I thought I had all my luggage: a small handbag, a larger handbag, and a very large, bulky suitcase. But I couldn’t find my plane ticket, and as I checked the dresser-drawers one last time, I found a book-bag full of heavy books. I started to panic, thinking that I needed to re-pack the books into my suitcase and that I didn’t have time. But then I remembered that I had intended to carry the book-bag onto the flight. I could wear one of the small handbags hanging in front of me with the long strap around my neck, and the book-bag with its strap on my shoulder. (I had a plan for how to carry the third handbag, too, which I don’t remember now.)
As we got in the car to leave for the airport (by now quite late to catch my flight) the father of my host family said he hoped my paquet wasn’t heavy, because I would have to pay extra if it was. I recognized the word paquet as the word for suitcase [it isn’t really the word for suitcase] and regretfully admitted that my paquet was, in fact, very heavy.
On the way to the airport, I continued searching my bags for my airplane ticket. I found many colorful collectible pins on cards that I thought my kids would like. And I found four tickets I had bought before my trip, for a concert I had forgotten to attend with my host family.
My host family dropped me at terminal 140. I struggled to thank them in my limited language skills, feeling awkward that I couldn’t offer to host them if they came to my country, since my house in the States was too small and crowded.
I tried to make my way to the gate, continuing to search through my luggage for the plane ticket. I found my photo I.D. and wondered if I could check in and get on my flight with that, without needing my actual ticket. I passed quaint shops and wished I had time to go in and buy myself a pastry. I tried to recall if I had done any shopping during my stay. I wouldn’t have another chance to shop until my next trip to Europe, which could be years away.
I looked up and saw that I was at stop 78 for the train (a metro with above-ground, indoor trains). The train stops were on the same numbering system with the airport terminals, so I had wandered very far past stop 140 and was going to have to take the train back. I urgently asked a woman if the train had left, and she said that it was still there–but by the time I’d bought a ticket, it had just pulled away.
I caught the next train and looked at my train ticket. I would have to change trains twice, with significant waits for each connection. The train agent had handwritten the numbers of the stations where I would change trains, but I couldn’t read her handwriting. By now I had almost certainly missed my flight, and would have to wait for the next day’s flight, and spend the night in the airport when I finally got there.
Then Hazel woke me up, asking for her lunch, and saving me, once again, from being stranded in an airport. (Hazel has graciously agreed to wait to have lunch until I finish writing down my dream.)
I’m just now remembering that Mabel got colorful collectible pins at the ISEF science fair in Phoenix.
And Dean forgot to bring his wallet to work with him this morning, so he won’t be able to buy himself lunch unless he borrows money.
Mabel wearing some of her International Science Fair trading pins, waiting to get into a Diamondbacks game in Phoenix back in May. I did take a wrong freeway exit on the way to the airport for that trip, but we made it onto our flight and didn’t lose our boarding passes.
I had a book-bag full of heavy books as a carry-on on for that flight. Someday I’ll get a fancy electronic book-reading device, and heavy book-bags will only exist in my nightmares.