"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Building Futures, Inc.

Building Futures, Inc.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wednesday/Thursday, November 14/15, 2018

I’m sitting in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport waiting for my flight to Nairobi.  I leave in a couple hours, so I thought I’d get a jump on blogging. If the first two legs of this journey are any indication, you best buckle up.  Me, on the other hand, I’ll be the one wailing and gnashing my teeth.
The flight to Detroit was uneventful.  Andrea dropped me off, I got through security, got on the plane, and landed in the motor city. Prior to my departure,  I downloaded a couple seasons of Blindspot so that I could catch up.  I got a new iPad Pro for my birthday, and I was finally going to be able to put it through the paces.  I watched the first episode of Season 2 (although I got through half the season, I needed a reminder of what was happening).  It was as good as I remembered, but again, I only got to see one episode before we landed.  I shut down my iPad and decided to put it back into my backpack when I got off the plane.  
My pack is quite large… and quite full.  It was too large to put in the overhead (the first leg was just a puddle jumper) but one of the flight attendants was kind enough to let me store it with her luggage in a locker up front.  That’s the other reason I decided to put it back into my bag once inside the terminal. 
The section we were in was quite quiet.  We arrived at gate A-23 and there was nobody waiting for a flight so I grabbed a seat and placed my iPad and earbuds next to me.  Did I put the iPad back first.  No. Why would I do that when I had a pair of ear buds to put away first?  The two bottles of water were beginning to catch up with me, so I decided to use the bathroom.  I came out of the bathroom and was about to call Andrea to let her know I was in Detroit when I realized that I never put my 2 month old iPad in my pack!  I went back to the gate, and you guessed it… no iPad. I checked with the gate agents on either side of where it disappeared.  No luck.  Now it was time to file a report with the Metro Police.  Yay me.
He was very kind and took down all my information.  “I have nobody to blame but myself,” I said.  He responded, “That’s not true.  Your not to blame at all.  Ideally, the person that found it would have returned it.  Sadly, that behavior is not as common as it once was.  True dat.  My expectations are low, so I’ll soldier on.  I’ve got a few hours before I leave for Amsterdam, so he said he’d call if he found anything.
He didn’t call.
I, on the other hand, did call… Andrea.  “Oh no…” was the reply.  I still feel like a schmuck.  “Maybe that’s a sign that you should sleep on the plane instead.”  Although “Possibly,” I said.  If I wasn’t going to take that as a sign, don’t worry, another one was coming.
The plane to Amsterdam was delayed 30 minutes, but no big deal.   I’ve got a 3 hour layover at Schiphol, too.  We boarded and I found my way to my seat.  As we waited on the gangway, I was standing behind a guy that was gigantic.  Seriously. If he was the first guy I met in Kenya, my nickname would not be “Tall Man,” it would be “Shorty.”  The guy had to be 6’10” easy.  Pretty wide frame, too.  I followed him into the plane and he went left when I went right.  Somehow, we ended up right next to each other in the exit row.  I realized two things when I sat down.  1. The bathroom closest to my seat was covered with red tape that read, “Out of service.”  Super. The second thing was more of a question. Who gets the armrest?  Do you share?  Is it 1”stcome 1stserved?”  If they move is it “you snooze you lose?”  Either way, I lost the battle most of the time.  He slept with his arms folded most of the way, so every time I wanted to open or close my tray (which, by the way, was in the middle armrest), I had to use a prybar to lift up his left wing to get it out!  Which reminds me, if the armrest hold your tray, doesn’t that mean it’s yours?  But I digress.
We buckled up as the stewardess approached and said, “Good.  Your both here.  Are you aware your sitting in the exit row.”  We both looked at each other with the same look an actor gives when he looks into the camera.  I thought she would have figured it out because she almost tripped over our feet as she passed the bulkhead.  Yep, we know the drill.
The plane pulled away from the gate before we heard the first announcement.  It was an awkward one full of “ums” and “well” and finally, “sorry.”  “The um captain has, um, informed me that, um, the movies aren’t, um, working properly. When you select a movie, um, it might not be the one you, um ,get.  Sorry.” The accuracy of that statement was mind boggling.
I selected, Annihilation (it was the first one on the list of new movies).  I got The Sound of Music.  Next I chose 300: Rise of an Empire.  I got Wonder.  This is not as fun as I thought it might be.  I then chose 12 Strong.  I got a movie from 1939 called The Women starring Rosalind Russel and Joan Crawford.  In the immortal words of Popeye, "I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands no more!"
OK, I get it.  This was message number 2.  Fine, I’ll go to sleep.
I got a few hours in, but that was about it.  That will be enough to carry me to Nairobi where I land at 10:10pm  Perfect time to really get some shut eye.  We’ll see how that goes.  I’m sure I’ll laugh at this when I get back to the states.  Well, maybe.  I'm in my seat on the plane.  It's "European Comfort" (insert your own joke here) and i'm comfortable.  More importantly, the movies are working... although the selection is a bit more meager on KLM than they are on Delta.  Hakuna matata.  These are all 1st world problems.  They'll far beyond my rear view mirror when I reach my final destination.  The next time you hear from me I’ll be in Kenya… unless there’s another message coming.

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