As We Amble Home - Turkish Thanksgiving Day 6

November 26, 2012

Our flight home left Istanbul at 555a. So start counting backwards and you'll know why we weren't necessarily at our best today. The flight starts boarding 30 minutes prior. It takes a while to check in and go through security and immigration, so we needed time for that. We had to make sure the cab was ready for us at 3a. Which meant we had to wake up at 2a.

That just sucks.

Neither one of us went to bed until after 10p. I woke up at 1a with a start, thinking I had overslept. No matter what, we were a mess. I was moderately functional. Adele, less so. But we finished packing and cleaning up the apartment. The keys were placed nicely on the dining room table. And we made our way to the airport.

Side note. Luckily today was the first day where I saw the rat. If I would have seen the rat in the building (just hanging out in the stairwell) any earlier, I would have been not so thrilled. At least this time we were on our way out. Maybe the rat was our going-away party...

The cabbie was waiting for us just as he was supposed to be. I think we both breathed a sigh of relief. If there was anything we didn't want to deal with was looking for a cab at the god-awful time of morning we were dealing with. Sure, we feel like we paid more than we should have. 35 Lira versus 20 Lira. It was only $5 (US) more and we didn't completely care (or I didn't care), but still. It did seem like we were able to get to the airport quickly though. So that was something.

As we walked into the airport, we encountered something we'd never actually seen. Security before the ticketing area. Seriously. We had to throw the bags in the scanner, take off our jackets and scarves (but could keep the shoes on) and walk through. Then, we checked in, went through Immigration, then go through security again. Crazy!! Though I have to say, I don't mind the extra levels of security. At least it's something.

We lucked out for a while on the flight to Amsterdam. I had the window seat. Adele had the aisle. And ours was the only row that didn't have a middle seater. Unfortunately, midway through the flight a dude behind us asked to sit in our row. He had a seat-kicker behind him and wanted to get away from the kid. Valid, but now it wrecked our row as Adele moved to the middle and he had some body odor. I was too busy sleeping so I missed the odor. But Adele definitely noticed and it affected her mood for a few hours.

Our flight between Istanbul and Amsterdam was long enough that we had time to hang around, but not enough time to hang out IN Amsterdam. And we really wanted to hang out in Amsterdam. Next year, though. Next year. The airport is pretty sweet. And we had pancakes while we waited.

We went through another layer of security as we tried to get into our gate. There is something about Amsterdam that makes the security folks want to molest me. The flight from Chicago had a short, red headed (smelly) lady who got really handsy in my "downtown area." I bristled a little as I didn't expect a gyno appointment would be added value with my plane ticket. On the way home, I set off an alarm as apparently I consume vast quantities of heavy metals. The second search was focused on the torso area. While I didn't have the internal search, this lady had to check around the waistline of the jeans. And inside my underwear. Yeah. You read that right. Hands down the panties. I could use the molestation excuse as to why I drank two glasses of wine on the flight home, but even without being felt up, I would have had the wine.

KLM was a pretty decent airline. They kept us way too fed on the flight home. It was 8 hours, but we ate smoked almonds, meatballs and profiteroles (and the second glass of wine), ice cream, and pizza or apple crisp. And they kept going around with drinks. So I kept watching movies and trying to sleep. There was a quiet teenage girl sitting next to me (I had the middle seat). It wasn't too bad considering I'd been awake for hours and hours.

There is always a worry as we fly back to the States. Did I fill out the Customs Form correctly?? At some point, I will tell the story about how Mom and I almost got arrested at the Canadian border a few years ago. This is the reason I worry slightly when coming home.

I filled out the form to the best of my knowledge and I grasped the passport and Customs Form as we left the plane. The line is always obnoxious and I have to announce (a few times) that the music playing on the video loop is from Illuminations at Epcot. This time...no line. None. We walked through where the line should be and were directed to the security person. Ok, then. He asked how long I was away and welcomed me home. Thanks, guy!!

Our luggage was rescued and we handed our form to the Customs Guy. He waved us through. Ok, then. My worry about the spices and tea and such (that I did claim on the form) was for nothing. Adele and I made our way out of the airport and our trip was officially over. Sigh.

We were definitely tired. We traveled a long way for a short visit. We saw a lot. We ate a ton. It was an excellent journey. There were some things we could have done differently, but our Girls Weekend, our Turkish Thanksgiving was a ton of fun. And now, we think about the next trip. Hmmm...where to go next??

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