Begin at the Beginning: This is my second adventure as an English teacher in Hungary, and because the name of my town is Heves (Passion), the temptation to write this blog as a soap opera is overwhelming. Sometimes written in third person
Chicken or Fish?
Three in the morning, and the No who had been on the road for over 12 hours, found herself stranded in Detroit. The eternal line, which had stretched out before her had slowly dwindled as she neared the counter. She faced a frazzled looking attendant with hope and trepidation. Quickly she handed over her itinerary and tried to drown out the loud arguments of other passengers behind her. “We will not be booking any more flights, you will have to do it tomorrow. It is too late, and we are going home,” shouted one attendant. Two passengers returned with rage and exasperation. The boiling emotions made everyone anxious. The No stared at the frantically typing attendant before her, worried about being stuck at just the first leg of her journey. The attendant looked up, their Eyes met, and she handed the No a small bundle of papers. She flipped through a place to sleep for the night and a dozen or so other papers and a new ticket.
The next morning, she awoke re-checked her huge packs, and looked at her new flight. Her jubilation at receiving a ticket died when she saw the connection: only an hour to transfer from the large international terminal in Frankfurt am Main, to the smaller one. One late boarding plane and 12 hours of flying later, the No had only 1 hour to make her connection. Huge csiga shell backpack thumping against her back, she ran, lost through the maze of terminals. Two slow moving security checkpoints and a passport check and a long marathon like run later she arrived five minutes after the hour. Panting and drenched with sweat she stammered out the little German her adrenaline-addled brain could grasp at. The No must have looked like Frankenstein’s younger less attractive and hysterical sibling, judging by the attendants’ responses. One ran down the gateway while the other two assured her that she made the flight and punched her ticket. Wandering down the boarding gateway she was met with the running attendant who offered her a large cup of water and two large wet wipes, and again assured the No that she would be fine, and that the flight was still waiting. She struggled into her seat, and used the wipes to help cool her face. Her seatmate lent across her and pointed both of the air conditioning jests straight at her. Later after she had cooled down, he pointed out major rivers as they flew over them. It was a relaxing end, the No was sure to the drama of the last two flights. They touched down gently, and rolled up to the airport. The No fully recovered the little German her non-frantic brain could remember thanked the flight attendants as she de-boarded the plane. Once to the baggage terminal, she made a beeline for the trolleys, remembering the difficult struggle it was to carry them herself in Detroit when she had to leave the airport. Ready, she waited impatiently. Just on the other side of the wall was a friend, waiting for her. The carousel lazily drifted past. Red bags, green bags, black bags, duffle bags….everything but her luggage. Lost, or at least misplaced was the verdict that led her into yet another line. Four other people waited before her, and while she waited, she noticed an older lady in a wheelchair having communication problems with the Hungarian staff. “May I help?” she offered. The problem was where to send the lady’s luggage, as she was booked into an Iris hotel, but the staff said that there was no Iris in Budapest. It could be the Ibis, but the lady said what she wrote down, was all that she had. The No, tried to help, and succeeded in only being able to help the lady fill out the forms, and assure her that the clerk would return her ticket once he had all of the necessary information. Then, as the lady was whisked away, she gave her own information. Two minutes later, she was through the double doors and a new year had begun. The year of NO.