger I could imagine myself sitting at home. Ok, the seat would have to be a lot bigger. I keep looking out the window. We pass over California and the clouds part as it is magic. We must be going over Oregon now, the land is very green. There is one small swimming pool and one large football field scattered amongst all the land. Clouds are coming back, they are cleaner looking, very very white.

It isn't a long flight and I find them preparing us for landing. How cool is this and the fact I get to do it all again in just a few hours. We walk off the plane and JP decides to get some gum. He wants to help with his ears popping. We stroll into this small gift shop, Gum is 60 cents. We are told we can pay in US money, and they give us Canadian money back. A coke from the vending machine is 1.25 and if you would rather buy one from the cafe across the walkway that would cost you 2.00. This is not the place to live if you were addicted to coke that's for sure.

We met a man from Germany. He was really nice, like always I am talking to everyone that will listen, and it is fun. Everything is in French with English just underneath it! How cool is that and how wonderful to help me with learning French. I am still trying to learn French, it seems like an endless endeavour.

We are now back on the plane. The plane is again backing up and I can feel my hands tighten up in a ball again, squeezing in pain. The pilot comes over the air saying that we are cleared to take off and I can just imagine him up front pushing his foot on the gas peddle as we speed up down the runway. I do it again. We are going to crash? What if we crash? Will we survive? Will anyone find us? My stomach is going to hurl. I hold my breath.

The front of the plane moves toward the sky and as the wheels lift off the ground I keep my breath held. Not until we are off the ground further a few seconds later do I start breathing again! I sit still catching my breath when the pilot comes over the air and tells us we are passing over the Hudson. I can't see it from where I am at. I trust him. Why would he lie to us about something like that?

I settle down into my small seat. It reminds me of the Barbie airplane I had as a little girl. The one where you could open it up and Barbie was the stewardess. Gidget and her friends would hop on take a flight to Malibu. Ken would be the pilot (always shirtless I might add) and Barbie would be the wonderfully dressed stewardess. She would walk up and down the isle with her cart (oh I still have that cart!) passing out beverages and food to her customers. She was always so well dressed and wonderfully mannered.

They start to come around selling us headsets. They are 5 dollars and with that we can listen and watch the movie they are going to play for us. Today the special feature is 'Like Father Like Son'. I have already seen it, but I will watch it again. It will keep me busy and since JP doesn't talk much, It will keep me out of trouble.

Just before they start the movie they bring us lunch. It is the cutest Barbie and Ken style lunch that anyone could ever imagine. It is exactly the same type of lunch that I imagined my Barbie doll handing out to her passengers on my toy airline. Only in my play, the food was much better then this food. Still, I sneak the package of crackers into my purse before she took my pile of trash.

I settled in and watched the movie. I don't like re watching movies. It's hard to get drawn into something if you already know how it's going to end, and this is exactly the same thing. I find myself rewriting the ending to be more believable and then funnier. I sit listening while I look out the window. the site of the Atlantic ocean coming up below me is spectacular. It is a deep Bic blue pen color. No smog to be seen in site, just blue with scattered white clouds. The clouds are so pure white that it looks like God opened up the sky and dropped a bag of cotton balls down from heaven. I stare out at the ocean and imagine what is going on under the water that I can not see right now. Do the fish know I am up here? Are they wondering where I am going or what I am doing, like I am wondering about them? I wonder if there is a shark underneath me right now. Is he chasing a smaller fish or did he just have dinner? Does he have the ability to watch a movie?

It is 0530 California time and I am still starring out at the water. Then it comes, just 12 minutes later it is pitch black! We have passed the date line. A line I never knew existed. I look back and see the daylight and look forward and see the darkness. It is the most spectacular site I have ever seen. I sit mesmerized. It is now 0614 and its purely black outside. This blackness can not be considered smog in anyway, Because it's not. Whales do not create smog, only cars and factories, and if a car is down there then that is another wonder.

It isn't much longer that land slips underneath us. Even sooner that the pilot pipes up and advises us we are near Amsterdam, were we will be landing. I am amazed how nice everyone on this plane is. But then again they might all be terrified like me that the plane is going to crash. I look out the window seeing the colors of green. Its like someone has a box of crayola crayons and they used every one of the greens in the box. Very different from California this time of year. Where basic brown, tan and green are the only colors you see.

We are prepared to land, my chair is straight up my hands clenched tightly in my lap pressing down into my legs. My breathing stopping and starting, my stomach turning around in circles. I can hear the wheels being brought out. I see the wing flaps moving and flapping and I pray the pilot knows what he is doing.

Shortly after that we have landed. I am officially in Amsterdam, Holland! I am so excited I would jump up and down with excitement except I know that would cause people to look at me and JP would call me stupid and he would walk away and right now I need him.

Oh my gosh it is so cold! I need to buy a coat!


Anonymous said...

I just wish there was more! I hope to see the next chapter soon!

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