As I begin to type, a very well dressed man is sitting next to me arguing on the phone in what sounds like Russian, and he is going in on this person, people are staring, his voice gets louder, his tone gets more and more aggressive, and then he just abruptly hangs up. His Starbucks drink says his name is Romeo. Maybe he and Juliet have been fighting?
Date: May 5th, 2016
Time: 9:11 am – 09:11 GMT
Location: Gatwick Airport – London, UK
My last post left off before I boarded my flight for London. During my five hour layover from New York to London, I kept on looking around for someone to engage in conversation, but it seemed like everyone was too preoccupied with their cell phones to actually interact face to face. Eventually, a young looking guy sat down next to me, and I made a joke about us both having Ospry brand backpacks.
Although I never got his name, I did learn that he was a British student at Columbia University getting his PhD in Sociology. He seemed a little surprised or perhaps amused at my attempt to make conversation, but we ended up talking for almost an hour exploring the delicate institutions that maintain the status quo in both America and continental Europe. I made a joke about how there’s not much you can do with a sociology degree, and then went on to say, “I guess I’m not one to speak since I plan on couch surfing while traveling the world and teaching yoga.” We parted ways when it was time to board, and I made my way to my seat all the way at the back of the plane.
The cabin felt icy cold, which I’m convinced was a ploy to get you to pay the absurd $5 they charged for a flimsy blanket. However, it was my first time on a Norwegian flight, and I was admittedly a little impressed with how big the plane actually was, and they had a solid free movie selection. I just wasn’t a big fan of how they didn’t give any free peanuts, pretzels, or water. A young blonde guy sporitng a man bun took his seat next to me, and we ended up talking for a good chunk of the flight. His girlfriend, in the row in front of ours, and him were doing their own backpacking through Europe. As he described his previous travels, which included ziplining in Guatemala and camping out in Costa Rica, I felt even more sure that there is no way I could sit in a cubicle working a 9 to 5.
I fell asleep for a little bit despite the turbulence, but the rough landing jolted me in my seat and for a moment I felt nausea. Excitement replaced nausea as I realized my next destination was only a 50 minute flight away. Despite having a 6.5 hour layover, I decided that it would be a risky move to leave the airport for someone who is as prone to getting lost as I am.
Instead, I ate a croissant from Starbucks and sat down to write, which brings me to where I am now – my plane to Amsterdam begins boarding in 2.5 hours, and I’m still in yesterday’s clothes and makeup. In Amsterdam, I’ll be meeting up with a good guy friend, and I’ll be slumming it at his place until Monday. Although I have no idea where he’s going to take me or what he’s going to show me, I know that I’m in for a good time.