Africa, Russia, Mongolia and China
Missed Alarm Causes Problems
Looking at my watch I calculate in my mind: I have one hour and 15 minutes to get to the airport to check in for an international flight to Helsinki.
“This doesn’t look good,” I blurt out-loud.
Walking as fast as possible with a heavy backpack down the early morning streets of Copenhagen, my friend, Mark, ushers me onto the subway that is supposed to go directly to the airport.
A late night and a missed alarm has put me into a stressful situation. I’m supposed to already be at the airport.
Arriving 35 minutes before my plane is supposed to leave, I walk into the terminal to find a huge line. A new plan is quickly created. If I self check in my large backpack, they will be less likely to leave without me if they load it onto the plane.
Years of flying in my previous work have given me enough courage to try just about anything, and with nothing to lose I race through the system.
Fifteen minutes before the plane is supposed to leave, I discover another large line at the security check. No skipping this part, I surrender to the wait.
The line moves slow and steady.
Seven minutes now before the plane is supposed to leave and I am running as fast as possible to the far end of the terminal of course. My heart is beating hard, as sweat begins to run down the sides of my face.
Standing just out from my gate are two people staring down the long empty walkway.
Gasping for air, I come striding up to the gate.
“Yes, (gasp), that’s, (gasp), me (gasp).”
“Was there a long line at security?”
“Yes, (gasp) I’ve never seen such a line.”
“It’s OK; we held the plane, welcome aboard.”
“Thanks,” I say, and silently make a promise to myself to never do that again.
Walking down the center of the plane, I smile at people who stare at me with the conviction of a jury ready to deliver the verdict.
I find my seat and slump over with a sense of relief.
Landing, I open my eyes to see snow falling at the Helsinki Finland airport. I suspect this will be the start of a very long stretch of cold. Russia does not hold any promise of warm beaches.