At 3:45 PM on Saturday, September 10, I entered the airport… and a million hours later, I arrived in Scotland. And here’s what happened in between.
First, I did end up with one of the worst weekends to be flying out of Washington, DC that you could possibly imagine. I figured that I would be fine. I triumphantly reached my gate… well, almost triumphantly reached my gate, only to be turned away by a security guard who said that it and the surrounding gates were all closed. I asked why. She said they just were and I had to go back beyond a certain point and wait.
After four hours of waiting and watching a bomb squad loitering outside the window looking like they were supposed to be doing something serious but not actually coming in and doing anything, we longsuffering passengers were redirected to a different gate at the opposite side of the airport for our flight. Yay!
By that point I was exhausted and ready to sleep and I hadn’t even really started my journey yet. I did get to enjoy a nice in flight meal. The person sitting next to me was an Indian man with whom I had the unspoken agreement not to converse. It was one of those special, awkward avoidance of eye contact things, but it worked. I did not feel like talking.
Anyway, the flight attendants showed up with the options for our inflight meal. The Indian guy ordered a special vegetarian meal. I was given the choice of pasta or beef stew. The stew sounded wholesome and delicious, so I went with that. As I was chomping away, I noticed the Indian man giving me sidelong glances. I was very tired, so it took me a minute to put some clues together.
Cows are sacred in India. Indian man ordered vegetarian. I am eating a cow.
Oh well. I ate my cow stew and enjoyed every bit. It wasn’t half bad for an in flight meal.
Here’s where the fun really began. At Dulles, it was hurry up and wait. Unfortunately, that meant that we got there an hour and a half before my connecting flight to Edinburgh, and Heathrow isn’t exactly small. So in London, it was hurry up and HURRY LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! I ran from the plane to immigration. I ran from there to baggage claims. I ran from baggage claims, shoving a trolley of bags and dragging one behind me, through the entire airport (it seemed like) to my terminal. I ran to the baggage checkpoint. I ran from there to security. And then I made the final charge (cue Chariots of Fire music) to my gate.
The ticket said be there by 11:45. I was there at 12:00. I rushed in, the doors shut behind me, and I collapsed into my seat. I didn’t even get to glance at London from a window. Was it really there? Was I really there? Must go back and find out.
Upon arrival at Edinburgh, I got my bags and then wondered what to do next. It was then that the magical red-shirted Uni students appeared and not only told me what I had to do, but helped me drag my luggage all the way to the taxi service and tuck me into a taxi to take me straight to my dorm.
At Mylnes Court on the Royal Mile, I was once again welcomed by the staff and students and taken to a room where I met two of my three roommates and then headed out for a grocery shopping trip.
I haven’t had a chance to go out and take pictures really, but I snapped a few from the flat. A photo-taking expedition will follow, never fear.I still don’t believe I’m here. I haven’t slept. I haven’t unpacked.
But I’m in Scotland! And there’s a castle next door.
And that was my weekend.